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Craft traded to Saints


The Jaguars have traded cornerback Jason Craft to the team that offered him a contract two years ago. In return, the New Orleans Saints have given the Jaguars a fifth-round pick in this month's NFL draft.

Craft was courted by the Saints in restricted free agency in 2002. The Saints made Craft a contract offer, but the Jaguars retained Craft by matching that offer and Craft became the Jaguars' starting right cornerback.

He lost his job to second-round pick Rashean Mathis last season, and it became obvious Craft's days with the Jaguars were numbered when the team signed three cornerbacks in free agency last month. One of those corners, veteran Dewayne Washington, is expected to become Mathis' backup on the right side, while newly-acquired Juran Bolden is expected to step in at the left cornerback spot made vacant by Fernando Bryant's departure.

"In free agency we added a couple of guys. We felt we had a surplus at the position. We had some inquiries and we decided to take the value now," Jaguars personnel boss James Harris said.

The fifth-round pick acquired from the Saints gives the Jaguars 10 total picks in this year's draft; one in every round and an additional pick in the third, fifth and seventh rounds. The Jaguars might also consider trade offers for safety Donovin Darius, with whom the team has not been able to reach contract agreement.

"It gives us an opportunity to have something to go up, if there's a player we want to go up and get," Harris said of how the additional pick might be used, as a tool to trade up.

"Teams are calling us about a lot of guys," Harris added when asked if he's received trade inquiries about Darius.

Craft was a fifth-round pick out of Colorado State in 1999. His playing time last season was limited to seven games, six as a starter, due to a knee injury. He made two pass interceptions, which leaves him with seven in his career.

He had one year remaining on his Jaguars contract. The Jaguars will save his $750,000 salary and he will be a $400,000 cap hit.

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