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Chris Clemons signs with (whom else?) the Jaguars
|FREE AGENT ROUNDUP|
A look at the players the Seahawks have signed and lost in the first three days of the NFL’s free-agency period, as well as their remaining free agents:
Agreed to terms with other teams
Remaining unrestricted free agents
(Photo courtesy Jaguars.com)
You could see this one coming as soon as the Seahawks released Chris Clemons on Wednesday.
Clemons, the second player in franchise history to lead the Seahawks in sacks for three consecutive seasons, has signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars – or Seahawks East, as the team coached by former Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is being called around the league. The quick-turnaround signing was announced Thursday on the team’s website, followed by Clemons’ introductory news conference.
“They reached out to me when I was released, and the general manager told me even the owner wanted me here,” Clemons said, referring to GM David Caldwell and owner Shahid Khan. “So it was a win-win situation for both of us.”
The Jaguars also have signed Red Bryant, the other starting end on the Seahawks’ Super Bowl championship team who was released on Feb. 28.
After Bryant was released, he actually called Clemons – who played for the Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles before finding a four-season home with the Seahawks.
“Red had a bunch of other teams that wanted him,” Clemons said. “He didn’t really know where he was going to go. He called me and asked for my advice. I hadn’t even been released yet, but he called and asked for my advice. I just told him, ‘Follow where your heart wants to go. If it’s somewhere you really want to be, then you chose that place.’ ”
Already on the Jaguars’ roster were safety Winston Guy, linebacker John Lotulelei and just re-signed cornerback Will Blackmon, who also spent time with the Seahawks before rejoining Bradley in Jacksonville. Last season, the Jaguars had three other former Seahawks – running back Justin Forsett, who was just released; linebacker Kyle Knox and wide receiver Stephen Williams.
The only other player to lead the Seahawks in sacks for three consecutive seasons? All-time sack leader Jacob Green, who is Bryant’s father-in-law. The Ring of Honor defensive end did it from 1985-88, when he had 14.5, 13.5, 12 and nine sacks. Green also led the team in sacks in 1980 (6.5), 1981 (12) and 1990 (12.5).
Moving to a new team with familiar faces on the coaching staff was another plus for Clemons, as the Jaguars’ defensive line coach is former Seahawks D-line coach Todd Wash and the new linebackers coach is Robert Saleh, a defensive assistant with the Seahawks the past three seasons.
“I came here because I wanted to help this team win,” Clemons said. “Being around a familiar face with Gus and ‘Washer’ and Robert Saleh, it could have played a role in it. But at the end of the day, I’m just here to help the team win games.”