The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed safety Donovin Darius to the franchise one-year tender contract. Darius had previously been tagged as the club's franchise player on Feb. 22. The Jaguars have also resigned defensive tackle Derrick Ransom.
Darius, 29, ranked third on the team in 2004 with 125 tackles (78 solo) while starting all 16 games for fourth time in his career. The former 1998 first-round draft choice has led the Jaguars' secondary in tackles each of his first seven NFL seasons. Darius is the all-time leading tackler in Jaguars history with 790 and has started in all 103 NFL games he has played. He registered a team-record nine turnovers in 2004.
This is the third consecutive season Darius has been tagged as the team's franchise player and he is the second franchise player tagged by the Jaguars since Tony Brackens in 2000.
Ransom, 28, played in 10 games for the Jaguars after being signed on Oct. 13. The eighth-year veteran recorded 16 tackles, two quarterback pressures and half a sack last season. He has played in 71 career games with 27 starts.
JAGUARS TENDER FIVE PLAYERS
The Jacksonville Jaguars have tendered contract offers to restricted free agents, LB Akin Ayodele and S Deke Cooper, and exclusive rights players, RB David Allen, QB Quinn Gray and C Brett Romberg.
Ayodele, 25, started every game at outside linebacker finishing second on the team with 131 tackles (82 solo). It marked the third consecutive season, that the fourth-year pro has eclipsed 100 tackles in a season. He also recorded two sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and blocked a field goal.
Cooper, 27, played in all 16 games on defense and on special teams. He tallied 35 tackles, one sack, one interception and a forced fumble. The fourth-year pro also ranked third on the team with 12 special teams tackles.
Allen, 27, played in five game for the Jaguars after being signed on Dec. 1. The second-year pro returned 15 punts for 144 yards and 11 kickoffs for 210 yards. He also added two receptions.
Gray, 25, served as the Jaguars third quarterback behind Byron Leftwich and David Garrard. The second-year pro did not see action in 2004.
Romberg, 25, served as the Jaguars primary backup at center behind Brad Meester. The third-year pro dressed for six games, but did not play in 2004