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The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed free agent defensive end Jeff Lageman to a contract. Lageman has played in 121 career games with 117 starts and has 47 career sacks. In his three seasons in Jacksonville, he has started 39 games and recorded 12.5 sacks as the defensive line's veteran leader. Terms and length of the contract are undisclosed.

Lageman, 30, started all 16 games for the Jaguars in 1997, recording 56 tackles and five sacks, and led the team with 23 QB pressures. In addition, he also forced three fumbles and had one fumble recovery. He was voted as a second alternate to the Pro Bowl, the first Jacksonville defensive player to earn that honor.

Lageman began his pro career as the New York Jets' first-round draft choice (14th overall) in 1989. In his six years with the Jets, he was the team leader in sacks three times, including 1991 when he recorded 10 sacks. He also led the Jets in fumble recoveries in 1994.

The native of Sterling, Va., was a three year starter at the University of Virginia, where his 250 career tackles rank fifth in school history. Lageman was named All-America and All- ACC his senior year and he earned his degree in economics in 1989.

With Lageman's signing, the Jaguars' current roster count stands at 58 players, not counting the remaining five unsigned unrestricted free agents. Lageman was one of eight Jaguars who became unrestricted free agents last week. Tight end Rich Griffith re-signed with the Jaguars on Monday, and fullback Ty Hallock signed with the Chicago Bears.


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