THURSDAY, 9:41am: The Jaguars’ deal with Ivory is now official, tweets John Oehser of Jaguars.com.
WEDNESDAY, 7:26am: According to USA Today’s Connor Hughes (Twitter link), Ivory’s five-year deal will be worth $32.5MM ($6.5MM per year), with $10MM guaranteed.
7:04am: Per Rapoport (via Twitter), Ivory’s new deal with the Jaguars will be a five-year contract. Rapoport reiterates that it’s worth “well north” of $6MM annually.
TUESDAY, 8:59pm: The Jaguars have agreed to sign running back Chris Ivory, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Ivory will be able to officially sign with Jacksonville on Wednesday. The deal is worth “well above” $6MM per year, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
Ivory, 28 later this month, has been a popular name since the legal tampering period began on Monday. The former Jets running back has been linked to a number of clubs, as the Texans, Buccaneers, and Raiders have all expressed interest.
Instead, Ivory will head to the Jaguars, not a club that many pegged to land Ivory, or for that matter, any free agent running back. Jacksonville selected T.J. Yeldon in the second round last season, and the rookie was pretty impressive, averaging 4.1 yards per carry and scoring twice in 12 starts. The Jaguars also have Denard Robinson on their depth chart, and he’s shown to be a more than capable backup.
But the Jags will turn to a more proven commodity in Ivory, who last season topped 1,000 yards rushing for the first time in his six-year career. A runner who exhibits terrifying force, Ivory averaged 4.3 yards per carry and reached the endzone seven times last season. He even helped out in the passing game, posting 30 receptions, 12 more than his previous career high.
Ivory was PFR’s No. 4 free agent running back, and he was expected to compete on the open market with the likes of Doug Martin, Lamar Miller, and Matt Forte. None of that trio has yet agreed to sign with another club, though all three have been heavily linked to potential suitors.
The Jaguars, who entered the legal tampering period with more $80MM in cap space, are certainly showing their financial strength. In addition to agreeing to terms with Ivory, Jacksonville has also agreed to sign defensive lineman Malik Jackson to a six-year deal worth more than $15MM annually.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.