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Joeckel Signs Four-Year Deal, Giants May Increase Leach Offer

The 2013 NFL Draft’s second overall pick, Jacksonville Jaguars OT Luke Joeckel, has signed his rookie contract. In a four-year, $21.2 million deal, Joeckel’s all-guaranteed contract also comes with a $13,799,344 signing bonus, reported ESPN.

Luke Joeckel

Luke Joeckel

Joeckel’s job in college was to block his quarterback, Texas A&M Aggies Johnny Mannziel, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner. But he brings his own accolades to the NFL as an All-American in his junior year and the winner of the Outland Trophy, which honors the nation’s best offensive lineman.

After this nod, Joeckel decided to not stay for his senior season after giving up only two sacks in his last two seasons of college ball. Many thought he would be the top pick in this year’s draft but instead he watched Central Michigan’s Eric get the honor and go to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The rookie has his work cut out for him in the NFL as the Jaguars gave up 50 sacks last season–the third highest in the NFL. They finished with a 2-14 record.

Joeckel will be paired with the team’s left tackle, veteran Eugene Monroe, after moving to the right tackle position. In his team workouts so far, he’s received a thumbs-up from his offensive line coach George Yarno.

He said in May of the rookie via ESPN, “He has excellent movement skills, great balance, he’s a very smart kid. He’s working hard. He’s going to get better fast. He’s competitive. Love what I’ve seen so far.

“He’s so smooth, a fluid mover. He has great, natural balance. His lower body has a lot of power in it. He has a low center of gravity. He has all those things you look for in a tackle, especially. I’m really excited to get to work with him.”

For the Jaguars, they’ll look to improve from last season and for 2013 regular season wins, they could see five (-115 o/u).

Giants May Increase Offer for Leach

After getting released by the Baltimore Ravens just two weeks ago, fullback Vonta Leach is getting closer to signing with a new team.

The New York Giants are very interested and may increase their offer to get him. This comes on rising concerns by the team that fullback Henry Hynoski, who is still on the mend from his May knee surgery, won’t be up and running for the beginning of the season, reported The New York Daily News.

Vonta Leach

Vonta Leach

Leach appeared on his way to the Miami Dolphins, who reportedly said last week that they wanted a deal completed with the player by the week’s end. That time frame has passed, suggesting a waning interest and now the Giants may come back with a higher offer than their initial one. However, they don’t have a lot of money to spend.

The New York Daily News reported the Giants have $3.3 million under the salary cap available while the Dolphins have a bigger chest at $17.6 million. The Houston Texans have also expressed interest in Leach but they have even less salary cap availability than the Giants at $2.8 million.

The player has said he’s received interest from seven teams, according to NBC Sports, and to date he’s only visited the Dolphins. That was back on June 12.

For Leach, a three-straight All Pro and Pro Bowler, he has expressed a preference for the Texans, the team where he played from 2006 to 2010.

He recently said via NFL.com, “My first choice would be to come back to Houston. I know the offense. I know all the guys there. So obviously that would be my first choice so I can go back there and finish my career where it started to blossom. That would be a storybook ending.”

As for which teams offer the best chance for regular season 2013 wins, there’s the Giants (9 with 115 o/u), the Dolphins (7 1/2 with -135 o, +105 u) and the Texans (10 1/2, 115 o/u).



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