Guard Nwaneri signs five-year contract extension with Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jaguars raved about guard Uche Nwaneri during minicamp, training camp and the preseason.

They really showed their feelings for him Wednesday.

Nwaneri signed a five-year extension reportedly worth $24 million, making him one of the long-term building blocks for Jacksonville's offense.

The Jaguars moved Nwaneri to right guard this season in hopes of bolstering a running game that features Maurice Jones-Drew. The Pro Bowl running back ran for 1,391 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, and the Jaguars believe he can have even more success running behind Nwaneri and tackle Eben Britton on the right side.

"This is a show-me league, and you have to go out and perform," Nwaneri said. "Now that that's behind me, I have to go out and perform and help the team get wins and help us get to the playoffs and make a run for the title."

Nwaneri said his agent and the Jaguars worked on the extension for a couple of weeks, and the final deal is "something we're all happy with."

"It's one of those things that you always want to get done," he said. "Coming into the league, you always hear statistics about players only make it two or three years on average, and you always say to yourself, 'I want to be a guy who gets into his second or third contract.'

"For me, that was definitely one of my goals, and I'm thankful they see me as a player who can be here a while."

The Jaguars have three of their five offensive linemen -- Nwaneri, Britton and left tackle Eugene Monroe -- under contract for at least the next three years.

Monroe was a first- and Britton a second-round pick last season. Nwaneri was a fifth-round pick in 2007. He has started 29 games, all at guard.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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