JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jaguars are keeping nose tackle Abry Jones in Jacksonville.
Jones signed a long-term deal with the team on Wednesday, multiple NFL sources tell First Coast News.
The deal is for four years and just under $16 million, with $6.5 million in guaranteed money, according to the sources.
“It’s very big," Jones said on a conference call with local media. "It’s always good to see when your hard work pays off and especially when the contract they gave me really—it makes me feel great to see the faith they put in me.”
Jones started nine games last season after starting nose tackle Roy Miller went down with a torn right Achilles. Pro Football Focus ranked Jones as the No. 21 interior defensive lineman in the league last season out of 127 qualifiers.
"I think the most important thing was I proved that each and every Sunday I can go out there as a starter and contribute to the team,” Jones said.
Jones entered the league as undrafted free agent in 2013. He has played all four of his NFL seasons in Jacksonville.
In those four seasons, Jones produced 97 tackles, 5.5 sacks, four pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
His new deal could mean that Miller may not stick around in Jacksonville much longer. The veteran has a $4.16 million cap hit this season and the Jaguars could save just under $4 million by cutting him.
The Jaguars could opt to invest heavily in the nose tackle position and pay both Jones and Miller premium salaries. Jones can play in most spots around the defensive line in a 4-3 Under, so if the Jaguars keep that front, it would make sense to rotate him along the line.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.