The Jaguars recently came to terms with free agent cornerback AJ Bouye on a 5 year, $67.5 million deal. The 26 year old defensive back was widely viewed as the first or second best cornerback on the free agent market this year. With offers from all around the league, including from the arch rival Tennessee Titans, why did Bouye choose the Jaguars?
1. The Money - Players rarely like to talk about the number one reason they sign a new deal, but money talks. Bouye will be making an average of $13.5 million per year, which makes him at the fourth highest paid cornerback in the league in terms of annual salary. After only one real year of playing at an elite level, the Jaguars put a ton of faith in the young man. This is the first big NFL contract of his career and will set him up to be financially sound for years to come.
2. The Jaguars wanted him, badly - Obviously, when a team offers you in excess of $13 million per year it makes you feel wanted. In an interview with local sports station 1010XL, Bouye had this to say:
"They wanted me bad and thats what my agent was telling me. Just the appreciation and respect to know that I've worked for everything, so even with everything going on I don't want to let this city down. I don't want to let the team down, I'm excited for it."
Beyond just the money it was clear to Bouye and his agent that the Jaguars wanted him to be here, and that helped make his decision a fairly easy one.
3. He liked the Jaguars young defense and wanted to be a part of it -
"I trained with AC (Aaron Colvin) in Dallas, so I texted him as soon as I was getting ready to come here and I was like man lets get to work . . . "The first game he (Jalen Ramsey) had against us that's when I started to notice and then that second game I just became a fan. And then a lot of people probably weren't expecting it, but I think you guys saw what he did against Tennessee . . . you've got to respect players like that."
Clearly based on Bouye's comments he is more than excited to be in Jacksonville and to complete the Jaguars young secondary. And he should be - the Jaguars young defense is poised to be one of the best units in the NFL.
While Bouye is excited to take the next step in his career, the Jaguars brass and fans should be even more excited. Bouye was the definition of shut down in 2016, and by all accounts brings leadership, work ethic, and a great attitude with him to Duval County.
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