Telvin Smith signs a well-deserved 4-year, $50 million contract extension with the Jacksonville Jaguars

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 16: Telvin Smith
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 16: Telvin Smith /

The Jacksonville Jaguars defense has emerged as the best in the league in 2017, partially thanks to their newly-extended star linebacker Telvin Smith.

On Wednesday night, the Jacksonville Jaguars won the bye week.

Why? They locked up the best 4-3 outside linebacker in the NFL for four more years.

It’s not crazy to say that Telvin has been one of the more underappreciated defensive players in the league since being drafted. He’s excelled and won AFC defensive player of the week multiple times since coming into the NFL, but he’s been hidden on some horrific Jaguars teams.

He’s persevered and, with hindsight, his progression has been even more impressive when you consider he was under the tutelage of the worst head coach in the history of professional football for 3 years to start his career.

So far in 2017, Telvin’s 58 tackles leads the team and ranks 6th in the NFL, and his coverage skills have improved tremendously. He’s become more than just a speedy, undersized backer – he’s maybe the best overall (run and pass-defense) linebacker in the league.

This extension is well deserved and gives the team more options heading into the offseason, particularly with Allen Robinson.

The Jacksonville Jaguars 2014 draft class has a chance to go down as the best in team history.

Sure, a lot of that depends on what happens with quarterback Blake Bortles over the next 9 games, but let’s go down the list:

  1. (1.3) Blake Bortles – a disappointment, but not done.
  2. (2.39) Marqise Lee – fought through injuries and has become a real contributor with potential.
  3. (2.61) Allen Robinson – out for the year, but already made a Pro Bowl and arguably one of the 10 best receivers in the league.
  4. (3.93) Brandon Linder – the highest-paid center in the league.
  5. (4.114) Aaron Colvin – a solid slot corner.
  6. (5.144) Telvin Smith – the best 4-3 OLB in the NFL.
  7. (5.159) Chris Smith – cut.
  8. (6.205) Luke Bowanko – cut, but contributed.
  9. (7.222) Storm Johnson – cut.

There are three legitimate Pro Bowl (maybe All Pro in some seasons) players in that class and a few other contributors.

Unfortunately, the draft class is going to be defined by Blake Bortles and right now that doesn’t look too good.

But for now let’s congratulate Telvin on getting paid.