SHOCKER? Darius Released.

SHOCKER?  Darius Released.

The Jaguars have just released 10-year veteran strong safety, Donovin Darius. Darius has been with the team since his rookie season in 1998, and was the returning captain, and most tenured member of the Jaguars defense. Darius has had his last two seasons end early due to leg injuries (torn ACL in '05, broken leg in '06).

Darius has been the spiritual leader of the Jaguars defense ever since being selected in the first round in 1998. Darius has been one of the most visible Jaguars in the community, as he hosts numerous events including a bowling tournament for one of his charities. On the field, Darius' play has regressed the last few years and it was uncertain whether or not he'd be able to hold off backup Gerald Sensabaugh for another season. Darius' release will save the Jaguars approximately $3.5 million in salary.

"Obviously there was some news this morning that would have to be part of this as we wrap-up our OTAs. We have elected to release Donovin Darius," said Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio. "Donovin Darius is an outstanding human being. He's been an excellent player for us. He's tremendous in the community. He's a classy guy. I met with him this morning and told him those things. I have a great deal of respect for who his is on and off the field. He was a ferocious centerfielder for us for a number of years. A guy that you definitely offensively had to account for. We have elected at this time as an organization to move forward and to allow him to pursue other opportunities. We have let him know that and like I said, a great deal of respect and admiration for the man and for the player he was here as a Jacksonville Jaguar, but we have made that decision to move on."

How does this affect the roster? Gerald Sensabaugh will likely start at the strong safety position, where he's played in all 32 games since being drafted in the fifth round in 2005. First round draft pick, Reggie Nelson will likely be the opening day starter at free safety.

What does this really mean? The Jaguars defensive youth movement is officially complete. We speculated on a move like this since the end of last season, as the injuries began to compile for Darius, and his level of play was on the decline. Darius' play on the field was no longer worth the $3.5 million salary the Jaguars were due to pay him. It is unclear whether or not Darius will find a home with another team.

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