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Jaguars make Linder highest-paid center in NFL history

Roy Cummings



Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire

We’re still not completely sure where Jaguars offensive linemen Brandon Linder will play this year, center or left guard. Whichever it is, though, he’s going to make a lot of money doing it.

The Jaguars announced Tuesday they have signed Linder to a five-year contract extension that includes $24 million in guaranteed payouts and is worth a total of $51.7 million.

The deal would make Linder the highest paid center in NFL history, but there’s no guarantee Linder will be at center as coach Doug Marrone has been toying with the idea of playing him at left guard.

One thing’s for sure: it seems that Linder has found a home in Jacksonville because after signing the deal, he made it clear he has no desire to leave.

“It means the world to me,’’ Linder said of signing the extension in a statement released by the team. “I’d love to play here my whole career. I fell in love with this city and we have big things coming, changing the culture, and now we start (Wednesday) for training camp. I couldn’t think of a better place to play my career.’’

A third-round pick of the Jaguars in 2014, Linder moved to center in 2016 and he was one of the higher rated players at the position, according to Pro Football Focus, which ranked him fifth at that spot last year.

Jags coach Doug Marrone has spoken several times, though, of possibly moving Linder back to left guard if he can’t find a suitable candidate to fill what has easily been one of the Jags weakest positions.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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