JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars made an offseason roster move Thursday.
The move cleared salary cap space, but also meant the departure of a popular veteran who played a significant role in 2013.
Will Blackmon, a nine-year veteran cornerback who joined the Jaguars shortly before the 2013 season, was released by the Jaguars on Thursday. The move made the veteran a free agent.
Blackmon, 30, started 11 games in two seasons as a nickel back with the Jaguars, missing the final eight games of the 2014 season with a fractured finger. He registered 40 tackles, a sack, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and an interception in 2013, when he also defensed 10 passes.
He had 28 tackles, a sack and a forced fumbles in eight games this past season.
Blackmon's most memorable game with the Jaguars came in 2013, when he clinched a victory over the Tennessee Titans – the Jaguars' first victory that season with a sack/forced fumble/fumble recovery that he returned for a 21-yard touchdown.
Blackmon's release leaves the Jaguars with four cornerbacks who played extensively last season, with Demetrius McCray and Dwayne Gratz entering their third NFL seasons, Aaron Colvin entering his second season and Alan Ball entering his eighth season.
McCray started 12 games last season with Gratz starting 13 and Ball starting the first seven before being placed on injured reserve with a biceps injury. Ball is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next month.
Colvin, after missing the first 10 games while recovering and rehabilitating from a torn anterior cruciate ligament the previous January, played the final six games with one start. Gratz, McCray and Colvin are expected to be the starting and nickel corners in some combination, and the Jaguars also have been mentioned as possible players at the position in free agency.
The NFL's free-agency period begins March 10.