The Jacksonville Jaguars have until the middle of next month to sign franchised kicker Josh Scobee to a multiyear extension. According to a Wednesday report from Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union, the two sides haven't talked in months which, when combined with the team concluding their offseason workouts, won't help a deal get reached before the July 16 deadline.
"We tried to, relative to the market, be fair with our players and we'll continue to work to get a long-term deal done," Smith said last week. "There's been a couple recent deals done this out of season, and we're hopeful we'll get his done...Certainly the team and the player and the agent, when you're in negotiation, you look at deals that are done recently."
Let's take a look those recent kicker deals Smith implies:
Following the lockout, Matt Bryant ($2.675 million), Mason Crosby ($2.95M), Olindo Mare ($3M), David Akers ($3M) and Adam Vinatieri ($3.066M) all signed contracts in the $3 million per year range. Late last season, the Kansas City Chiefs locked up Ryan Succop, who was headed toward restricted free agency, with an extension that averaged $2.75 million per season, further establishing where the floor of a multi-year deal is for franchised kickers.
The most recent contract, and perhaps the one that may be most pertinent to future negotiations, was also signed by a franchised kicker in the Sunshine State. On May 17, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers replaced Connor Barth's $2.654 million franchise tag with a four-year, $13.2 million extension that contained $4 million in guaranteed money. Among multi-year contracts for active kickers, Barth's $3.3 million per year deal ranks third behind those signed by Oakland's Sebastian Janikowski ($4 million per season) and New England's Stephen Gostowski ($3.4M).
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Scobee's agent, Ken Harris, certainly is trying to beat the Barth contract. Harris' argument will be that his client is more experienced (120 games to Barth's 41) and has posted similar statistics over the past two seasons. Last season, Barth tied with Bryant for the league lead with a 93 percent accuracy rate; Scobee was right behind them at 92 percent. Another argument is that at $2.88 million, Scobee's franchise tag is more than $200,000 larger than the franchise tags for Barth, Mike Nugent (another Harris client) and Matt Prater received.
If Scobee plays out the season on the franchise tag, and has another solid year, it would cost the Jaguars $3.456 million to use another tag on Scobee in 2013. Combined with this year's tender, that's $6.336 million over two seasons, which could help Harris beat the $4 million in stated guarantees that Barth received.
Of course, none of this matters if the two sides don't resume talks. That should pick up as the deadline approaches or if the Denver Broncos do a deal with Prater, which was reportedly close to happening late last week. If we had to venture a guess, though, an extension averaging over $3 million per season with a stated guarantee north of $4 million gets a Scobee deal done.