Jags Darius Ready To Move On

After a few stormy years that have been limited to contract talks behind closed doors, Jacksonville Jaguars safety Donovin Darius has finally demanded to be traded.

For three straight seasons, Darius has been tagged with the Jaguars franchise. Darius has been wanting to test free agent waters for three years and finally told team owner Wayne Weaver that's he is fed up and will not play for the Jaguars again.

Darius is one of the few leftovers from the 1999 team that went 14-2 before losing in the AFC Championship Game to the Tennessee Titans. He's been consistent on the field and has never made any waves off the field, but has been frustrated with the franchise tag. He's the only player in the NFL to be given that tag three consecutive years.

Darius would likely command a second-round draft pick, but the Jaguars will likely hold out for a first-rounder until the last minute. Weaver commented that he doesn't want any unhappy players poisoning the locker room. Darius hasn't been that kind of player, but it's obvious that he wants out.

Darius is one of the top five safeties in the NFL and has been a Pro Bowl player, He asked permission to negotiate his own trade, and Weaver granted it. What Darius wants is a long-term deal while the franchise label is renegotiated from season to season.

Two weeks ago, before being given the tag, Darius and his agent attempted to negotiate a long-term deal with the Jaguars, but Weaver found the price too high.

Darius has been the cornerstone to the Jaguars defensive backfield since he was taken in the first-round out of Syracuse in 1998 and has started every game for the past two seasons, including 87 straight. He's second to Aaron Beasley on the team's all-time interception list.

Critics say Darius wants too much money for a player who plays safety, a lightly regarded position in most teams' financial priorities.


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