Gabe Jackson has yet to go to his first Pro Bowl, but the Raiders are showing they believe he ranks among the NFL’s best guards.
The Raiders have just invested for the long term in Jackson, agreeing to a $56 million, five-year contract extension, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
As Rapoport notes, that average salary of $11.2 million will make him the NFL’s third-highest-paid guard, behind Cleveland’s Kevin Zeitler and Jackson’s teammate, Kelchi Osemele.
Jackson played at right guard this past season after playing on the left side his first two years. He joined the Raiders as a third-round pick in the highly productive 2014 draft in which the Raiders selected defensive star Khalil Mack in Round 1 and quarterback Derek Carr in Round 2.
Jackson, 25, recently was rated by the analytic website Pro Football Focus as the NFL’s most efficient pass-blocking guard. In 2016, he didn’t allow a single sack. Though he was named an alternate to last season’s Pro Bowl, he still awaits his first trip to the game.
Over the past two weeks, the Raiders have shown their commitment to the future by giving Carr a new $125 million deal, followed by the new payday for Jackson.
Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com reported that even with the payouts to Carr and Jackson, the Raiders still have about $18 million under the salary cap going into the 2017 season to invest in a veteran if needed, especially at middle linebacker, considered the weakest spot in Oakland’s defense.