Jags agree to deal with Robinson, sign Mincey
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- The Jacksonville Jaguars finally got going in free agency.
The Jaguars agreed to terms with receiver Laurent Robinson on Wednesday and re-signed defensive end Jeremy Mincey, filling the team's most pressing needs on the second day of free agency.
Robinson agreed to a five-year, $32.5 million contract that gives the team a No. 1 receiver. The deal includes $14 million guaranteed. Mincey signed a four-year contract worth $20 million. It includes $9 million guaranteed -- an $8 million signing bonus and a guaranteed salary of $1 million in 2012.
Jacksonville and backup defensive tackle C.J. Mosley also agreed to terms on a three-year deal worth up to $10 million. The team also agreed to terms with backup quarterback Chad Henne on a two-year deal.
The Jaguars consider Robinson and Mincey players on the rise. Others will question whether they are one-year wonders.
The 26-year-old Robinson caught 54 passes for 858 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, a breakout year for a guy who was cut in training camp by San Diego and waived again after a week in Dallas. The Cowboys re-signed him a week later.
Robinson became in demand when several top free agent receivers were off the market, including Vincent Jackson, Marques Colston, Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon. The Jaguars desperately needed someone to pair with young quarterback Blaine Gabbert, but many will wonder if they overpaid for a receiver with 143 career catches and 15 touchdowns.
Nonetheless, the Jaguars can only hope Robinson works out better than all the other No. 1 receivers the team has rolled though Jacksonville since Jimmy Smith retired six years ago.
Reggie Williams, Matt Jones, Jerry Porter, Dennis Northcutt and even Mike Thomas failed to give the team the kind of play-making ability missing since Smith abruptly walked away from football following the 2005 season.
"Obviously he wouldn't be here if he wasn't the type of guy that had Jaguar traits," defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said. "Talent makes you a prospect and character makes you a Jaguar."
Like Robinson, Mincey also is coming off a career year.
He was minutes from accepting a contract offer from the Chicago Bears late Tuesday night. He had already welcomed the thought about playing alongside Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher, and started anticipating a move from Jacksonville.
One phone call changed everything.
Jaguars general manager Gene Smith called Mincey and offered more money and a chance to stay where he spent the last six seasons. Mincey jumped at the opportunity, and didn't even allow the Bears to counter.
"It wasn't really a financial issue for me," Mincey said. "It was more seeing the organization step up at the right moment and show much they cared and how much they respect me as a man and as a player at the right time. I was just shocked at the moment and impressed. They won me over at the last minute like the game-winning shot."
Mincey finished with a career-high eight sacks last season and was close to many more. He has played in 40 games, with 24 starts, since signing with the Jaguars in December 2006. Originally a sixth-round draft pick by New England in 2006, Mincey's early career was plagued by injuries.
But he has found his niche the last two years.
Now, he feels he can be a double-digit sack guy for years.
"Yeah, I never doubt myself," Mincey said. "I do this to prove my ability. I've got a lot of getting better to do. Last season was just a brief description of who I am and what I bring to the table. Like I said, I got a long way to go. Keep climbing up the hill `til I get there."
Behind Mario Williams, Mincey was considered one of the top free agent defensive ends on the market.
The Bears and the Cleveland Browns wanted him.
Mincey really only considered Chicago.
"It was a good fit," he said. "Who wouldn't want to play beside Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher? They're a first-class organization. They do things right. They got a lot of good pieces to make it happen."
"The way I see is, why become part of a legacy when you can build your own?" Mincey said. "That was my take on it, and that was the line that stuck in my head throughout this whole process, and that was one of the key factors for me choosing Jacksonville."
The Jaguars needed Mincey back, too.
Fellow starter Matt Roth is a free agent, and veteran Aaron Kampman is coming off his third knee surgery in as many years. John Chick, Austen Lane and Aaron Morgan also are recovering from season-ending injuries. So there were questions on the defensive line.
"Our defense is built on being relentless, and the best two components are high velocity and never stop. That's Mincey," Tucker said. "In regards to how much money he's making or what his contract says, it doesn't matter with Jeremy. He's going to play. He's going to give us a 100 percent every single time. We can count on it and that is what's special about him."