Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jags May Look for WR

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jags May Look for WR

Article excerpt

Byline: Vito Stellino, Times-Union sports writer

The Jaguars wrapped up their first of four passing camps yesterday and started to turn their attention to the June 1 free-agent market.

James Harris, the vice president of player personnel, said the team has already compiled a list of players at each position who may be salary cap victims on or after June 1.

Finding a veteran wide receiver is likely to be the team's top goal.

"We're going to look at that area," Harris said.

Harris isn't tipping his hand, but it'll be no surprise if J.J. Stokes of the San Francisco 49ers is at the top of the list.

It's just a coincidence that their new wide receiver coach, Larry Kirksey, coached Stokes in San Francisco from 1995 to 1999.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported yesterday that it was likely Stokes would "land in Jacksonville to reunite with former 49ers receiver coach Larry Kirksey."

Even though Stokes, 30, never lived up to the billing he had when the 49ers traded up to take him with the 10th pick in the 1995 draft, Kirksey had a positive evaluation of him yesterday.

"I haven't seen him in a couple of years, but he had a great work ethic. He was a solid individual," Kirksey said.

Stokes has a base salary of $2.25 million this year and $5 million next year and since he lost the No. 2 job behind Terrell Owens to Tai Streets last year, the 49ers are ready to cut him.

The 49ers gave him permission to seek a trade in April, but there were no takers at his current salary so he'll likely have to take a paycut.

Stokes, who had 32 catches last year, has 327 career receptions for 4,139 yards and 30 touchdowns, but has been inconsistent and has had some injury problems. He's not a speed burner, but Kirksey said he's a big target (6-3, 226).

Jimmy Smith is the No. 1 receiver and Kevin Lockett is the only other receiver who has much experience, but the young players, including Jimmy Redmond, Micah Ross, Henry Douglas and kick returner Jermaine Lewis are getting a long look. …

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