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New Jaguars WR Donte Moncrief loves 'prove it' deal

The former third-round pick believes in his talent and feels like his health is the only thing that has held him back during his four-year NFL career.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - New Jaguars wide receiver Donte Moncrief isn't afraid of shouldering the risks that come with a one-year contract.

The former third-round pick believes in his talent and feels like his health is the only thing that has held him back during his four-year NFL career.

"The nagging injuries that I had, especially my shoulder, and then the surgery I had on my toe," Moncrief said on Thursday during his introductory press conference.

"It was just things that were holding me back. Now I'm finally healthy and I know what I've got in me and it's on my shoulders and I'm ready to go."

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Moncrief missed 11 games over the last two seasons due to shoulder and ankle injuries. Those ailments seemingly derailed his ascending trajectory following a standout 2015 season as the Indianapolis Colts' No. 2 wide receiver.

He also wasn't helped by the Colts' revolving door at quarterback this past year. Indianapolis franchise quarterback Andrew Luck has battled shoulder injuries of his own over the last two seasons.

Luck's woes opened the door for the duo of Scott Tolzien and Jacoby Brissett to receive snaps at the league's most important position. Downgrades in quarterback talent led to fewer opportunities for the already ailing Moncrief.

"You can't use that as an excuse," Moncrief said. "It was harder, it took a lot out of us and you could tell that it bothered us a little bit."

The past two years impacted Moncrief's value. The upside and potential are still there, but the Jaguars decided to be cautious with the familiar foe.

"Obviously, we've played against him the last couple of years, we did a lot of work on him coming out of college," Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell said.

"He's big-play receiver, had a big year in [2015], kind of on a 'prove it' deal this year but we felt a one-year deal made sense for him."

Moncrief claims to have a chip on his shoulder. He has something to prove, so a one-year deal serves as worthwhile motivation for him.

"I love that deal," Moncrief said. "Like I said, I know what I'm capable of, I'm back healthy and I am about to go out here and show these guys what I can do."

The Jaguars view Moncrief as a player who could impact the coverage of opposing defenses. In theory, his 4.4 40-yard dash speed could force the use of safety help for opposing cornerbacks.

"[With] his speed and ability to stretch the field on the outside opposite Marqise [Lee], we've got two speed guys on the outside," Caldwell said. "We feel like that's going to open up the run game and then open up some big play possibilities there."

The first test for Moncrief's speed will come in training camp when he matches up against All-Pro cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. The 6-foot-2, 216-pound receiver is eager to face that challenge.

"Going up against those guys every day, you have no choice but to get better," Moncrief said.

"[They're] two of the best corners in the league, and you're going up against them in practice every day, and just the competition, I know it's going to be good. It's going to be tough and I look forward to it."

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.