Behind Enemy Lines: Can Darius Help?

Patriots Insider asked Jacksonville Jaguars expert Charlie Bernstein about the possibility that former Jaguar Donovin Darius might be available to teams looking for help in the secondary. Here's what Charlie had to say on Darius, the impact he could have on a team and what he's seen in the player the last few years he's covered the Jaguars.

Q: How bad is Darius' injury and how close do you think he is to playing shape?

Charlie Bernstein: Darius suffered a broken leg. That injury should heal okay, but I would be more concerned about the torn ACL he suffered in '05. Darius is a very hard worker, but it was evident that he lost a step last year. From what I understand, he will likely be ready for training camp with whoever signs him.

Q: Was the reason the Jags cut him a financial decison?

CB: Not completely. The Jaguars are/were far enough under the cap in which Darius' $3.5M wouldn't have inhibited them from doing much. Darius' level of play wasn't that of a $3.5M strong safety.

Q: The Jags selected two safeties in the '07 draft. Will they see significant action in Darius' spot or will Gerald Sensabaugh be the guy?

CB: Reggie Nelson will be the opening day starter at free safety, and Josh Gattis will likely fill in, in spots at Darius' vacated SS position. There was no dropoff in play last year when Sensabaugh filled in for Darius, and he will be penciled in as the opening day starter at SS.

Q: Does Darius have a any gas left in his tank, or is he near the end of the road?

CB: Darius likely has a little bit left, he can probably be a very average safety for the next year or two. He's a workout warrior and will keep himself in the best possible condition. He will be solid against the run, but a liability in pass coverage.

Q: "What is it about Darius that would attract most other teams?

CB: I feel that "mentoring" is a bit overrated, but Darius is a fantastic leader and mentor to the young players. He is also a huge hitter. Great community guy, very classy. If I were a team that needed help in the secondary I would take a flyer on him for around $1M.

Q: Who do you hear is the most interested in Darius at this point, and where do you think he might land?

CB: At this point there is only speculation. Speculation tells me that possibly Philly, Oakland, New England, and Cleveland could all be possible destinations, as well as Carolina or Buffalo.

Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of, and a regular contributor to and Feel free to e-mail Charlie at

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