Jacksonville Jaguars Sign Dante Fowler Jr. After Tearing ACL
Over the past weekend, teams got their first glimpses at the talent they just invested in during the NFL Draft. And while some did really well — news out of Tampa made Winson sound like their savior — Dante Fowler Jr. had a rough start.
During Jacksonville’s rookie minicamp, the third overall pick tore his ACL while rushing the QB. Worst of all, he was not yet under contract. However, both parties signed a waiver allowing Fowler to train: even if he was injured during the session, the Jags “would still enter good-faith negotiations,” according to ESPN.
So just four days after the season-ending injury, Fowler and the Jaguars have inked a contract reportedly worth $23.5 million, fully guaranteed, over four years, according to Adam Schefter. On top of this, he will receive a hefty signing bonus, worth around $15.3 million.
“We are excited to get Dante under contract,” Jaguars GM David Caldwell said in a press release. “Negotiations with Dante’s representatives were ongoing prior to his injury last weekend and nothing has changed. His attitude and spirit that he has shown recently are part of the reasons we selected him third overall.”
As for Fowler, he is touched and ecstatic about the deal. “It’s like a bittersweet type of thing,” he said. “Things happen for a reason. I’m very humbled to know that Mr. Khan, and Coach Gus [Bradley] and the whole team just believe in me. It just shows how true they are to me. I saw that when I came to visit. That’s why I used to talk about the Jags all the time. I just felt that vibe and felt that family vibe, and they’re real.”
Out of all the cutthroat business deals that happen in the sports world, this is a wonderful story. Now, the Jags will just have to wait and see if Fowler can recreate his college success, which includes 8.5 sacks in his final season.