JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars' most-tenured player will get another year of tenure.
Tight end Marcedes Lewis, who has been with the team longer than any other active Jaguars player, on Tuesday had the team exercise the option on his contract for 2018 – a move expected to keep him on the roster for a 13th consecutive season.
The team on Tuesday also exercised options on the 2018 contracts of reserve offensive tackle Josh Wells and reserve offensive guard/center Tyler Shatley. The moves prevent all three players from becoming free agents on the March 14 start of the 2018 NFL League Year.
Lewis, who caught 24 passes for 318 yards and five touchdowns last season, signed a three-year contract extension with the Jaguars in the 2016 offseason that included a team option for the 2018 season. Tuesday was the deadline for the Jaguars to exercise that option.
Lewis, a first-round selection in the 2006 NFL Draft, is considered one of the NFL's best run-blocking tight ends – and he was key to the Jaguars' No. 1-ranked rushing offense this past season. He has 375 career receptions for 4,502 yards and 33 career touchdowns.
His 170 career games played are third in franchise history behind center Brad Meester (209 games, 2000-2013) and wide receiver Jimmy Smith (171, 1995-2005). Lewis' 12 seasons with the franchise trail only Meester for most in franchise history.
Shatley and Wells have been the Jaguars' top reserve offensive linemen in recent seasons, with Wells playing swing tackle behind right tackle Jermey Parnell and left tackle Cam Robinson this past season and Shatley playing both guard and center. Both players joined the team as undrafted free agents following the 2014 NFL Draft.
Wells has played in 32 games in three seasons with the Jaguars, making his first four career starts this past season. Shatley has been active in 46 games in four seasons; he was active for all 16 games each of the past two regular seasons, starting four games in 2016 and four this past season.
All four of Shatley's starts this past season came at center.