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McCray signs one-year qualifying offer with Jaguars

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McCray signs one-year qualifying offer with Jaguars

Postby mrblitz » Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:01 pm

McCray signs one-year qualifying offer with Jaguars
By Len Pasquarelli
ESPN.com

Updated: June 13, 2007, 4:50 PM ET

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Bobby McCray, who enjoyed a breakout season in 2006 when he recorded 10 sacks, signed the one-year qualifying offer the Jaguars tendered him as a restricted free agent nearly four months ago.

McCray
The tender, which is essentially a one-year contract, is worth $1.85 million, the second-highest level available to the Jaguars.

McCray, 25, is the last of the 94 restricted free agents leaguewide this spring to sign his qualifying offer. Several weeks ago, agent Drew Rosenhaus said McCray would delay signing because he wanted to explore the possibilities of a long-term contract or a trade. The two sides never really had substantive discussions, however, on a multi-year deal.

Barring an extension, McCray, who has stayed away from all the voluntary workouts this offseason, will be eligible for unrestricted free agency next spring.

By making McCray the second-highest tender, the Jaguars set the compensation bar high, so that another team that signed the former University of Florida standout to an offer sheet would have had to surrender a first-round draft pick had Jacksonville decided not to match a deal. The strategy worked for the Jaguars, since the compensation price tag warded off any potential suitors.

The deadline for other franchises to sign restricted free agents to offer sheets passed on April 20, and McCray's exclusive negotiating rights reverted to Tennessee at that point.

Had McCray not signed the qualifying offer, Jacksonville would have had the prerogative after Friday to lower the offer to 110 percent of his 2006 base salary. McCray had a league minimum base salary of $425,000 last season, and so the Jaguars could have reduced the qualifying offer to him to just $467,500.

A seventh-round choice in the 2004 draft, McCray started only eight games and recorded nine sacks his first two years in the league. But he moved into the lineup last year when Reggie Hayward suffered a season-ending knee injury and provided Jacksonville a solid pass rush.

Playing in all 16 games, and starting 12 of them, McCray registered career highs in tackles (35) and sacks (10), and added two forced fumbles and two passes defensed. For his career, he has 61 tackles, 19 sacks, six forced fumbles and one recovery in 61 appearances.

The Jaguars also signed punter Adam Podlesh, a fourth-round draft pick. The 23-year-old Podlesh was the first specialist taken in the draft and averaged 42.9 yards per kick at Maryland.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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