DE Chris Clemons has agreed to terms with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Will sign the deal today.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 13, 2014
Clemons will sign a four-year deal with the Jaguars.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 13, 2014
Louis Riddick of ESPN reports contract details for the veteran:
DE Chris Clemons: 4yrs/$18M w/upside to $22.5M via sacks/PT. #Jaguars— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) March 13, 2014
Clemons is a nine-year NFL veteran who played most recently for the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.
Although Clemons had 11 or more sacks in each season from 2010 through 2012, the Seahawks decided to release him this offseason, per Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com.
The 32-year-old defensive end's role in Seattle's defense decreased somewhat in 2013 as he dealt with nagging injuries and started just 11 games. Clemons still managed 4.5 sacks, and he even sacked Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning in the Seahawks' Super Bowl triumph.
Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk discussed the impact the defensive end could have in Jacksonville under Gus Bradley, Clemons' defensive coordinator from 2009-12 with the Seahawks:
When healthy, Clemons was an excellent pass rusher in Bradley’s defense: In the three seasons that Clemons played for Bradley, he had 11, 11 and 11.5 sacks. Clemons tore his ACL in the playoffs after the 2012 season and got off to a slow start in 2013, but if he’s all the way back in 2014, his acquisition could be a big part of the Jaguars turning their defense around.
On Wednesday, Bradley spoke about the Jaguars' focus during this year's free-agency period, per John Oehser of Jaguars.com:
We’ve been smart on our decisions. We’ve been active, but we’re looking for guys who can fill a role for us. We’re looking at sustaining this, so we want to build pieces and get the right guys we feel can help us.
With this signing, the Jags now boast a free-agent haul including Clemons, guard Zane Beadles, defensive lineman Red Bryant and running back Toby Gerhart, per ESPN.com.
Is this a good signing for the Jaguars?
The Jaguars also hold the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft. Considering that and the recent signings, they are obviously looking to progress out of the NFL's basement next season and beyond.
Jacksonville needed a pass-rusher once Jason Babin hit the free-agent market. Babin led the Jags with 7.5 sacks last year, and the organization is hopeful that Clemons can replace that production.
Clemons has a winning pedigree and a history of success under Bradley, so this signing works on many levels.
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