Jacksonville Jaguars Need a Punter as Adam Podlesh Signs with Chicago Bears

David Levin@@davidlevin71Senior Writer IIJuly 28, 2011

The Jacksonville Jaguars brass already had a list going into this frenzied free agency period of who they coveted and wanted to sign to fill holes within the team. Now, they can add one more position to that list.

Adam Podlesh, a former fourth-round draft choice, signed a five-year contract to kick in Chicago, ProFootballTalk reported this morning.

For the team, this is just one more thing it has to handle before the preseason starts on August 11.

The Jaguars have been Podlesh’s only NFL stop since he was drafted in 2007 out of Maryland.

The Florida Times-Union reported that the Jaguars had figured to keep Podlesh on the roster, but Chicago’s attempt to sign him were much stronger. Podlesh commented the Bears acted as if “they needed him on their roster.”

"I'm extremely excited," Podlesh said. "Obviously it's a very prestigious organization and they're obviously a high caliber team. Looking for a Super Bowl so I'm excited to be a part of that."

Because of the new collective bargaining agreement, if Podlesh had re-signed with the Jaguars, he could not have practiced with them until the agreement was ratified. The team signed Brian Saunders, an undrafted free agent, to be in camp. Right now, Saunders is the only punter on the roster.

Podlesh was thankful to the organization in comments he made after the signing. He said his first choice was to remain in Jacksonville because of the relationships he had made on the team over the last four years.

According to Podlesh’s agent, Rich Rosa, the guaranteed money he will receive from the Bears is in the top three for punters in NFL history. It was also reported that Podlesh would be paid as a top-five punter on a yearly basis.

The Chicago Tribune reported this morning that Podlesh replaces 10-year veteran Brad Maynard, and that they had discussed bringing in former Illinois punter Steve Weatherford but never talked money with his representatives.

"The beautiful thing is when free agency opened up, the phones started ringing,” Rosa said. "After a day-and-a-half, two days worth of discussion with the special teams coach (Dave Toub) and the assistant special teams coach Kevin O’Dea, who will work directly with Adam, he fell in love with what they were talking about.”

There is no word yet if the Jaguars will sign another leg this week for competition or seek a free-agent veteran.

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