Jaguars tag Pro Bowl TE Lewis while contract talks proceed

The Jacksonville Jaguars placed the franchise tag on Pro Bowl tight end Marcedes Lewis on Wednesday. senior writer Steve Wyche, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, first reported the likelihood of the move if the Jaguars and Lewis' representatives couldn't come to terms on a long-term contract extension.

According to Wyche, Jacksonville continues to have dialogue with Lewis's representatives about a new deal. The franchise tag for tight ends is worth $7.3 million for the 2011 season.

Lewis, who just completed his fifth pro season -- all with the Jags, has long been known as a strong run blocker, but he took things to a new level as a receiver this past season. He had career highs in receptions (58), touchdowns (10) and yards (700) as he emerged as the Jaguars' top scoring threat.

The 10 touchdown receptions tied a Jaguars franchise record and they tied for most among NFL tight ends. Lewis' ensuing Pro Bowl selection was the first ever for a Jaguars tight end.

Lewis, a first-round pick in 2006, has 181 career receptions for 2,224 yards and 17 touchdowns. The 17 receiving touchdowns are the fourth-most in Jaguars history while his 2,224 receiving yards are the second-most among tight ends.

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