The Jacksonville Jaguars signed defensive tackle John Henderson to a contract extension, the club announced today.
"We are very happy to get big John extended," Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio said. "He has been a monster in the middle for us. He is central to us in our effort to build a dominant defense and a championship team."
Henderson was the ninth overall pick in the 2002 draft, the highest drafted defensive lineman ever by the Jaguars. He has not missed a game in his career, starting 60 of 64 games, and earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl in 2004. Henderson has 18.5 sacks in four seasons along with 337 tackles (259 solo), three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. The 18.5 sacks rank sixth in team history.
"I want to thank Wayne Weaver for stepping up and allowing me to remain part of the Jaguars' organization," Henderson said. "We have a great nucleus of players here and we are looking forward to building on last year's success."
Henderson, 6-7, 328 pounds, anchored the Jaguars' sixth-ranked defense in 2005 as he registered 83 tackles, three sacks, four tackles for loss and 20 quarterback pressures. He had a season-high two sacks at Houston on December 24 along with seven tackles and one forced fumble.
"John has been playing at a Pro Bowl level for the last three years," Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Smith said. "We are very excited about having John be a part of our defense for the long term. He will definitely be an integral part of our success.
"John is a guy who plays extremely hard and is a very passionate and emotional football player. He is a disruptive force in the middle against both the pass and the run."
Henderson played a major role in the Jaguars' 12-4 regular season record in 2005, the second-best mark in team history. The Jaguars' defense allowed only 290.9 yards per game and a NFL-low four rushing touchdowns. Henderson started all 16 games in 2004 and tallied a career-high 98 tackles and tied for the team-lead with 5.5 sacks.