JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars made a major move on the offensive line Wednesday.
The move involved a familiar name, with the Jaguars re-signing offensive guard A.J. Cann and preventing the veteran starter from leaving as an unrestricted free agent.
“It was good and I’m excited,” Cann said Wednesday night. “I’m happy about this decision.”
Cann, a third-round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft from the University of South Carolina, technically became a free agent Wednesday at 4 p.m. – the start of the 2019 League Year and the beginning of the 2019 free-agency period. He officially re-signed shortly thereafter.
“I’ve been thinking about [re-signing] with the Jaguars, and I feel like it was mutual that they had been thinking about it,” he said. “Looking at the options, this is the best fit and the best thing possible. I’m able to continue my career here and build on what we started.
“At the end of the day, if I was able to work out a deal back here where it all started it would make my day. We were able to get that done.”
Cann spoke with Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone Wednesday shortly after re-signing. Marrone served as the Jaguars’ offensive line coach in Cann’s first NFL two seasons and head coach the past two.
“He was very excited for me,” Cann said. “We talked about the future, and about my ability to be better and for this team to be better. He made it clear what we’re trying to do here and I’m looking forward to it.”
Cann (6-feet-3, 315 pounds), has started 59 of 61 games played in four NFL seasons. He started 15 games at right guard this past season, a total that marked the most starts for any Jaguars offensive lineman last season.
Cann’s signing means four of the team’s five Week 1 starters from 2018 remain under contract: Cann, left tackle Cam Robinson, left guard Andrew Norwell and center Brandon Linder.
“It’s going to be important, having a lot of core guys back in there,” Cann said. “We’ll be able to jell automatically and have that chemistry that we had. We have to put the work in and be consistent and anything’s possible.”
That foursome represents the only offensive linemen with NFL experience currently under contract with the Jaguars for 2019. Other offensive linemen under contract include: 2018 fourth-round right tackle/guard Will Richardson, second-year veteran Brandon Thomas and rookie K.C. McDermott.
The Jaguars allowed seven offensive linemen from last season to become free agents Wednesday at 4 p.m.: guard Tyler Shatley, tackle Josh Wells, guard Chris Reed, tackle Ereck Flowers, guard Patrick Omameh, tackle Corey Robinson and guard/tackle Josh Walker.
All seven started at least one game for the Jaguars last season, and the group started a total of 30 games.