Jacksonville Jaguars General Manager Gene Smith is making the right move by signing ascending young players. Nipping these contract negotiations in the bud is a good way to keep them from getting ugly, like the Desean Jackson and Chris Johnson situations. Plus, signing these players so early locks them in at a lower salary while they are going through their peak years and with Mike Thomas only being 24 years old and with his best years clearly ahead of him, the Jaguars are going to reap the benefits.
The fact that the Jaguars are signing these players so early is one of the reasons why people are scratching their heads about Gene Smith giving him so much money. When people look at his numbers, they are not spectacular, but Thomas is clearly the best receiver currently on the team. First of all, $6 million per year is not much money for a wide receiver, it hovers around the average and it is well spent. Mike Thomas has stayed productive no matter where he has lined up and he has been productive no matter who has lined up under center. Plus, with all of the cap space that the Jaguars have, the y could pick up a first round wide receiver and a big name free agent and still have plenty of room left under the cap and all of a sudden, the Jaguars receiving corps will look very solid. However, if Mike Thomas suddenly becomes a legit #1 or #2 receiver, the Jaguars will have the rights to him for cheap until 2015. It's a win-win situation.
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