JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -The Jacksonville Jaguars released veteran safety Donovin Darius on Thursday in a move that signaled the team's desire to go with younger and faster defenders.
Darius, who turns 32 in August, has been a mainstay in the Jaguars secondary since he was the club's first-round pick in the 1998 draft.
The past two years he's had season-ending injuries. He missed 14 games because of a torn ACL in 2005. Then he started 10 games a year ago before breaking his leg on Nov. 20 against the New York Giants.
``Donovin has been a class guy both on and off the field,'' Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. ``He's been a ferocious safety known for big hits affecting people that want to try to come over the middle. He's a good young man that has done a lot of good things in the community and has been a positive influence in our locker room.''
The Jaguars took Florida safety Reggie Nelson with their first-round pick in this year's draft and also selected Wake Forest safety Josh Gattis in the fifth round.
``We'll miss Donovin's leadership both on and off the field,'' cornerback Rashean Mathis said. ``Personally, I'll miss someone who's become a very good and close friend.''
Donovin finished his career in Jacksonville with 858 tackles, 14 interceptions, seven forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and two sacks. He surpassed 100 tackles in a season six times and led the secondary in tackles in his first seven seasons with the Jaguars.

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