JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars are bringing back quarterback Chad Henne -- and making him the starter. Henne and the team agreed to a two-year contract worth $8 million Friday, keeping him from hitting the free-agent market. Hennes deal includes $4.5 million guaranteed in the first year and comes four days before the beginning of free agency and one day before Henne could have started negotiating with other teams. Coach Gus Bradley made it clear on a conference call that the plan is for Henne to be the starter, even if the general manager Dave Caldwell selects a quarterback with the No. 3 pick in the May draft. "Thats our plan," Bradley said. "If we did go that route, where we did bring in a quarterback at No. 3, wed like to create an environment where that quarterback could come in and just put all of his focus on preparation and learning without the distractions that come with it. That would be the ideal environment. "We feel good about that ... And if we draft a guy at No. 3, if that should happen, he could learn and just see how he progresses. Now, if we did do that and he did really well, were going to be open to it. Were obviously going to play the best guy. We want to create an environment like that for him to compete in, and I think that would give him the best opportunity to get better." Henne signed a two-year deal worth $6.75 million with Jacksonville in 2012. He started 13 games last season and threw for 3,421 yards, with 13 touchdowns with 14 interceptions, after replacing benched starter Blaine Gabbert. His return could mean the end of Gabberts tenure in Jacksonville, especially if the team drafts another quarterback. Gabbert is in the final year of his contract, and although his 2014 salary is guaranteed, the Jaguars are unlikely to keep Gabbert as the third-stringer. "It all depends on what we do in the draft," Bradley said. "Just want to have flexibility in the draft to make sure that we can draft the best players at the position where were drafting and not to be handcuffed. Now, whether we decide to draft a quarterback in the draft or not, obviously thats something that Dave and I are looking at. I havent had any of those discussions like that with Blaine. I told him right after the season, come in, compete and lets go. Lets see what happens." Henne is 5-14 as a starter in two seasons with the Jaguars. A second-round pick by the Miami Dolphins in 2008, Henne said he preferred to stay in Jacksonville. "From my standpoint, we did want to talk to a couple of teams," Henne said. "But we figured if we got what we wanted -- and Jacksonville was my No. 1 choice -- that we would go ahead and sign with Jacksonville and not even venture out and talk with other teams. It was my No. 1 choice and I wanted to be there, so it all worked out for both sides." The decision keeps Henne from having to learn a new offence for the fourth consecutive season. He will team with offensive co-ordinator Jedd Fisch in hopes of improving one of the worst passing attacks in the league. Henne also knows the team could draft a quarterback who could push him for the starting spot. "This being my seventh year, there are no surprises," Henne said. "If they bring in a quarterback at No. 3, thats just only another guy in there thats going to try to compete and make me better and hopefully I can make him better. What it really all comes down to is helping the team win, and Ive always been a team player. Im going to bust my butt to be the starter and hopefully be the starter there for a long time. Whatever they do, thats their decision. My job is to help lead this team and be the starter Day 1." Offcial Jerseys . It was my fifth straight year attending and, as always, there are many interesting matters discussed as it pertains to the use of statistics in sports. 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But to have to absorb what was said to him for any rational and intelligent person is too much.WASHINGTON -- Stephen Strasburg struck out 12 in 6 2-3 innings on a day Washington really needed to rest its relievers, and Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond homered, leading the Nationals past the Miami Marlins 7-1 Thursday for a three-game sweep. Strasburg (1-1) got 14 consecutive outs in one stretch and allowed only three hits, including Marcell Ozunas homer in the seventh. The right-handers lone walk was to the last batter he faced. Washingtons starter Wednesday, Jordan Zimmermann, left after a career-low 1 2-3 innings, leaving the bullpen "taxed," as manager Matt Williams put it. The Nationals won that game 10-7 on Werths go-ahead grand slam in the eighth, and this time he connected in the third -- a two-run shot off Tom Koehler (1-1) that put Washington ahead 2-0. Werth hit a 3-0 pitch just to the left of straightaway centre. After driving in a total of one run over the seasons first seven games, Werth has seven RBIs in the past two. Washington tacked on five runs in the eighth off reliever Arquimedes Caminero, capped by Desmonds second career slam and third homer of 2014. Strasburg lasted 4 1-3 innings in his previous start, a 6-2 loss to Atlanta on Sunday, and he entered Thursday 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA. But with the temperature 67 degrees at the unusual 4:05 p.m. start, and shadows creeping across the diamond, he was much better against Miami, mixing a 95-96 mph fastball with a seemingly unhittable changeup. The outset was inauspicious. Miamis Christian Yelich led off the game with a single up the middle, stole second and took third on an error. But he got caught in a rundown when he tried to head home on Derek Dietrichs comebacker. There wasnt another baserunner for Miami until shortstop Desmond booted Adeiny Hechavarrias grouunder for an error in the fifth.dddddddddddd But Strasburg struck out Jeff Mathis looking at a 95 mph fastball to end the inning, then hopped off the mound. Miamis second hit, improbably, came off the bat of Koehler, who beat out an infield single to the hole at short in the sixth. After striking out Yelich, Strasburg hit Dietrich with a pitch, bringing up the Marlins best hitter, Giancarlo Stanton, with two aboard and one out in a 2-0 game. Strasburg struck out Stanton looking and got cleanup hitter Garrett Jones swinging at a high fastball for his 10th K -- the 13th time the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft had at least that many in a game. Stantons next at-bat came in the eighth against rookie Aaron Barrett, who struck him out with a slider. NOTES: The Nationals open a three-game series at Atlanta on Friday, with RHP Tanner Roark (1-0, 3.00) facing Braves RHP Julio Teheran (1-1, 2.77). The Marlins head to Philadelphia, where RHP Jose Fernandez (2-0, 0.71) will start against Phillies RHP A.J. Burnett (0-1, 3.86). ... Nationals RHP Doug Fister (DL, back muscle) threw on flat ground Thursday and "came through it well," and the next step will be taking a bullpen session, either Friday or Saturday, "depending on how he feels," Williams said. ... INF Anthony Rendons double in the eighth extended his hitting streak to nine games, the longest to begin a season for a Nationals player. ... Marlins LHP Brad Hand, who allowed three runs in 3 1-3 innings Wednesday, is slated to start again Monday in Miami against Washington in place of RHP Jacob Turner (DL, shoulder). ... Marlins INF Rafael Furcal (DL, left hamstring) is scheduled to start playing Monday at extended spring training in Jupiter, Fla. ' ' '