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Jaguars, former Bills C Morse agree to two-year, $10.5M contract before free agency

Mitch Morse Buffalo Bills Mitch Morse - The Canadian Press

The Jacksonville Jaguars and free agent center Mitch Morse have agreed to a two-year, $10.5 million contract that includes $7 million guaranteed, a person familiar with negotiations told The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Monday because neither side announced the deal.

Morse, who turns 32 next month, was cut by Buffalo in a salary cap-savings move last week after five seasons. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2022. Morse has started 126 games over nine seasons, including the first four in Kansas City.

Because he was released, Morse didn't have to wait for free agency to find a new home. He visited Jacksonville over the weekend, and Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke didn't let him leave without an offer.

Morse is expected to provide an immediate upgrade over third-year pro Luke Fortner, a 2022 third-round draft pick out of Kentucky who struggled against the NFL's bigger and more powerful nose tackles.

Adding Morse gives the Jaguars their presumable starting offensive line before free agency and the NFL draft: Left tackle Cam Robinson is entering the final year of his contract, left guard Ezra Cleveland signed a three-year, $28.5 million deal last week before free agency, right guard Brandon Scherff restructured his contract to significantly reduce his cap hit and the Jags drafted right tackle Anton Harrison in the first round in 2023.

Jacksonville also traded a sixth-round pick in next month's draft for New England quarterback Mac Jones. Jones, the 15th overall selection in 2021, will compete with C.J. Beathard to be Jacksonville's backup behind Trevor Lawrence.

The Jaguars now enter free agency with few holes to fill on offense. Assuming receiver Calvin Ridley signs elsewhere, replacing him would be the team's top target.