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Fordham gives Jaguars insurance


The Jaguars added some draft-day insurance with the signing of offensive tackle Todd Fordham yesterday. Fordham was the Jaguars' starting left tackle in 12 games last season, after Tony Boselli was lost for the season with a shoulder injury.

Fordham is a true right tackle and there's talk the Jaguars will move second-year offensive tackle Maurice Williams from right tackle to left tackle, which would open the door for Fordham on the right side. Of course, the Jaguars will be seeking to draft a tackle in one of the first two rounds of this weekend's NFL draft. If they are able to find a left tackle who could step into the starting job immediately, Fordham would give the Jaguars depth at the position. Either way, coach Tom Coughlin wanted insurance at the position heading into the draft.

The one-year contract Fordham signed will pay him $525,000, the league minimum. He also received a $25,000 signing bonus. Those figures allow the Jaguars to include Fordham in the league's "beneficial salary" program, which means he will count $450,000 against the Jaguars' salary cap this year. Fordham is one of seven players on the Jaguars roster who was signed as a "beneficial salary" player. The others are Stalin Colinet, Tim Morabito, Pete Mitchell, Bobby Shaw, John Wade and Detron Smith.

Fordham, 28, has played in 40 games with 21 starts since being signed by the Jaguars as an undrafted rookie out of Florida State in 1997. He started eight games at right tackle in 2000, after Zach Wiegert was lost for the season with a knee injury. Fordham missed the entire 1999 season with a knee injury.

The Jaguars' roster now stands at 71 players heading into this weekend's draft. The Jaguars have eight selections in the seven rounds.

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