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Jaguars Give a Warm Welcome to Five New Additions

Gabe Davis Article

JACKSONVILLE – This was a good and happy day, and not just for Gabe Davis

But it was perhaps a particularly good day for the veteran wide receiver, which became clear quickly when he met with Jacksonville media for the first time Thursday.

Davis described his emotions joining the Jaguars – and it was indeed an emotional day.

"As soon as I heard Jacksonville, I was like, 'Thank God they called,''' he said.

Davis was among five recently-acquired Jaguars players – the others being wide receiver/returner Devin Duvernay, cornerback Ronald Darby, safety Darnell Savage and quarterback Mac Jones – who spoke to the media for the first time Thursday. Duvernay, Darby and Savage signed as unrestricted free agents – with Jones being acquired in a trade with the New England Patriots.

"Super excited – excited and happy to be here," Duvernay said.

The Jaguars moved boldly and quickly this week to improve multiple areas around the roster,also signing veteran center Mitch Morse– who spoke to the media Wednesday – as a free agent. Duvernay and Darby signed from the Baltimore Ravens, with Savage signing from the Green Bay Packers and Davis – like Morse – previously playing with the Buffalo Bills.

"As soon as I saw him sign, I was like, 'Yeah, it's destined to be,''' Davis said of Morse. "Mitch is my guy, a guy who I trust, great player, great leader, great teammate. He has helped me a lot in this league and I'm so happy to be coming to a new place, but still with a lot of familiar faces. It makes the process a lot easier."

Davis, who is close with Jaguars receiver Christian Kirk, was attending practice at his former school – the University of Central Florida – when the NFL's so-called legal tampering period began Monday. The Jaguars contacted his representation immediately.

"I was like, 'Thank God,''' said Davis, who was born in nearby Fernandina Beach. "I wanted to come back to Florida. I wanted to be around guys that I knew and that I loved … and the team's great. Shoot, we could never beat them, you know what I mean?

"As soon they sent it in, negotiations begin and I'm a Jaguar, man. Pretty easy decision."

Davis was far from the only player speaking Wednesday who called the week's decision easy – and who said coaching played a factor. Davis said he liked the idea of rejoining wide receivers coach Chad Hall, with whom he worked in Buffalo from 2019-2022.

Darby played on the Philadelphia Eagles' Super Bowl champions following the 2017 season when current Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson was in the same role with the Eagles.

"He's a great coach and I had no problem at all coming back to play for him," Darby said. "Once my agent told me, I was like, 'Yeah, I'm down.' "

Savage, too, cited Pederson's reputation as a Super Bowl-winning head coach as a reason signing with the Jaguars felt right.

"It's always a difficult decision when you basically pick it up and move to a whole new location," Savage said. "It's one of those things where you kind of have to go with your gut a little bit. I was talking to a couple of my friends in the NFL. Our whole lives we pick up and we get adjusted. That's what we do.

"That's what people do in general. I just kind of look at it like that and you just have to trust. You can't go into anything with anything with bad vibes."

Jones, the No. 15 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots, played locally at The Bolles School. Jones, who is expected to play a reserve role behind Jaguars starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence, led the Patriots to the playoffs with a 10-7 record as a rookie and was 8-17 as a starter in 2022-2023.

"Obviously things went the way they did," he said. "My goal is to kind of get the train back on the track."

Jones said he has spent comparatively little time at home since leaving for the University of Alabama, noting that that will change now – and saying late in his press conference that his mother would be picking him up that afternoon.

"It's kind of nice when your mom can pick you up from work," he said, laughing. Jones added, "It's exciting. It feels good. I love this place. It's my hometown. Obviously there are a lot of good things going on here. I'm looking forward to learning everybody's names and getting back to playing good football. I'm happy to be here.

"As a kid from Jacksonville, it's definitely a dream come true."

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