Jags get young safety for Northcutt

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

I think Jaguars GM Gene Smith deserves applause on this one.

Earlier this week it came out that Jacksonville was looking to move veteran receiver Dennis Northcutt. ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton is reporting that the Jags have made a deal, getting safety Gerald Alexander from Detroit in exchange for Northcutt.

Alexander played five games last year before a neck injury put him on the shelf. But he was a second-round pick out of Boise State just two years ago, started 16 games as a rookie and turns 25 on Sunday. Northcutt is 31.

Northcutt can be a help to the Lions as they look to get Matthew Stafford going. And Alexander adds depth to a position where the Jaguars need it -- Reggie Nelson's play dropped off in his second year and the strong safety spot doesn't have an incumbent.

Newcomer Sean Considine and swingman Brian Williams could play there, but the team may be better with Williams as its second corner.

A healthy Alexander can bring additional competition to the group and seems a reasonable exchange for Northcutt, provided the Jaguars have what they think at receiver with Torry Holt, Mike Walker, Troy Williamson and three draft picks.

According to Clayton, Alexander is due base salaries of $460,000 this season and $550,000 in 2010.