Jaguars place franchise tag on PK Josh Scobee

The Jacksonville Jaguars are committed to keeping place-kicker

Josh Scobee.

The Jaguars placed the franchise tag Josh Scobee on Monday, a

move that will keep the strong-legged veteran under contract for at

least another season.

General manager Gene Smith said the team wants to reach a

long-term deal with Scobee. Both sides began preliminary talks last

month, but they failed to reach an agreement before the franchise

deadline Monday.

”It is our goal to reach a long-term deal with him,” Smith

said in a statement. ”Josh was drafted by the Jaguars and is

someone that I have great respect for as a player and as a

person.”

Scobee has made it clear he would prefer to stay in

Jacksonville, where he has grown accustomed to year-round weather

that suits his love of golf. But he didn’t want to be tagged.

The franchise tag for kickers is estimated to pay Scobee around

$2.6 million in 2012, but it doesn’t offer as much security as a

long-term contract. Scobee’s last contract paid him $2 million

annually.

”Thank u fans for the support but u should know the franchise

tag ISN’T good for players,” Scobee posted on his Twitter page

Monday. ”Long term deal is the objective.”

Scobee’s agent, Ken Harris, said his client doesn’t plan to sign

the franchise tender. As long as Scobee doesn’t sign it, his agent

can negotiate with other teams once free agency begins March 13.

Franchised players usually stay put because it costs another team

two first-round draft picks to sign them, and there’s little chance

anyone would give that much up for a kicker.

A fifth-round draft pick from Louisiana Tech in 2004, Scobee has

spent his entire career in Jacksonville. He has made 79 percent of

his field goals – most of the misses have been from long range –

and needs just 10 points to break Mike Hollis’ franchise record.

Scobee also is nine field goals away from breaking Hollis’

franchise record for field goals (175).

Scobee has converted 18 of 29 field goals from 50-plus yards,

and has 145 career touchbacks.

Last season was his best. He made 92 percent of his field goals

(23 of 25) and connected on 15 in a row to start the season. Of his

23 field goals, 12 were 40 yards or longer and five were from

beyond 50 yards. His five 50-plus-yarders were the most in team

history and tied for sixth in the NFL. He also set a franchise

record with 39 touchbacks on 62 kickoffs, and 58 of his 62 kickoffs

reached the end zone.