The Jacksonville Jaguars are hoping the past will help the present and future of its receiving corps.
In a story by Tania Ganguli in the Florida Times-Union, the Jaguars have re-signed Mike Sims-Walker in an effort to improve both the receiving depth and passing game led by rookie Blaine Gabbert.
Sims-Walker, a third-round selection in the 2007 NFL Draft by Jacksonville, was signed in free agency by the St. Louis Rams, but was released when the team traded for former Denver Broncos wideout Brandon Lloyd.
Terms of the new contract have not been disclosed.
Sims-Walker had a breakout season in 2009, leading the team with 63 receptions for 869 yards. Sims-Walker, wide receiver Mike Thomas and tight end Marcedes Lewis were key components in the team's passing game last season. The Jaguars have only four touchdowns from the receiver and tight end position this year.
But the Jaguars, thin at receiver this year, released the veteran when they decided not to renew his contract. Sims-Walker then signed with the Rams.
Can Sims-Walker reunite with the team and help this offense? The Jaguars are last in the league, scoring just 12 points per contest and only garnering 260 yards in total offense a game. Sims-Walker was originally drafted out of Central Florida because of his speed, but leg injuries in his first two seasons slowed his progress.
In his place, the Jaguars have been using Jason Hill, a free-agent signing from the San Francisco 49ers. Hill has caught two touchdowns in as many games and had over 100 yards receiving in the 30-20 loss to Cincinnati two weeks ago, part of the five-game skid the Jaguars are currently mired in.
The move works if Sims-Walker picks up where he left off in '09 and '10. His speed is an asset and could open more lanes for Thomas, the team's leading receiver, and Hill.
It could also mean that Lewis, a Pro Bowl tight end last season, will get more looks in different receiving packages and give Gabbert, who has only completed 48 percent of his passes this season, more targets to work with.