Jaguars sign veteran special teams player Josh McNary

The Jaguars continued to add special teams contributors Thursday by signing veteran linebacker Josh McNary.

 

McNary, who turns 29 next month, played 346 snaps and had nine tackles on special teams for the Indianapolis Colts last year.

McNary signed his contract during a visit to EverBank Field, but two players who were at Jaguars’ offices Monday signed elsewhere. Running back Latavius Murray signed with the Minnesota Vikings (to replace Adrian Peterson) and nose tackle Dontari Poe signed with the Atlanta Falcons.

Murray signed a three-year contract worth a reported $15 million.

Poe likely represented the Jaguars’ last big swing in free agency — there simply aren’t many starter-type players left on the market save for New York Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins. Poe signed a one-year deal worth a reported $8 million with the Falcons.

The McNary signing represents the Jaguars’ commitment to special teams. So this off-season, the Jaguars have signed McNary, Audie Cole and Lerentee McCray, re-signed Arrelious Benn and Bryan Waters and tendered Peyton Thompson, all experienced special teams players.

McNary played 49 games in four years for Indianapolis, totaling 60 tackles on defense and 17 tackles on special teams.

McNary is the ninth new player added by the Jaguars since the free-agent signing period began March 9.

Raised in a military family, McNary attended Army and left as the program’s career-record holder in sacks (28) and tackles for lost yardage (49).

McNary began his post-college football life at Fort Hood in Texas, required to serve a five-year military commitment. But encouraged to give football a shot, McNary participated in the NFL Super Combine and caught the eye of Colts general manager Ryan Grigson in April 2013. McNary was honorably discharged from the Army upon signing with the Colts.

McNary started his rookie season on the Colts’ practice squad before getting called up to the active roster and playing in five regular season games and two playoff games.

By 2014, McNary was a special teams core player, but in January 2015, he was charged with rape, criminal confinement and battery by a woman for an incident a month before. McNary was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list and did not play in the Colts’ AFC championship game loss to New England.

McNary was found not guilty of the charges in September 2015 and re-joined the Colts.

Last year, McNary started three games and played 179 defensive snaps.

 

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