Yesterday it was announced that the Jaguars and cornerback Rashean Mathis have reached a heavily incentive laden one year deal for five million dollars. Mathis has been the lock on half of the field for the Jaguar since he was selected in the second round of the 2003 draft.
Mathis has been plagued with injuries in recent years, failing to complete a full 16 game season in four of the past five seasons.
Widely considered one of the top cover corners Jacksonville has ever seen, if not the best, Mathis provides great experience and leadership on an otherwise young team. Rashean stated that he wanted to be back in Jacksonville this year and the coaches recognized his desire by saying that he was a top priority to bring back in the offseason.
By locking up Mathis, the Jags have guaranteed that they don’t need to spend a high round pick on a cornerback in order to help immediately in pass defense. Look for Gene Smith to search for value in mid to late rounds, possibly searching for Mathis’ eventual replacement.
But for the next year, expect Jacksonville to thrive with Mathis locking down the #1 receiver and Cox still learning to become a dominant corner over the #2 spot.
– Luke N. Sims