When the Seahawks released Red Bryant on Feb. 28, general manager John Schneider said he wanted to give the veteran defensive end a jump on free agency.
Bryant took that leap Saturday, when the Jacksonville Jaguars announced that he had agreed to and signed a four-year contract.
The NFL free-agency period begins Tuesday. But Bryant’s early move makes sense for both sides, because Bryant played for Jaguars coach Gus Bradley when Bradley was the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator from 2009-2012. Bryant was moved from tackle to the five-technique end spot in 2010 and developed into a run-stuffing force on a defense that finished among the Top 10 in the league in average yards allowed in 2011 and ranked No. 1 in the NFL last season when the Seahawks won the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history.
“We’re excited about the addition of Red to the defensive line,” Jaguars general manager David Caldwell said in a statement announcing Bryant’s addition. “Red has been a productive player in the NFL. When he became available as a free agent I went to Gus to see if this was a player that would fit into our culture. Gus was completely on board and spoke highly of what Red could add to our team on and off the field. We feel like we added another veteran presence along the line.”
Signing former Seahawks is nothing new for the Jaguars since Bradley was hired as their coach last January. Last year, the team signed cornerbacks Marcus Trufant and Will Blackmon, safety Winston Guy, linebackers Kyle Knox and John Lotulelei and wide receiver Stephen Williams after they were released by the Seahawks.