Jaguars re-sign Jason Babin

Updated: March 13, 2014, 6:37 PM ET
By Michael DiRocco | ESPN.com

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars re-signed defensive end Jason Babin to a three-year deal Thursday, just two days after he voided the final two years of his previous contract with the team and became a free agent.

Babin led the Jaguars with 7.5 sacks last season and has 62.5 in his career. He said he wanted to remain in Jacksonville.

"This was my first choice all along," Babin said. "During free agency there's always conversations and talks and other things with other teams, but ultimately this is where I wanted to finish my career out."

Babin was the third player the Jaguars signed on Thursday. The team also signed defensive ends Chris Clemons and Ziggy Hood to four-year contracts.

Clemons played for Jaguars coach Gus Bradley during Bradley's tenure as Seattle's defensive coordinator. The Jaguars signed former Seahawks defensive end Red Bryant last Saturday.

Hood, the Pittsburgh Steelers' first-round draft pick in 2009, gets a new start after never quite fitting into the team's 3-4 defense. Hood proved to be durable -- he has never missed an NFL game -- and at times productive in five seasons with the Steelers, but the team will look at other options opposite the emerging Cameron Heyward at right defensive end.

The question Hood will have to answer is whether he can be more than serviceable after the Steelers converted him from a gap-shooting defensive tackle in college to a hold-the-point-of-attack end. Hood was one of the strongest players on the team, but the 6-foot-3, 300-pounder never developed into the kind of force the Steelers envisioned when they drafted him as a successor to Aaron Smith.

Hood had a career-high 40 tackles in 2013 and also tied his career high with three sacks. But the former Missouri standout also lost his starting job at left defensive end to Heyward after the fourth game of the season. Hood started four games after that and played extensively at right defensive end due to a nagging foot injury that hampered Brett Keisel.

He started 43 of 80 career games with the Steelers and recorded 113 tackles and 11.5 sacks.

Clemons' release by the Seahawks had been expected for weeks. The 32-year-old suffered a torn ACL during the 2012 playoffs but returned to play in 14 games last season. However, he was clearly still affected by the injury. He had just 4.5 sacks last season after compiling 33.5 in the previous three seasons.

He has 58 sacks and 13 forced fumbles in his nine-year career with Washington, Oakland and Seattle. He bolsters a Jaguars pass rush that has totaled just 51 sacks the past two seasons, including 20 in 2012.

ESPN.com Steelers reporter Scott Brown contributed to this report.

Mike DiRocco | email

ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter

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