Jacksonville Jaguars: Is the market set for Telvin Smith?
By Luke Sims
Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith has a big pay day coming his way at some point in 2017. Just how big will it be and is the market already set?
Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union instantly likened Christian Kirksey’s new four-year deal to Telvin Smith’s potential new deal when it was announced on May 30, 2017.
Kirksey’s four-year extension is worth $38 million. That’s not a small amount of money and it’s probably reflective of his value both as a player and to the Cleveland Browns as an organization. In this writer’s opinion, Smith should be worth more.
After just three seasons, Smith has proven that he will be the future of the Jacksonville Jaguars as a franchise. With Paul Posluszny moving to strongside linebacker, Calais Campbell coming in to stabilize the defensive line, Myles Jack assuming the middle linebacker role, and Jalen Ramsey clearly leading the secondary, it may be easy to overlook Smith.
That would be a mistake.
Smith, coming to the Jaguars with a fifth round selection in 2014, has played with heart and determination that has been expressed through sheer will on the football field. Nobody works harder than Smith on any given down. Blessed with elite speed for his position, he almost always ends up near the ball at the end of the play.
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The Smith extension will go beyond his ability and his highlight reel, though. Smith has a special value to the Jaguars and is a Coughlin-type player who is willing to put in the work and recognize the need to improve each and every day and do even the little things right. Not every team has a player like Smith who is willing to do that and hold himself and his teammates accountable.
Placing value on a player like Smith is difficult. He has proven himself worthy of something like $38 million over four years, but he also has the potential to be something special for his team and for the NFL. He has clearly outplayed his current rookie deal. He has been the ninth-best value contract at his position per Spotrac and it’s clear to see.
The Jaguars are going to have a lot of key players that need to be locked up this season or early after the 2017 season ends. Smith should be on top of that priority list with center/guard Brandon Linder.