Jags ink Northcutt's potential replacement

The dramatically revamped receiver depth chart in Jacksonville officially has added one of its new members.

According to Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union, the Jaguars have agreed to terms with receiver Mike Thomas, a fourth-round pick in the draft.

Per Stellino, Thomas signed a four-year contract with a $507,450 signing bonus and minimum base salaries.  The deal includes a final-season escalator that, if triggered, would increase the base pay to $1.3 million. 

The escalator is a prudent move; it simulates the low restricted free agent tender that the player otherwise might have received if he had signed only a three-year deal.  Every agent who agrees to a four-year deal for a player taken in rounds three through seven should insist on such a provision, in our view.

Thomas is expected to be a prime candidate to replace Dennis Northcutt, both as a slot receiver and in the return game.

Gone from the 2008 roster of receivers are Northcutt, Jerry Porter, Matt Jones, and Reggie Williams.

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew likely welcomes the arrival of Thomas; as Stellino points out, Thomas is nearly as short as the five-foot-seven Jones-Drew.

But despite carrying 200 pounds on a 68-inch frame, Thomas is still capable of running 40 yards in 4.29 seconds.

So can someone explain why he was still on the board in round four?