Jaguar free agency news and notes
Wade to wear Pewter?
Jacksonville Jaguars free agent John Wade made a visited last week with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 6-foot- 5 and 302 pound five-year pro visited the Bucs Wednesday and appears to be the leading candidate to replace starting center Jeff Christy, who was released along with back up Todd Washington last week in a cost-cutting move.
Wade, 28, whose NFL career has been spent entirely with the Jaguars, started 16 games last season and was part of an offensive line that paved the way for 1,300-yard rusher Fred Taylor. His string of 20 starts was broken with a foot injury in training camp prior to the 2000 season.
The Bucs are believed to have begun discussing parameters of a contract in an effort to reach an agreement with Wade sometime in the next few weeks.
Bryson has impressive visit
RB Shawn Bryson (Bills) visited with the Jaguars today and left both sides feeling good about the meeting. Bryson is looking for a starting role, but knows Fred Taylor is the featured back.
With the possibility of unrestricted free agent Stacey Mack leaving, the Jaguars are hoping to land a quality backup to Taylor in case of injuries. After 4 injury filled seasons, the 2002 season was the first season Taylor started all 16 games.
The 6-foot-1 and 235 pound running back brings excellent size to the table. However, Bryson's health is a concern. He had a second reconstructive knee surgery and missed the final eight games of last season.
DE help on the way?
The 49ers, who are barely under the salary cap ($1.76 million) and do not figure to be much of a player on the free-agent market. They would like to re-sign DE Chike Okeafor, who is coming off a season in which he recorded six sacks and 26 quarterback pressures, which was second on the team to Andre Carter. But Okeafor has been gaining some attention on the open market, with visits to Detroit, Arizona, Kansas City and Jacksonville.
If the Jaguars make the right offer, it would definitely be a step in the right direction for the past pass-rushing woes.
Former Gator in for a visit
LB Mike Peterson (Colts) will visit with the Jaguars Saturday. The Gainesville native and former Florida Gator is one of the best LB's left on the free agent market.
The 6-foot-2 and 230 pound speedy linebacker is rumored to be seeking a contract up to $4 million a year.
Peterson who has already visited the Bills, Rams and Bengals, still might take a visit with Detroit before making a decision.
Last season he led the Colts with tackles (173).
LB gets offer from Bills
Free agent linebacker Takeo Spikes, another potential Jaguar target, got an offer sheet on Friday from the Bills, which likely comes with a signing bonus in the $6 million range.
The Bengals have a week to match the deal since they named the five-year Pro Bowler a transition player before free agency began.
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