Jags trade Stroud to Bills for picks

by Jay Glazer

Jay Glazer is a Senior NFL Writer for FOXSports.com on MSN and also appears every week on FOX NFL Sunday as the network's NFL Insider.

Updated: March 1, 2008, 9:03 PM EST 33 comments

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The Jacksonville Jaguars have traded defensive tackle Marcus Stroud to Buffalo for third- and fifth-round draft picks, FOXSports.com has learned.

Stroud fetched what has become the going trade value for defensive tackles this off-season. Carolina secured that compensation Friday from the New York Jets for Kris Jenkins, while Cincinnati was set to acquire Detroit's Shaun Rogers for the same picks. That trade, though, is at risk of being nullified because of contractual issues. Detroit has reportedly finalized another trade to deal Rogers to Cleveland for a third-round pick and cornerback Leigh Bodden.

Stroud, who FOXSports.com first reported was meeting with Buffalo, carried the highest salary cap number ($6.4 million) on Jacksonville's roster. After two seasons marred by injuries and a four-game steroid suspension, the Jaguars clearly felt Stroud was no longer worth the cash.

"That's all last year, it's already in the past," Stroud said. "I want to show the guys I've got a lot left in the tank."

The Bills believe Stroud is right and he'll help fortify the team's 25th-ranked run defense. A starting spot opened up Friday when Buffalo released Larry Triplett.

"It helps us out tremendously," Bills defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said Saturday. "He's a guy that will take on two people on offense, so you definitely have to game-plan against him."

Stroud, 29, has reached three Pro Bowls (2003 to 2005) in his seven-year NFL career.

The move was completed after the Bills began revamping their defense on Friday, the first day of NFL free agency. That's when Buffalo signed linebacker Kawika Mitchell to a five-year deal and released veteran defensive tackle Larry Tripplett.

In another move Saturday, the Bills signed former Minnesota defensive tackle Spencer Johnson to a five-year contract.

"It's certainly been an exhilarating 36 hours," Bills chief operating officer Russ Brandon said, introducing both Stroud and Spencer at a press conference. "We're certainly excited about what's transpired. ... We feel this is a significant day in Buffalo Bills history."

The Bills are coming off their second consecutive 7-9 season and have missed the playoffs for eight straight years — the longest drought in franchise history.

Stroud is scheduled to make $16.5 million in base salary over the final three years of his contract. He had the Jaguars' permission to seek a trade and arrived in Buffalo on Friday to meet with team executives and take a physical.

It's not clear whether Stroud's contract will be restructured as part of the deal.

Jacksonville's 2001 first-round draft pick out of Georgia, Stroud played an integral role in helping the Jaguars defense become one of the stingiest - especially against the run - over the past few years. Stroud had three sacks last season and 22 overall in 100 games.

Johnson's signing was overshadowed by Stroud's arrival.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 286 pounds, Johnson has spent the past four seasons with the Vikings. He played in all 16 games this past season, finishing with 24 tackles and three sacks. In 49 career NFL games, Johnson has 108 tackles and four sacks.

"Adding Kawika and Marcus and Spencer, it fills some spots that were critical for us to fill," coach Dick Jauron said. "We're excited about the whole thing."

The Bills might not be done adding players, yet.

Free-agent receiver Bryant Johnson and tight end Ben Troupe are both scheduled to visit with the Bills on Sunday, according to their agent, Joel Segal.

Buffalo is looking to upgrade both positions, and the 6-foot-3 Johnson is regarded as the type of tall and fast receiver the Bills hope to land to take pressure off Lee Evans.

Troupe played sparingly for Tennessee in 2007, catching only five balls for 47 yards. He had a career-high 55 receptions in 2005 for the Titans.

The Bills have just one veteran tight end, Robert Royal, on their roster.

FOXSports.com's Alex Marvez and the Associated Press contributed to this story.



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