The Jaguars have signed star running back Fred Taylor to a four-year contract extension that would keep Taylor in Jacksonville through the 2007 season. The contract is added to the one year remaining on Taylor's original Jaguars deal, and will pay Taylor an $8 million signing bonus.
"It's a deal that's likely to keep Fred here for the rest of his career," Jaguars salary cap boss and lead contract negotiator Paul Vance told jaguars.com this afternoon. "It's a very important deal to the team, but it's very fair and it's highly rewarding to him and the team."
The most interesting aspect of the contract is that it should be seen in no way as a re-structuring that would rob from Jaguars future salary caps to provide cap room this year. Taylor's 2003 cap number, about $3.6 million, will remain the same.
Taylor will earn $530,000 in salary this season. That will jump to $1.63 million in '04, a figure that includes $780,000 that was moved from this season into '04 to accommodate the extra bonus amortization added to Taylor's '03 cap number. The 2005 salary is set at $1.55 million, then escalates to $2.55 million in each of the '06 and '07 seasons.
The contract is heavily incentivized, with Taylor able to earn about $2.6 million in incentive money in each year of the contract. Those incentives include a 45-man roster bonus and aggressive milestones for rushing or combined rushing and pass-receiving achievements.
"It takes into account his potential to be the best running back in the league and it's another step in trying to build a winner in Jacksonville," Vance said. "We had been working on this. I had always had a good working relationship with Drew (Rosenhaus, Taylor's agent). Drew feels Jacksonville is a good place; grass field and no state income tax."
The final year of Taylor's original contract included $1.274 million of remaining amortization, $816,248 in salary, a $500,000 roster bonus due on May 1 and $1 million in incentives.
Jaguars.com hopes to update this story with comments from Taylor and Rosenhaus.