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Free agency: Right role critical, Bradley says


JACKSONVILLE – Like a lot of people, Gus Bradley is excited.

But while the Jaguars' Head Coach said he shares the excitement and energy of the opening of free agency, he said something else is just as true.

You have to be smart, and you must have a plan, and that above all else is what Bradley said will be the objective as the NFL's free-agency period begins Tuesday at 4 p.m.:

Sign players? Absolutely.

But make sure those players are the right players, and make sure they fit.

"Every guy we take we have a role for him," Bradley said early Tuesday afternoon after speaking to the Northside Business Leaders in a meeting at the Samburu Room at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

"That's just being prudent. You have a sum of money that you work with. It's important to make wise decisions. All the decisions are with the intent of getting better. We don't want to waste money on guys with hopes and dreams. We really want to have a vision. Sometimes it doesn't work out, but at least you have a philosophy and a vision."

That's a vision that Bradley said begins at the top of the organization.

"(Jaguars Owner) Shad (Khan) believes it, and it's passed down to (General Manager) Dave (Caldwell) and it's passed down to me," Bradley said. "We all believe it."

Bradley said the Jaguars' first free-agent signing, while it actually came before the start of official free agency, fit that criteria.

Red Bryant, a seven-year veteran defensive end, signed with the Jaguars Saturday. He was able to sign because he had been released by the Seattle Seahawks six days before. Bradley served as the Seahawks' defensive coordinator from 2009-2012 and said his experience with the 29-year-old Bryant helped him know how Bryant will fit in Jacksonville.

"He has a role for us – not only on the field, but also his leadership qualities, his toughness, his work ethic …" Bradley said. "They're all attributes."

Bradley also spoke about the release early Tuesday of running back Justin Forsett.

Forsett, who signed as an unrestricted free agent last offseason, was hampered by a toe injury through much of his one season with the Jaguars. He missed preseason with the injury, and played in just nine games last season.

"That's a tough one," Bradley said. "He's just a great man with really strong leadership qualities. It was unfortunate he got banged up early. I don't think we felt him as much as we could. It's hard, but sometimes a decision like that has to be made. I'm pulling for him. He's such a tremendous person."

Bradley's appearance was his third such speech to a local organization this month. He spoke to the Mandarin Rotary Club March 4 and the San Jose Yacht Club March 7.

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