Another former member of the K.C. Chiefs has finally found a new home with the news that the Jacksonville Jaguars have signed linebacker Damien Wilson, who has been a starter for the Chiefs base defense in each of the last two seasons. He signed after taking a visit with the team earlier this week.
As the announcement above notes, Damien Wilson brings tremendous postseason experience to a team that has been about as far from making any playoff push as possible over the last few years. With the top pick in this year’s draft, the Jaguars are hoping to finally turn the corner under a new regime led by college football legend Urban Meyer and the likely selection of quarterback Trevor Lawrence in the driver’s seat on offense.
When it comes to the Jaguars defense, Wilson will bring a very willing and able tackler to the linebacker mix, a savvy veteran who provides a predictable floor and a reliable performer overall. He’s been a solid run-stopper and tackler for the Chiefs as an off-ball LB ever since he first signed in free agency before the 2019 season. With the Chiefs, he made two consecutive trips to the Super Bowl including bringing home the first championship in 50 seasons to Kansas City.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed linebacker Damien Wilson.
As for the Chiefs, they decided to move on from Wilson with the selection of Willie Gay, Jr. in the 2020 NFL Draft’s second round last spring. Gay needed considerable time to adjust to the pro level so it made sense for Wilson to stay on board in such a heavy role. Gay needed some reps to open for him in his second season, however, and that meant allowing Wilson to leave in free agency to allow for Anthony Hitchens and Gay to grow together as a starting duo. The team also re-signed Ben NIemann this spring to keep the unit largely intact. That still shouldn’t stop the Chiefs from likely drafting another developmental player if the value is right in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft.
Wilson began his NFL career as a fourth round pick of the Dallas Cowboys back in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Minnesota. From there, he would go on to play four seasons in Dallas as a valuable rotational linebacker on a unit that often suffered from unfortunately injuries (e.g. Sean Lee). Wilson has 51 starts and 93 games of total experience to bring to the Jags defense in 2021.