Bobby Shaw is getting an opportunity; the Jaguars are getting a motivated player.
The Jaguars have reached a one-year contractual agreement with Shaw, who rose from obscurity to become the Steelers' third wide receiver last season. Shaw, who caught 24 passes for 409 yards and two touchdowns last season, agreed to a deal that will pay him a league-minimum salary of $525,000 and a $25,000 signing bonus. Those numbers will allow the Jaguars to fit the four-year veteran into the NFL's "beneficial salary program," which means Shaw will count $450,000 on the Jaguars' 2002 salary cap.
Reports are Shaw had rejected a $300,000 signing bonus on a three-year contract offer from the Steelers, largely because he wanted an opportunity to become a starting wide receiver on another team in the league. Shaw believes the Jaguars will afford him that opportunity.
In the 2000 season, Shaw caught 40 passes for 672 yards and three touchdowns. In '99, he made 28 catches for 387 yards and three touchdowns.
Though his numbers were down in '01 -- the result of the emergence of Plaxico Burress -- Shaw's value to the Steelers' passing game increased. He became a go-to, third-down receiver and he made the most memorable play of the Steelers' season, a 90-yard, catch-and-run touchdown in a key Sunday night win in Baltimore.
Shaw was signed by the Steelers off the Seahawks' practice squad in November of 1999.
The Jaguars announced six other personnel moves today, including the signing of two street free agents, wide receiver Larry Shannon and safety Fred White. The team also signed three exclusive-rights free agents -- safety Ainsley Battles, cornerback Damen Wheeler and wide receiver/kick returner Damon Gibson -- to tender offers, and waived offensive tackle Shaun Rose.
Shannon, 27, was a third-round draft pick of the Dolphins in 1998. He suffered a torn ACL during his first training camp and spent the entire season on injured reserve. In '99, he made the opening-day roster and appeared in two games and was later placed on the Dolphins' practice squad. Shannon was in Oakland's training camp in 2000 and out of football in '01. He was a four-year starter at East Carolina, where he caught 101 passes for 1,714 yards and 21 touchdowns. The 6-4, 210-pound Shannon is a native of Starke, FL.
White, 25, was an undrafted rookie who was with the Chargers and 49ers in the 2000 preseason and out of football in '01. He was a three-year starter at Tennessee and an All-State selection at Griffin (Ga.) High School.