Jacksonville Jaguars retain a vital piece in the secondary

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Aside from making big splashes today in signing Zane Beadles and trading away Blaine Gabbert, The Jacksonville Jaguars have re-signed veteran cornerback Will Blackmon.

Blackmon, 29, was originally signed by the team last offseason late in training camp after he was released by the Seattle Seahawks. He came right in and immediately made an impact as evidenced in his first preseason appearance. He began the season as one of the Jaguars’ nickel corners but was eventually thrown into the starting lineup after some injuries to the secondary.

While playing the nickel, Blackmon surprised many and did a fantastic job on the outside starting opposite Alan Ball. Blackmon ended the 2013 season playing over 600 snaps and with the second highest overall grade on the defense per Pro Football Focus.

Blackmon also had some of the biggest plays for the Jaguars defense last season, including a play to seal the team’s first win of the season against the Tennessee Titans with a sack, strip, fumble recovery and touchdown.

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on the Jaguars secondary and how they’re a very young group who took their growing pains in stride last season, but is primed for a breakout year in 2014 and beyond.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Blackmon is a key piece of that process and someone who deserves every penny of his new contract. He’s a leader on the field and a leader in that unit, a great guy for our second-year players like Dwayne Gratz and Johnathan Cyprien to look up to.

Follow Grant on Twitter @cover32_MrG.

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