The Jacksonville Jaguars have taken another shot on a veteran defender.
The team officially signed linebacker Damien Wilson, the club announced on Friday. The former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker started spent the last two seasons with the AFC team and started all 16 games in 2019, during the Chiefs Super Bowl season. He started 13 games this past season as well, missing three due to a knee injury.
Wilson, 6-0, 243, played his first four seasons (2015-18) with Dallas, where he was selected in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
"His career totals include 93 games played (51 starts), 249 tackles, 4.0 sacks and three forced fumbles. In 2020, Wilson recorded 70 tackles in 13 games (all starts) with the Chiefs," the Jaguars said in a release.
"Wilson started all 16 games for the first time in his career in 2019 and totaled a career-high 81 tackles (52 solo) and one forced fumble. He recorded 19 tackles in three postseason games in 2019, including four tackles in the Chiefs victory in Super Bowl LIV.”
Wilson became a free agent after his two-year deal with the Chiefs expired. According to the wire, the Jaguars brought him in for a visit on Thursday.
The Jaguars made plenty of moves when free agency opened, but had not addressed the linebacker corps hard yet. Middle linebacker Joe Schobert and weak side linebacker Myles Jack bring back starting experience and consistency in their areas, but the team’s only real experienced SAM linebacker was Leon Jacobs, who missed 13 games last year with an ACL injury. Based on his role with the Chiefs, it’s presumed Wilson will help fill that role.
A Minnesota alum, Wilson was signed to the Chiefs as the team began to shift to a 4-3 defense and played the SAM (strong side) linebacker role. He’s capable of playing all over though, according to Chiefs’ Head Coach Andy Reid.
“He’s done a nice job; real smart and loves to play. He knows all three of the (linebacker) positions if he has to play in there. You’ve seen him go from the SAM to the WILL, and he has good coverage ability,” Reid explained to Kansas City media back in 2019. “He’s big and strong, so matchups become important there.”