Wiggins signs with Jags, to be reunited with Tice
Unrestricted free-agent tight end Jermaine Wiggins, who flourished as a receiver under Mike Tice in Minnesota, will have the chance to play again for his former coach.
Cut loose earlier in the offseason by the Vikings, where he asked to be released because he felt he was a poor fit in the offense designed by coach Brad Childress, Wiggins signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The deal reunites him with Tice, now the Jaguars' assistant head coach for offense.
Wiggins played in the Super Bowl for the Patriots in 2001 and Carolina in 2003.
"He'll be a good fit for the Jaguars," said his agent, Ashanti Webb.
Wiggins, 32, basically replaces veteran tight end Kyle Brady, who signed with New England as an unrestricted free agent earlier this month, on the Jacksonville roster. He joins veteran George Wrighster and youngster Marcedes Lewis, the team's first-round pick in 2006.
Given that Tice is familiar with Wiggins' strengths, the veteran tight end should move into a fairly prominent role as a receiver in Jacksonville, and provide a solid middle-range target for quarterback Byron Leftwich. Wiggins has never been regarded as an effective blocker, although he is a willing one, but runs precise routes and has very good hands.
The former University of Georgia standout, who originally entered the NFL as an undrafted college free agent, caught a career-best 71 passes in 2004, then followed up that performance with 69 receptions in 2005. But when Tice was fired after the '05 campaign, and Childress replaced him, the Minnesota offense changed, and so did Wiggins' role in it.
In 2006, Wiggins posted just 46 receptions. At the end of the season, convinced that he would not be a viable factor in the offense, the seven-year veteran requested his release and it was granted.
For his career, Wiggins has 236 receptions for 2,141 yards and 14 touchdowns. In stints with New England (2000-2001), Carolina (2002-2003) and Minnesota (2004-2006), he has played in 107 games and started in 44 of them.
McCadam was a fifth-round pick in the 2002 NFL draft by Atlanta, out of Virginia Tech. He played in all 16 games for the Panthers in 2006 and ranked second on the team with 18 special teams tackles.
McCadam has played 71 career games, starting six. He has 46 career special teams tackles along with 42 tackles, including 30 solo, one sack and a fumble recovery on defense.
Gilbert played in all 16 games for the Jaguars last season for a third consecutive year. The 239-pound linebacker led the team for 16 special teams tackles and added 16 tackles, including 12 solo, one sack and one quarterback pressure on defense.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- Browns coach not ready to pick starting QB
- Vikings settle, to donate to gay rights groups
- Former Titan Shaw announces ALS diagnosis
- Steelers sign Gilbert to new 6-year contract