Derrick Harvey, the Jaguars' first-round draft choice from Florida and the eighth player selected overall this spring, signed a contract today 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, Maryland was named Defensive Most Valuable Player of the BCS National Championship Game against Ohio State in 2006.
"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 that 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 join the team today to travel to Washington for Thursday night's preseason finale against the Redskins. The game will kick off at 7:00 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 today.