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Henderson was priority


His contract was one of the Jaguars' primary offseason concerns. Now it's done and another need has been addressed. What's next?

"We will be trying to make some moves at the linebacker position; good, sound moves to upgrade the football team," personnel boss James Harris said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon that announced a contract extension for defensive tackle John Henderson.

"I wanted to be here. I just wanted to get this business thing out of the way," Henderson said of a contract that will maintain Henderson and Marcus Stroud as the team's defensive tackles for the next several years.

"Now it's back to football and what I like to do, cracking heads. I just love Stroud to death. You don't want to leave this," Henderson added.

Stroud signed a long-term contract a year ago.

"It was important for us to get this done because John is a cornerstone we are building this defense around," owner Wayne Weaver said in opening the press conference. "It was a priority for our football team."

Harris referred to Henderson and Stroud as the "best defensive tackle tandem in the league. This was a key signing; as key as any free agent we could've signed," Harris said.

Extending Henderson's contract would seem to be one of three priorities the Jaguars have addressed this offseason. They signed Brian Williams in free agency to fill the void at cornerback, then added Mike Williams and Stockar McDougle to provide depth on their offensive line. Linebacker would seem to be the next major concern and even though Harris wasn't giving away information in the press conference, he made it clear the team has a strategy for addressing the need at linebacker.

"By the time the season comes, we'll be OK at linebacker," Harris said.

Harris also said the team is counting on the development of the Jaguars' young players on offense to upgrade that side of the ball. "We do feel the development of the young players we have is key on offense," Harris said.

"We like where we are on both sides of the ball," Weaver said. "We think we have improved our roster in the offseason. We think we can compete at the highest level."

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