Barnes Unofficially on Notice with Jaguars

The Jaguars created more competition on the offensive line and at the same time sent a loud and clear message to Khalif Barnes.

Jaguars signed Barnes' backup, Richard Collier, to a contract extension, terms were not disclosed at his time.

Khalif Barnes is a former second-round pick from the University of Washington who has been the Jaguars full-time starter at left tackle since the fourth game of his rookie season. While Barnes has been a better than average left tackle throughout his tenure in Jacksonville, he has had numerous off the field issues involving alcohol, including a DUI arrest in which he allegedly badmouthed the city of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, and another incident last year which he allegedly wrecked his Mercedes and abandoned it with the keys near his home.

Earlier in the offseason, rumors spread about the Jaguars growing tired of Barnes' act and the team placing him on the trading block, as well as their interest in drafting another tackle in the first round of last month's draft. Following the Jaguars trading up and selecting defensive end Derrick Harvey, rumors flew about Jacksonville's wishes to trade up and select former University of Pittsburgh offensive tackle Jeff Otah assuming they weren't able to pull off the Harvey deal.

It appears that Barnes will face some stiff competition this summer from Richard Collier, the former undrafted free agent from Valdosta State who the Jaguars were afraid to release as a rookie, and has made the roster in each of his two seasons. The mammoth 6'7", 350 lb. Collier has showed great footwork and athleticism since his arrival in Jacksonville, and the contract extension displays the front office's confidence in his abilities.

Collier played in four games in 2007, and started one, the season finale at Houston. In that game, Collier was lined up against the Texans star defensive end Mario Williams for much of the game, and held Williams to just four tackles and no sacks. Although Collier has played sparingly, there's nothing that shows that he can't play at this level.

With Barnes having just one year left on his contract after 2008, and the Jaguars opting to extend his backup, Richard Collier, it appears as if the former Washington Huskie may not be in the Jaguars plans for much longer. If nothing else, the Collier deal should certainly get Barnes' attention, and the Jaguars should see a more focused player this year, with his NFL career hanging in the balance.


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