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CB Prince Amukamara: Betting on himself


JACKSONVILLE – He liked a lot about this situation.

There was the culture, and his view of the Jaguars as one of the NFL's ascending young teams. Put those and a lot of other things together, and Prince Amukamara said the Jaguars were the right place to once again prove himself in the NFL.

"Stuff like that gets me excited," Amukamara said.

Amukamara, a former first-round draft selection and sixth-year veteran cornerback who previously played for the New York Giants, has signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent. The team announced the signing early Friday evening.

Amukamara spent the day visiting with Jaguars coaches and staff.

"Just walking in here, meeting with everybody -- the culture that [Jaguars Head] Coach [Gus] Bradley has established here – I share that vision," Amukamara said. "I see what he wants to get done and I want to be a part of that."

Amukamara said he spoke throughout the free-agent process to Jaguars cornerback Davon House, who joined the team as an unrestricted free agent last offseason.

"We've been building a pretty good friendship," he said. "I've been drilling him with all of the questions and he told me I'd be a great fit."

Amukamara calls himself an avid studier of film, and said the Jaguars and along with the Oakland Raiders stood out to him this past season as teams with ascending, young talent. He cited the chance to play with players such as safety Tashaun Gipson, defensive tackle Malik Jackson and 2015 first-round selection and edge rusher Dante Fowler as reasons for signing with Jacksonville.

"They have been improving every year, but they're still not where they want to be," he said. "I'm glad they're giving me the opportunity to join that."

House started opposite second-year veteran Aaron Colvin much of last season, with Colvin moving inside to play the nickel in passing situations. One scenario now could be Amukamara and House starting on the outside with Colvin focused on the nickel.

Amukamara said a specific role wasn't discussed during negotiations.

Images of new Jaguars cornerback Prince Amukamara.

"Not at all," he said. "They told me I'm going to come in here and compete for the cornerback spot, and there's nothing given. They said if they did that it would be a disservice to me. I agree and it would be a disservice to them. I'm just excited to come and compete for that spot.

"Aaron has put a lot of good stuff on film, and so have [cornerbacks Dwayne] Gratz and [Demetrius] McCray, so it's going to be great to compete with all of those guys."

Amukamara, a first-round draft selection in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Giants, has started 45 games in five seasons. He has missed five or more games in four of five seasons, starting all 16 games in 2013. He has seven career interceptions and 45 passes defensed.

Amukamara signed a one-year deal with the Jaguars.

"None of the multi-year deals made sense for me," Amukamara said. "I thought it would be my best bet to bet on myself for the one-year deal and prove that I'm a force in this league. I feel like when I'm on the field a lot of great things happen, so I just want to put 16 games of that together."



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