Derrick Harvey, the Jaguars' first-round draft choice from Florida and the eighth player selected overall this spring, signed a contract on Wednesday with the team. Length and terms of the contract are undisclosed.
"I'm pleased to have Derrick signed and have these contract negotiations behind us," said Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver. "This was a long and challenging process for the player and for the team. This was a good example of the problem Commissioner Goodell has cited with the lack of a rookie pay scale. We're all happy that Derrick can now focus on getting on the field, being a Jaguar and contributing to this team."
Harvey, 21, started 18 of his 36 career games while at Florida and ranked ninth in school history with 20.5 sacks, before entering the draft after his junior season. The 6-5, 271-pounder from Greenbelt, Md., was named defensive MVP of the 2006 BCS national championship game against Ohio State.
"We welcome Derrick and will work hard to get him up to speed as quickly as possible," head coach Jack Del Rio said. "I know Derrick has been anxious to get here. It's good for him and also for us to have this done as we finish up the preseason and prepare to start the season."
"With all of our players now under contract, we can move forward into the season," said Paul Vance, Jaguars vice president/football operations. "Throughout this process Derrick and his family and his agent were straightforward and wanted to get this done. There were some unusual challenges and plenty of room for honest differences of opinion."
"We identified Derrick as a player who can come in and help us, and we're glad to have him here and ready to go," said James Harris, Jaguars vice president/player personnel. "He got a good start with us in spring practices, so now he takes the next step in his development."
"I'm relieved to have the contract done and I'm excited to join my teammates," Harvey said. "I allowed my agent to do his job and represent me and, in the end, it was so important for me to get this wrapped up so I could get here and get started."
Harvey will joined the team for its trip to Washington for Thursday night's preseason finale against the Redskins. The game will kick off at seven p.m. at FedEx Field and will be televised nationally on NBC.
The Jaguars will receive a roster exemption from the league for Harvey, so no other roster move is needed at this point.