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 JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -The Jacksonville Jaguars released veteran safety Donovin Darius on Thursday.
The 31-year-old Darius has been a defensive mainstay for the Jaguars since they selected him in the first round of the 1998 draft, missing only nine games during his first seven seasons.
But the last two years have been injury-plagued. In 2005, he missed 14 games because of a torn knee ligament in 2005. He then missed the final six games last year after breaking a leg, which required surgery. At the time, his 60 tackles were second on the team.
``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.''
The Jaguars, making a shift to younger and faster defenders, 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.
Gerald Sensibaugh started the last two games of the 2005 season and replaced Darius in the lineup after his injury last season.
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.
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