The Jaguars today released veteran safety Donovin Darius. The 10th-year veteran has started all 115 games played which ranks first among defensive players and third in team history. His 858 career tackles (553 solo) rank tops in team history and ranks second with 20 takeaways.
Darius, 31, has been a mainstay in the Jaguars secondary, serving as the starting strong safety since his rookie year. The 6-1, 225-pound defensive back has started all 16 games four times and had missed only nine games in his first seven years in Jacksonville.
Widely considered one of the hardest hitting safeties in the game, Darius finished his tenure in Jacksonville with 858 tackles, 14 interceptions, seven forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and two sacks. He surpassed 100 tackles in a season six times and led the secondary in tackles in his first seven seasons in the NFL.
"Obviously there was some news this morning that would have to be part of this as we wrap-up our OTAs. We have elected to release Donovin Darius," said Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio. "Donovin Darius is an outstanding human being. He's been an excellent player for us. He's tremendous in the community. He's a classy guy. I met with him this morning and told him those things. I have a great deal of respect for who his is on and off the field. He was a ferocious centerfielder for us for a number of years. A guy that you definitely offensively had to account for. We have elected at this time as an organization to move forward and to allow him to pursue other opportunities. We have let him know that and like I said, a great deal of respect and admiration for the man and for the player he was here as a Jacksonville Jaguar, but we have made that decision to move on."
He missed the final six games of the 2006 season after breaking his leg in the Jaguars' 26-10 win over the New York Giants on ESPN Sunday Night Football at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. He had returned to the starting lineup after missing 14 games in 2005 with a torn ACL.
Darius was originally drafted in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft out of Syracuse. The Jaguars had two first round picks in 1998 and selected Darius with the 25th overall pick after drafting Fred Taylor with the ninth overall selection.
This offseason, Darius was named to the Commissioner Roger Goodell's NFL's Players Advisory Committee after serving as the Vice President of the NFL Players Association and the Jaguars' player representative for four years.
One of the team's most recognizable players in the community, Darius joined forces with the Wolfson Children's Hospital last November to take the lead on a very important initiative to help raise two million dollars for the expansion and upgrade of the heart center at the children's hospital. He has also held a leadership role in the Jaguars' Operation Blessing which donates food to the Jacksonville community during Thanksgiving.