The Jacksonville Jaguars today signed two unrestricted free agents, former Philadelphia Eagles' defensive end Hugh Douglas and former New England Patriots' fullback Marc Edwards.
Douglas, 31, has been one of the NFL's top defensive ends for the past eight years, the first three years with the New York Jets and the last five with the Eagles. A former first round draft pick out of Central State in Ohio, Douglas has been to three Pro Bowls and has had at least eight sacks in six of his eight seasons.
"Hugh is one of the premier defensive ends in the league," said Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio, "and we're looking forward to adding his speed and play-making ability to our defense. Particularly exciting is what he can add to our pass rush."
The 6-2, 280-pound Douglas dominated offensive lines in 2002 with 55 tackles (43 solo) and his 12.5 sacks were second in the NFC and fourth in the NFL. He led his team in sacks for the sixth time in his eight seasons. His leadership help led the Eagles defense, which ranked fourth in the NFL, to reach the NFC Championship game for the second consecutive season. In his five seasons with Philadelphia, Douglas has 51.5 sacks and seven forced fumbles.
"I'm excited, this is a young up and coming defense," said Douglas. "It reminds me of when Andy Reid came to Philadelphia, the concept of building a good young team and making a run for the playoffs."
Douglas was originally drafted by the Jets in the first round of the 1995 draft, the 16th overall pick. He was named the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year after making 10 sacks. He was the Jets second pick after Kyle Brady. His first career sack was of current Jaguars QB Mark Brunell in 1995 and his position coach for his first two seasons was current Jaguars defensive line coach Ray Hamilton. In three seasons with the Jets Douglas tallied 118 tackles (95 solo), 22 sacks and five fumble recoveries including a 62-yard recovery for a touchdown against Miami in 1996.
Douglas lives in Fayetteville, Ga., with his two daughters, Kayla Rachelle and Brianna Syann.
One of the NFL's top blocking fullbacks, the 28-year-old Edwards signed with the Patriots in 2001 and helped lead the Patriots to a Super Bowl victory over the St. Louis Rams. He played with the Cleveland Browns for two seasons after being traded by San Francisco in 1999. He was orginally a second round pick in the 1997 NFL Draft by the 49ers.
Edwards, a 6-0, 245-pounder from Cincinnati, Ohio, has never missed a game in his six years in the league, including 56 starts in the 96 contests. In 2002, he caught 23 balls for 196 yards and rushed 31 times for 96 yards. In his career, he has 119 receptions for 968 yards and eight touchdowns along with 117 carries for 392 rushing yards and two scores.
A graduate of Notre Dame, Edwards was a four-year letterman and a two-year starter. He earned All-America honorable mention honors as a junior and led the team in touchdowns as a freshman. He finished his career with 311 carries for 1,591 yards and 27 touchdowns and posted 46 receptions for 598 yards and five touchdowns.
With the signings of Douglas and Edwards, the Jaguars' roster stands at 66 players.