Jaguars sign No. 10 pick Blaine Gabbert
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Having already fallen behind because of the NFL lockout, Blaine Gabbert couldn't afford a lengthy holdout.
The Jacksonville Jaguars didn't want one, either.
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So Gabbert and the Jaguars completed a four-year contract worth $12 million Thursday night, getting the 10th overall pick in April's draft and the franchise's quarterback of the future into training camp for the second practice session.
"It's been a long time coming," Gabbert said following practice. "I haven't played football in a while, just kind of been working out. So it feels great to put a helmet on. Haven't put the pads on yet, but just to come out here, throw around with the guys, kind of start building that chemistry with each other."
Gabbert's deal is fully guaranteed and has an option for a fifth year. It is $5.5 million less than Jacksonville paid defensive tackle Tyson Alualu, the 10th pick in the 2010 draft.
"I can't dwell on the fact that guys got a lot more money last year," Gabbert said. "That's irrelevant to me. Now, the second contracts are bigger so you got something to work for."
Gabbert arrived late in Thursday night's practice and completed his only pass attempt, connecting with fullback Brock Bolen on a seam route. The crowd gave him a rousing ovation.
"I paid a little attention to that; it was pretty cool," he said. "We didn't have big crowds in practice in college so it was definitely a different atmosphere out here."
The Jaguars gave up their first- and second-round picks in a trade with the Washington Redskins to move up and acquire the former Missouri standout. Because of the NFL lockout, he likely will spend the year learning behind starter David Garrard.
Gabbert threw 40 touchdown passes and 18 interceptions as a two-year starter at Missouri. But his success came in the spread offense and mostly from a deep shotgun formation, so making the transition to Jacksonville's pro-style offense will be his toughest challenge. He got a playbook the day after he was drafted but hasn't had much help since.
"I tried to get a little head start on things," he said. "But I still got a ways to go, still got to learn a lot of stuff."
The Jaguars also signed third-round pick Will Rackley, putting all five rookie draft picks under contract. They signed cornerback Rod Issac, safety Chris Prosinski and receiver Cecil Shorts earlier Thursday.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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