Jaguars cut costly free-agent failures
The Jacksonville Jaguars essentially acknowledged two failed free agent acquisitions yesterday by releasing receiver Jerry Porter and cornerback Drayton Florence.
The Jaguars paid more than $23 million for Porter and Florence to step into starting roles last year, but both failed to make an impact on the field and may have been even less impressive in the locker room. Teammates privately blamed them for chemistry issues that plagued Jacksonville (5-11) all season.
"In going through our personnel evaluations and roster analysis we are making decisions that we believe will help improve our team for the 2009 season and beyond," Jaguars general manager Gene Smith said.
Porter signed a six-year, $30 million contract that included $10 million guaranteed. He also earned $1 million in salary last season, but caught just 11 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown.
He started the season on the physically unable to perform list following hamstring surgery and ended the year on injured reserve (groin). Teammates singled him out as a main culprit for the chemistry problems — a label Porter first earned in Oakland.
Florence signed a six-year, $36 million deal with about $12 million guaranteed. He also got $1 million in salary last season, but couldn't win a starting job. He spent most of the season playing in nickel and dime situations, and giving that much money to a backup raised eyebrows around the locker room.
FIVE PLAYERS RELEASED
Running back Anthony Alridge was among five players the Denver Broncos released yesterday.
Alridge spent his rookie season last year on injured reserve after hurting his left foot in the preseason. The Broncos also released running backs Alex Haynes and P.J. Pope, tight end Chad Mustard and wide receiver Cliff Russell, a Campbell High alum.
HIRING MORE COACHES
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers filled more openings on the staff of first-year coach Raheem Morris yesterday, adding running backs coach Steve Logan, tight end coach Alfredo Roberts and assistant offensive line coach Chris Mosley.
The team also said two holdovers from the staff of former coach Jon Gruden had their titles changed. Richard Bisaccia becomes associate head coach/special teams coordinator and Richard Mann will serve as assistant head coach/wide receivers.
COACHING STAFF COMPLETE
Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz completed his first coaching staff, retaining some assistants from the NFL's first 0-16 team.
Receivers coach Shawn Jefferson and running backs coach Sam Gash will be back, the Lions announced yesterday, after they worked in Detroit for Rod Marinelli.
Linebackers coach Matt Burke, quarterbacks coach Jeff Horton, defensive line coach Bob Karmelowicz, secondary coach Tim Walton and offensive line coach George Yarno were among the assistants completing the staff.
Schwartz previously hired Gunther Cunningham as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach and Scott Linehan as offensive coordinator.
Jay Kaiser is an assistant to the head coach.