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Jaguars, Dennard part ways after agreeing to 3-year contract

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook (12) is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals defensive back Darqueze Dennard (21) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook (12) is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals defensive back Darqueze Dennard (21) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars and cornerback Darqueze Dennard have parted ways nine days after agreeing to a three-year, $13.5 million contract in free agency.

The Jaguars said Thursday “the two sides could not come to an agreement on the final contract terms."

Dennard agreed to the deal March 17, the night before the official start of the new league year. The contract included $6 million guaranteed.

But it never got signed, and the Jaguars decided to move in a different direction. They agreed to terms Tuesday with journeyman cornerback Rashaan Melvin on a one-year contract worth $2.25 million.

Dennard had been one of six defensive players to agree to join Jacksonville in free agency. The list also included linebacker Joe Schobert, defensive lineman Rodney Gunter, linebacker/pass-rusher Cassius Marsh and defensive tackle Al Woods.

The Jaguars are hoping to make more significant, long-term additions to their depleted roster with 12 picks in next month's NFL draft.

Still, they signed Dennard to be a projected starter. He served mostly as a nickel cornerback during his six years in Cincinnati, but was expected to play outside in Jacksonville. The Jaguars need to replace cornerback A.J. Bouye, who was traded to Denver earlier this month for a fourth-round draft pick.

Jacksonville also traded three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey early last season and lost veteran Josh Robinson to retirement later in the year.

Now, they have Melvin, returning starter Tre Herndon and Parry Nickerson as options. They likely will need to draft a cornerback next month.

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