JACKSONVILLE – Brandon Linder will be with the Jaguars for the foreseeable future.
That's what he wanted. That's what the team wanted. And that's what happened when the four-year veteran offensive lineman signed a contract extension on Tuesday.
"I'm at a loss for words, honestly," Linder said shortly after signing the contract.
Linder, a fourth-year veteran and a third-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft from the University of Miami, signed a five-year extension Tuesday at EverBank Field. Jaguars 2017 Training Camp is scheduled to begin Thursday with veterans scheduled to report Wednesday.
"We wanted to get it done, so now we can just play ball," Linder said. "We don't have to talk about anything but football. … I wanted to get it done before we camp so we can focus on football and focus on winning some football games here."
Linder became the first player from the Jaguars' '14 draft class to re-sign a long-term extension.
"Since I got here I've taken it year-by-year and wanted to get to that next contract," Linder said. "That's what I wanted to do – stay here, and play out my career here. This is something that since I was a little kid – playing little league football, high school, college … this is what I worked my whole life for.
"To finally achieve that, it's pretty magical. It hasn't really hit me yet, but it's special."
Linder, the No. 93 overall selection in the '14 draft, has started 31 of a possible 48 games for the Jaguars in three seasons. He started 14 games at center last season after starting 17 at guard during the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Linder's deal was for a reported $51.7 million over five years with $24 million guaranteed. If so, that reportedly will make Linder the NFL's highest-paid center if he stays at the position.
The Jaguars worked most of their interior offensive linemen at various positions during the offseason program, with Linder among several players working at both center and guard.
"That's yet to be determined," Linder said of his position.
Linder said talks about an extension began after the on-field portion of the team's offseason program ended in mid-June, gaining intensity in the last week.
"It means the world," Linder said. "I'd love to play here my whole career. I fell in love with this city, and I think we have big things to come. … I can't think of a better place to play my career."