JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars re-signed defensive tackle Abry Jones, who was set to become a free agent this off-season, to a four-year contract.
Jones has appeared in 54 games with 11 starts since signing with the Jaguars as an undrafted rookie in 2013. The former Georgia Bulldog is coming off his busiest season as a pro, when he started a career high nine games. It was, however, the first season that Jones did not record a sack in his four seasons as a professional.
“I’m excited to be back with the Jaguars after earning a spot on the team four years ago,” said Jones. “(Defensive coordinator Todd) Wash has believed in me since day one and I’m looking forward to what the future holds with him continuing as my defensive coordinator. I’m also glad to be back with my teammates and we’re even hungrier this year to improve as a unit and as a team. I’m going to celebrate this incredible opportunity with my family and friends and then it’s time to get back to work.”
Jones admitted that Wash being retained by new head coach Doug Marrone was a significant factor in his decision to re-sign with the Jaguars rather than test the free agent market.
"I came in with Coach Wash, and he was definitely a big influence on me, so I wouldn't be surprised if it would have been a little bit different if he wasn't here," Jones said.
Jones is the first of 10 Jaguars free agents-to-be to re-sign. Cornerback Prince Amukamara, safety Johnathan Cyprien and offensive lineman Luke Joeckel are among those who could sign with other NFL teams. Teams can begin contacting and negotiating with other teams' free agents beginning March 7 but cannot begin signing players until March 9.
The next big date after that is April 3, when teams with new coaches, like the Jaguars, may begin offseason workout programs.