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Jets sign WR Quincy Enunwa to multiyear contract extension

December 28, 2018
File-This Oct. 14, 2018, file photo shows New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) running with the ball against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL football game, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets have signed Enunwa to a contract extension, keeping one of their key offensive players who was scheduled to be a free agent in the offseason. The team announced the multiyear deal Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, after its final full practice of the regular season. A person familiar with the contract tells The Associated Press the deal is worth $36 million over four years, including $20 million in guarantees. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Quincy Enunwa is staying put with Sam Darnold and the New York Jets.

The wide receiver signed a multiyear contract extension Friday, opting for the deal with his only NFL team rather than free agency in the offseason.

“I’m excited, especially for the future,” Enunwa said with a big smile.

The team announced the extension after its final full practice of the regular season. A person familiar with the contract told The Associated Press the deal is worth $36 million over four years, including $20 million in guarantees. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team doesn’t announce terms of contracts.

The terms were first reported by Pro Football Weekly.

“Quincy is a key part of our foundation,” general manager Mike Maccagnan said in a statement, “and we are thrilled that this contract will keep him here for years to come.”

Enunwa will sit out his third straight game Sunday with an ankle injury, but had 38 catches for 449 yards and a touchdown after missing last season with a neck injury.

He acknowledged that the thought of playing with Darnold as his quarterback over the next few years was a major factor in deciding to stay.

“I’ll make the joke: I have a young quarterback that I can mold,” a laughing Enunwa said. “No, seriously, though, Sam is an amazing player and as a receiver that’s who you want to play with. And we have so much talent around at every position. I’ve been here for so long and this is what I know and this is what I’ve come to love and I want to continue that.”

Enunwa was leading the Jets in receptions before his latest ankle injury — he said he had two high ankle sprains this season. He’s a well-respected presence in the locker room, and was voted by his teammates for the Jets’ Ed Block Award as the most courageous player.

“I haven’t been a part of the past couple of games, but just kind of sitting around and seeing what’s been going on, me and Sam had a good relationship going in the beginning,” Enunwa said. “I’m looking forward to continuing that next year and in years to come.”

Enunwa was expected to be perhaps the Jets’ top pending free agent in the offseason, so they can scratch him off their “to-do” list. Fellow wide receiver Robby Anderson is scheduled to be a restricted free agent, and other top potential unrestricted free agents include wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, running back Bilal Powell and cornerbacks Morris Claiborne and Buster Skrine.

Several teammates congratulated Enunwa with high-fives and fist bumps in the locker room when news of the contract extension spread. One player shouted: “We’re rich!”

While Enunwa was speaking to reporters, teammate Jamal Adams started singing The O’Jays’ “For The Love of Money” while dropping dollar bills onto the locker room floor — causing the receiver to crack up.

There’s a strong possibility the Jets will have a coaching change in the offseason, but Enunwa said that didn’t really play into his decision to remain with the franchise.

“I think really just thinking about the team itself was kind of my focus,” he said. “You know, my brothers. And whoever comes in, whether it’s a continued coaching staff or a new coaching staff, I’m just excited about the future.”

Enunwa has 118 receptions for 1,621 yards and five TDs since being drafted in the sixth round in 2014 out of Nebraska.

“I just put my head down and tried to practice perseverance,” Enunwa said. “For me, I’ve dreamt of this day, so I think all it did was kind of give me more incentive, more motivation to make this day happen.”

NOTES: Claiborne (shoulder/ankle), Kearse (Achilles tendon) and LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (shoulder) are out against New England. LB Jordan Jenkins (ankle) is questionable. ... K Jason Myers returned to practice after sitting out two days with a sore left hip. ... Coach Todd Bowles has remained mum about his future, but it is expected he will be fired sometime after the team’s game at New England. When asked about his overall assessment of his performance during the Jets’ 4-11 season, Bowles said simply: “The record says it all.” ... Adams was voted by his teammates as the team’s MVP. Other awards announced were the Dennis Byrd Most Inspirational (nose tackle Steve McLendon); Marty Lyons Community Service (center Jonotthan Harrison); Kyle Clifton Good Guy (linebacker Avery Williamson) and Bill Hampton Award for the rookie who acts most like a pro (tight end Chris Herndon).

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