The Jacksonville Jaguars today released nine players as they reached the 53-man roster limit one week before their 1998 season opener at Chicago.
WR Willie Jackson and LB Eddie Robinson, who were members of the 1996 Jaguars team that advanced to the AFC Championship game, were among the veterans who were released, as were DT Ed Philion and G Mark Nori. Four rookies were waived: TE Mark Thomas, OTs Steve Zahursky and Jason Baker and DE Lamanzer Williams. One other player was waived as well, but his name will not be released until he is notified.
Jackson, 27, was an original Jaguar, joining the team in the 1995 expansion draft from the Dallas Cowboys. In three seasons, the Florida graduate played in 46 of 48 regular-season games (13 starts) and caught 103 passes for 1,281 yards and 10 touchdowns. In the team record book, he ranks fourth all-time in receptions and receiving yards, second in receiving touchdowns (10), third in average yards per catch (12.4) and fifth in points scored (66).
Robinson, 28, played in all 32 regular-season games 1996 and '97 at weakside linebacker, making 28 starts and leading all players with 326 tackles in that time. Robinson signed with the team as an unrestricted free agent from the Houston Oilers on March 1, 1996.
Philion, 28, was a fourth-year player who joined the team on June 29 of this year after playing with Buffalo in 1994 and '95 and Carolina in '96. He was out of football in 1997 and played in the NFL Europe league in the spring, leading the league in sacks.
Nori, 24, was signed to the Jaguars' roster for the final two games of 1997 from the Pittsburgh Steelers' practice squad, though he did not see any action. He was recruited to Boston College by Tom Coughlin in 1992.
The rookies who were waived had seen action in all four preseason games. Thomas, Baker and Zahursky were rookie free agents, while Williams was the only draft choice released today. He was a sixth-round pick from the University of Minnesota who made two sacks and four tackles in the preseason.