Jacksonville Sports Day

NFL: Jaguars Continue Offseason Adjustments as NFL Owners Meet in Arizona

By FRED WITT
Florida Sports Wire

NFL owners announced Monday at their meeting in Arizona that the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills on Oct. 25 at Wembley Stadium in London will be distributed over a digital platform that will be available worldwide.

The game will remain available on over-the-air television in the Jacksonville and Buffalo markets. It will mark the first time the NFL will distribute a national game on a platform other than a TV network.

They also decided to suspend the league’s local TV blackout policy for the 2015 season. The blackouts will be suspended for preseason and regular-season games. The NFL will re-evaluate the rule after the season.

There were no local blackouts during the 2014 regular season and only two in 2013.

FREE AGENT SIGNINGS – The Jaguars and free-agent tight end Julius Thomas have agreed to a multi-year contract. Thomas earned his second straight Pro Bowl selection after catching 43 passes for 489 yards and 12 touchdowns in 13 games this past season. He had 65 receptions for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns over 14 games during a breakout campaign in 2013.

MORE SIGNINGS – In addition to Thomas, who left the Denver Broncos for a reported five-year, $45 million deal, the Jaguars landed former Dolphins defensive lineman Jared Odrick, ex-Cowboys offensive tackle Jermey Parnell, former Packers cornerback Davon House, linebacker Dan Skuta and safety Sergio Brown. With salary cap space and eager to improve a team that has lost at least 11 games in each of the past four seasons, Jacksonville was one of the most aggressive teams on this year’s market.

OTHER OFFSEASON MOVES – The Jaguars were awarded fourth-year running back Bernard Pierce off waivers from Baltimore. Pierce, 6-0, 230 pounds, has appeared in 45 career games with three starts for the Ravens after being selected in the third round of the 2012 draft.  He has rushed for 1,334 yards and five touchdowns on 353 carries (3.8 rush avg.) and 29 receptions for 164 yards. Earlier they signed second-year wide receiver/return specialist Bryan Walters, signed exclusive rights free agent offensive lineman Austin Pasztor and released veteran defensive end Red Bryan and signed defensive end Tyson Alualu to a two-year contract.

CALDWELL ON TYSON – “We are excited to get Tyson under contract,” Jaguars general manager David Caldwell said.  “This was a priority for us before free agency officially opened.  Tyson is a durable player who has the ability to play multiple positions along the line and is a great teammate.  We feel like he is continuing to improve as a player and we are excited for his future as a Jaguar.”

JAGUARS EXTENED DEAL WITH PRESIDENT – The Jacksonville Jaguars gave team president Mark Lamping a five-year contract extension. Since being hired for the position in February 2012, Lamping has overseen all business operations for the Jaguars.

KAHN ON LAMPING– “Mark has impressively served the Jaguars and, by extension, the National Football League since I introduced him as our new team president in early 2012,” Jaguars owner Shad Khan said. “Our business performance over the past three years has been remarkable under Mark, and his commitment to the Jacksonville community has been nothing short of spectacular. We’re all very fortunate to have Mark Lamping as our Jaguars team president today and for many more years to come.”

TOP SCOUT – College scout Brian Simmons was honored in Indianapolis by the Fritz Pollard Alliance as the AFC Scout of the Year.  Simmons received the award at the Fritz Pollard Alliance’s annual ceremony at the NFL Scouting Combine. Simmons is in his seventh season with the Jaguars after being named a regional scout for the club on June 1, 2009. 

EVERBANK, JAGUARS TEAM UP WITH HABIJAX – EverBank and the Jacksonville Jaguars are teaming up again with HabiJax to provide volunteers and funding for the construction of a home this spring. Construction began March 20 and has a tentative completion date of May 8. EverBank associates, Jaguars players, coaches, staff and members of The ROAR Cheerleaders will work on the house throughout the building process.

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