JACKSONVILLE – Telvin Smith is going to stay with the Jaguars for a while.
That became official Wednesday, when the team announced it had signed the four-year veteran weak-side linebacker to a four-year contract extension.
Smith, a fifth-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2014 NFL Draft, was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent following the season. He is the second player from the Jaguars' 2014 draft class to re-sign with the team.
The Jaguars signed '14 third-round selection Brandon Linder to an extension this past summer.
"I am excited about the opportunity to continue my career in Jacksonville and stay with the team that believed in me coming into the league in 2014," Smith said in a statement, adding that he is "grateful for my family, my friends, my teammates, my coaches and the incredible Jaguars fans for always supporting me and allowing me to play this game that I love."
Smith also thanked Jaguars owner Shad Khan and the organization "for believing in me and giving me this amazing opportunity."
"It's been a privilege these last four years, and there is so much that I want to accomplish as a teammate and as an individual in this league," Smith said. "We have created a bond in that locker room and everyone is committed to our goal of winning football games. I am honored to be a part of that culture and help continue to lead this team in the right direction."
Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin called Smith "a productive player and an important part of our defense."
"He has earned this second contract," Coughlin said in a statement. "We want to identify the players who will contribute to helping this team win going forward, and reward those who can do that. Telvin is certainly one of those players for us."
Coughlin added, "This is a high performance business, and we look for his continued development as a team leader both on and off the field. Along with this new contract, Telvin must accept the high expectations that go with it."
Smith (6-feet-3, 215 pounds), a 2017 defensive captain, has started 47 games and appeared in 53 in three and a half seasons. He was named the AFC's Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Jaguars' 30-9 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 5.
Smith, who also was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week in 2014 and 2015, registered 10 tackles against the Steelers and also had a go-ahead 28-yard interception return. His three Defensive Player of the Week awards are the most in franchise history.
Smith leads the team with 58 tackles this season, and has registered double-digit tackles in three of the last four games.