Jaguars’ Players Closing In On Bonus Incentives For 2022 Season

Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, Jaguars
NFL Analysis Network

The Jacksonville Jaguars are gearing up for their most important game in years. They are hosting the Tennessee Titans in Week 18 in a win-or-go-home game, as the victor will claim the AFC South title and the loser will be eliminated from the playoffs.

It is surprising that things have even gotten to this point for the Jaguars as their season looked to be going by the wayside after losing five straight and six out of seven games heading into their Week 11 bye week. However, once the calendar turned to November, they received elite production from quarterback Trevor Lawrence, which helped turn the season around.

Jacksonville has won four consecutive games and five out of six since their bye week. Coupled with the Titans’ falling apart, losing six straight games, Jacksonville is now hosting the season finale with a chance to make the postseason for the first time since the 2017 season.

Doug Pederson deserves a lot of credit for helping turn things around so quickly after the disastrous 2021 campaign under Urban Meyer. A big reason for the turnaround was the upgrade in talent at the offensive skill positions.

The Jaguars were ridiculed for some of the moves that they made in free agency, such as signing Christian Kirk and Zay Jones to lucrative contracts. Kirk signed a four-year, $72 million deal while Jones landed a three-year, $24 million contract, which many people made jokes about.

Those people aren’t joking anymore about the moves as Kirk and Jones have both been great this season. Both players have 78 receptions this season, with Kirk gaining 1,009 yards and Jones gaining 802. Kirk also has the edge in touchdowns with seven compared to five for Jones.

Heading into Week 18, both players have a chance to earn even more money through incentive bonuses. Kirk needs two catches to cash in on a $500,000 bonus. If he gains at least 91 yards to finish the season with 1,100, he will add another $500,000 to his earnings this season. He has at least two receptions in all but one game this season and has reached 91 yards five times.

As for Jones, if he also can catch at least two more passes he will earn another $250,000. If he gains at least 98 yards against the Titans, he will earn another $500,000. Jones has caught at least two passes in all but one game as well but has amassed at least 98 yards only twice.

As if making the postseason wasn’t motivation enough, Kirk and Jones will have a little extra motivation given the incentives in their contract. Earning a little extra cash while helping the Jaguars qualify for the postseason would be an excellent end to the 2022 regular season.