From Darius To Knight?

When the Jaguars signed 31 year old veteran safety Sammy Knight today, it left many Jaguars fans scratching their heads. It became apparent that as much as the Jaguars love going with youth and athleticism at safety, they needed someone with some NFL experience.

A lot of Jaguars fans are pointing to the fact that the team had an experienced safety that they let go in June, in the name of Donovin Darius, who was a leader on the team and in the community.

So why is the release of Darius and the signing of Knight a good move? The answer comes down to dollars and sense. Donovin Darius was due an ‘07 salary of upwards of $3 million. As much as the Jaguars appreciate Darius' community presence and his years of service, Gerald Sensabaugh is a better safety than Darius at this point and time. Donovin Darius would have been a backup this year in Jacksonville, and $3 million is way too much to pay a backup safety, even if he does have great intangibles.

Sammy Knight signed a one-year deal worth approximately $820,000. Knight surely isn't the player that he used to be from his days in New Orleans, but he can still deliver a hit when he has to. Knight started every game for the Kansas City Chiefs last season, and had 83 tackles, with two sacks and an interception. Knight isn't going to be a savior for the Jaguars defense (they don‘t need one), but he will add some veteran experience at a position that was thin as a sheet of paper.

So with the signing of Sammy Knight, who will be the odd man out? Conventional wisdom says the Jaguars will likely keep four safeties, and Sensabaugh and Nelson are obviously locks. Knight will likely be competing with Josh Gattis, Jamaal Fudge, Chad Nkang, and Nick Sorensen for what will likely be the final two spots. If I had to bet, I would say that Knight and Gattis round out the safety crop, and either Fudge or Nkang could earn a spot from special teams.

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