11:01am: The Jaguars have officially re-signed Henne, the team announced today in a press release.
10:10am: The Jaguars have reached an agreement with Chad Henne on an extension that will bring him back to the team for the 2016 season, and perhaps beyond that, a source tells Rand Getlin of the NFL Network (Twitter link). Getlin reports that the two-year deal, which features some incentives, is worth $8MM. Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (via Twitter) first reported that the two sides were closing in on a deal.
Henne, 30, has started 53 games since entering the league in 2008, including 22 for the Jaguars from 2012 to 2014. However, since the team drafted Blake Bortles third overall in ’14, he has been primarily relegated to backup duty, and seems to have transitioned into the role of a veteran mentor. While he was eligible to reach free agency this winter, it seems he’s comfortable enough in that role to forgo exploring the open market.
Henne’s last contract with Jacksonville, signed back in March 2014, was also a two-year extension worth $8MM, which included incentives and escalators based on playing time and team success. Even though Bortles has now cemented himself as the unquestioned starter for the Jaguars, it’s not surprising to see Henne get a similar deal as the clear-cut No. 2 this time around. He’s one of the more reliable backups in the NFL, and those players typically earn an annual salary in the $4-5MM range.
Given the Jaguars’ cap situation, paying Henne an annual $4MM salary isn’t an issue. According to Over the Cap, the team entered Thursday with a league-high $79.8MM in projected cap room for 2016, so Henne’s new deal will be a small drop in the bucket. Additionally, Bortles won’t be due for a new extension of his own for at least another year or two, so the team’s top two signal-callers will remain very affordable as a duo for the next couple seasons.
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