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Jags sign Veteran LB

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Jags sign former first-round pick Claiborne to one-year deal

By Len Pasquarelli



Updated: August 26, 2007, 1:36 PM ET




Continuing to add veteran depth, even two weeks before the start of the season, the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday signed unrestricted free agent linebacker Chris Claiborne, a former first-round draft choice, to a one-year contract.


The deal came after Claiborne, who was released by the New York Giants last October and had not been in an NFL training camp this summer, had a strong workout for team officials and coaches. Financial details of the deal were not immediately available, but it likely included a minimum base salary of $720,000.


Jacksonville already appeared to be relatively deep at linebacker, but the Jaguars seem determined this year to not be caught short at any position, if possible. Two weeks ago, the Jags added veteran safety Sammy Knight, and the coaches seem to like having more veteran players around to fill roles.


Starting linebacker Clint Ingram is nursing a sprained ankle that kept him out of the Thursday night preseason game at Green Bay, but the injury is not considered serious. Instead, the addition of Claiborne is seen as an attempt to bring aboard a veteran who knows the game and who can add some flexibility.


Claiborne, 29, spent four weeks with the Giants in 2006, appearing in two games and posting two tackles.


An eight-year veteran, Claiborne has started at all three linebacker spots at various junctures in his career, and has played some defensive end on passing downs. That versatility, along with his overall experience and his willingness to play on special teams, could make him a solid addition.


The former Southern California star was a first-round draft choice of the Detroit Lions in 1999, and he played four seasons there. He signed with Minnesota as an unrestricted free agent in 2003, and then moved to the Rams in 2005.


Claiborne was plagued by knee problems in 2005 and, after the season, specialists found a condition that had not previously been diagnosed. Claiborne underwent surgery to correct the problem.


In eight seasons, Claiborne has 569 tackles, 15 sacks, eight interceptions, 30 passes defensed, and eight forced fumbles. He has appeared in 105 games.


per espn

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