JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars addressed a major position of need in a big way.
In so doing, they added one of the bigger names of the NFL's free-agency period to their defensive backfield.
Tashaun Gipson, a free safety from the Cleveland Browns widely considered one of the best two-to-three free agents at the position this offseason, has signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent. The team announced the signing along with several signings Thursday.
"Coming here, I see that this organization is turning around," Gipson said. "What you look for is when you come to the organization and the feeling is mutual. When you want to be there and the team wants you there, I think that's a match made in heaven.
"I feel like this team is going to competitive in this league for years to come. I think we have all the ingredients to make a nice push. I'm excited to see where this team is going to go in 2016."
Gipson, who originally signed with the Browns as a collegiate free agent from Wyoming following the 2012 NFL Draft, has 14 interceptions in four NFL seasons. He made the Pro Bowl following the 2014 season.
He led the AFC in interceptions in 2014 with six and in 2013 with five.
"One thing my numbers suggest if you see the numbers and watch the film is I see the ball and I get the ball," Gipson said. "That's one thing I pride myself on being able to do, is being the best ball-hawking safety in the league."
The Jaguars entered the offseason with free safety considered a major need, with General Manager David Caldwell shortly after last season comparing the difficulty of finding a quality player at the spot similar to finding a franchise quarterback.
Take a look at images from newest Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson
"For them to convey their pleasure wanting to bring me here to this beautiful state and this wonderful organization … it couldn't be a better time for me to be coming here," Gipson said. "I'm 25, so I know I've got growing up to do. I'm not saying I'm perfect, but I know what I bring and I know what my talent can do. I'm excited to be here with an organization that's on the up."
Gipson was generally ranked as one of the top available free safeties in free agency along with San Diego Chargers safety Eric Weddle.
"We want to change the dynamics to this team, specifically starting on this defense," Gipson said. "I know this was one of the areas they felt like they needed improvement. This team didn't fare too bad in the division last year, so you add a couple of components to this defense – defensive line, secondary, linebacker … whatever they need – I think that's going to be the push we need."