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Morrison thrilled to be Jag


No Sean Lee, no problem.

General Manager Gene Smith didn't panic when he failed in his attempts to trade up into the second round and draft the middle linebacker the Jaguars wanted. In the fourth round, Smith made a trade with the Raiders to acquire productive veteran Kirk Morrison, in exchange for the Jaguars' fourth-round pick. Smith also acquired a fifth-round pick from the Raiders, effectively making the deal a pick for a player and a pick. How's that for wheeling and dealing?

"I felt my time had come. I knew opportunity was going to come for me somewhere else," Morrison said.

Considered to be an ultra-productive and dedicated defender, Morrison is in the prime of his career and could become the steal of this draft for the Jaguars. If his enthusiasm for the trade is any indication, he's already a steal.

"They made a decision and that decision was to go in a different direction," Morrison said of the Raiders, with whom Morrison couldn't come to terms on a new contract. Instead, the Raiders gave him a restricted free agent tender, which Morrison signed recently so that he could become eligible to be traded.

"I've been productive. It didn't work out. I couldn't be happier that I'm moving to a different organization. They're going to give me the opportunity to lead this team," he said.

Morrison's nickname is "Hollywood," largely because he's a high-profile personality that likes to be involved in the community. He's also a guy who played with a dislocated elbow last season; nobody questions his toughness.

"When it comes down to Sunday, that's what matters to me," he said.

Morrison regards the move to Jacksonville as a chance to "reach my potential as a football player. For me, it's a new beginning. I want to step in and become a leader. What I bring to a team is my hard work and dedication. I love playing the game of football," Morrison said. "I'm going to a team that has a lot of pieces in place. I see it going to the playoffs."

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