Jaguars place franchise tag on PK Josh Scobee

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — 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


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.