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E.J. Perry, star quarterback for Andover and Brown, signs as free agent with Jaguars

E.J. Perry tested as the most athletic quarterback at the NFL Combine in March.Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Quarterback E.J. Perry, a former star at Andover High and Brown, fulfilled his NFL dream Thursday by officially signing a free agent contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. But it was a bit of a roller-coaster journey to get there.

“It all worked out in the end, and he’s got a great opportunity in Jacksonville,” said Sean Stellato of SES Sports, Perry’s Marblehead-based agent.

Though Perry wasn’t taken in last week’s NFL Draft, his phone was buzzing late in the draft with teams wanting him as a priority free agent. Perry initially expected to sign with the Eagles last Saturday, but didn’t know they were also pursuing undrafted quarterback Carson Strong, who signed a contract worth $320,000 guaranteed.


Perry would have been the fifth quarterback in Philadelphia, behind Jalen Hurts, Gardner Minshew, Reid Sinnett, and Strong.

After deliberating for a day, Perry opted instead for an opportunity with the Jaguars, signing a three-year free agent deal that was announced by the team Friday morning.

While the Jaguars are set with second-year starter Trevor Lawrence, the competition behind him is wide open among C.J. Beathard, Jake Luton, and now Perry.

NFL teams usually don’t keep more than three quarterbacks, but Perry has a shot at the Jaguars’ 53-man roster or 16-man practice squad.

Perry, a record-setting quarterback for two years at Brown after transferring from Boston College, will work with Jaguars coach Doug Pederson, who previously coached an MVP-caliber season out of Carson Wentz in Philadelphia and won a Super Bowl there with backup Nick Foles.

A dual-threat quarterback, Perry potentially could have a Taysom Hill-like role with the Jaguars as a special teams contributor and change-of-pace quarterback in short-yardage situations.

Perry, listed at 6 feet 2 inches and 210 pounds, tested as the most athletic quarterback at the NFL Combine and was named MVP of the East-West Shrine Bowl in February.


Ben Volin can be reached at ben.volin@globe.com.