The Jaguars announced the release of three veteran players Thursday — WR Torry Holt, OT Tra Thomas and DT Rob Meier. The moves did not come as a surprise, as all three players were notified last week they would be released.
Holt and Thomas both signed three-year deals with the Jaguars prior to last season, while Meier has spent his entire career in Jacksonville.
The release of these veterans symbolizes a continued commitment to youth for the rebuilding Jaguars.
"I think we've laid a good foundation and we just need to continue to build," said GM Gene Smith. "We feel a lot better about our roster heading into the 2010 season. The silver lining to our young players playing so much last season is the experience they gained."
Jacksonville felt comfortable releasing the veterans despite the value they still possess in part because of the major contributions from several rookies in 2009. The team's first two picks, OTs Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton, started 13 and 15 games, respectively. Third-round DT Terrance Knighton led all rookie defensive linemen in tackles on his way to earning All-Rookie honors. Fifth-round WR Mike Thomas showed great explosiveness as a slot receiver and quickly proved to be one of David Garrard's favorite targets.
Holt was the team's third-leading receiver last season with 51 receptions. His 722 receiving yards was second on the Jaguars.
Thomas started three games and made appearances in five others with the Jaguars in 2009.
Meier was a seventh-round draft choice by Jacksonville in 2000. He spent the '09 season on injured reserve.