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Updated: January 20, 2004, 12:40 PM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | ESPN Insider
Johnson
Johnson
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Despite throwing a career-high 26 touchdown passes last year, QB Brad Johnson's job is in jeopardy. That's because he also threw a career-high 21 interceptions. A top Bucs official told the Tampa Tribune Monday that the team is discussing staging an open competition for the starting quarterback's job, and several sources have suggested Johnson's top rival could be QBs Mark Brunell or Rich Gannon. "Obviously, those guys have to become available," one source said," but everybody around the league thinks they will be." However, both Brunell and Gannon would prefer to go to a team that would anoint them the starter without having to be a part of a training camp battle.

Jacksonville Jaguars: S Donovin Darius is a free agent but the team would like to bring him back. Darius wants a rather large contract and if they have trouble agreeing to a long-term deal the Jags could designate him as their 'franchise' player for a second consecutive year. Such a move would guarantee Darius a one-year deal worth at least $3 million. The team has until Feb. 24 to designate Darius again. "We want to keep him," VP of player personnel James Harris said. "It's just a matter of how we go about it."

New York Jets: Coach Herm Edwards isn't a Carolina Panthers fan but he's certainly glad they eliminated the Philadelphia Eagles from the postseason. With the Eagles no longer in the playoffs the Jets can now interview Eagles linebackers coach, Ron Rivera, for their vacant defensive coordinator position. According to the New York Times a meeting will take place within the next few days. Edwards, who is in Mobile, Ala., for the Senior Bowl, said last week he wanted to name his new defensive coordinator by the end of this week. The Times also reports that the club will probably offer the defensive backs coaching job to former Giants defensive coordinator Johnnie Lynn.

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