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Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Jaguars bring back Meester and Shipley

By Paul Kuharsky

There is a certain sentiment connected to Brad Meester in Jacksonville, and there should be.

He’s been part of the Jaguars since 2000, and no one else dates back further than 2004.

Meester holds franchise records for games played (193) and started (193) and is the only player to play to 13 seasons with the club. He enters the 2013 season with a streak of 74 consecutive starts and is the only Jaguars player to start the first 92 regular season games after being drafted.

The Jaguars announced today they re-signed the free agent to a one-year deal, presumably his last year.

He’s hardly a top lineman any more. But with the degree of turnover that’s to come on the Jaguars’ roster, it’s a good thing they’ll have a long-time veteran on the line to lead the way for the guys who play in the trenches, as well as guys who play far from the center.

Meester is smart and knows all the tricks. But he lacks major strength and can be pushed around in the run game. Perhaps he’ll fare a bit better as the team turns more towards a zone-blocking scheme that counts more on lateral movement than forward push, and relies less on size and power.

The Jaguars also signed receiver Jordan Shipley.

I was a bit surprised when the team decided not to tender Shipley as a restricted free agent. Now they have him back under a two-year deal, and I suspect the cost for this season is closer to the fourth-year minimum of $715,000 than the bottom tender or $1.323 million.

After Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts, the Jaguars are lacking at receiver. Shipley should have a real chance to help.