Aaron Ross, who started in two Super Bowl victories with the New York Giants, made a giant leap late Monday.
The free agent cornerback reached a three-year deal with Jacksonville, a contract worth a reported $15.3 million, multiple media outlets reported.
Ross leaves the world champion Giants after playing key roles in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI. Ross visited Cincinnati and Washington last week before he picked Jacksonville.
Ross recorded three tackles in New York’s Super Bowl victory over New England last month.
New York drafted Ross in the first round with the 20th overall pick in the 2007, with his initial five-year deal worth $8 million in guaranteed money, not counting incentives. He started most of his first two seasons before injuries interrupted the middle two seasons of his tenure with the Giants, when he missed 13 games and logged two starts. Ross reclaimed his starting role last season after a preseason injury to Terrell Thomas.
In five seasons in New York, Ross charted 200 tackles and 10 interceptions in 65 games (41 starts). Ross returned 20 punts for an average of 6.8 yards over the last two seasons.
The cornerback position became crowded in New York recently, with mainstays such as Thomas, Corey Webster plus Prince Amukamara, the team’s first round pick a year ago.
The 29-year old brings a winning résumé to the Jaguars, with three titles over the previous six years, along with versatility. Ross lined up at cornerback, safety and returned punts for the Giants.
Ross, listed at 6-0, 190, intercepted a career-high four interceptions in 2011, tying him for 12th in the league. Ross registered 16 pass breakups.
Jacksonville ranked eighth in the NFL in passing defense (208.8) last year. The Jaguars were one of eight teams, along with the Giants, not to return an interception for a TD. Ross returned interceptions for TDs in his first and second seasons.
A native of San Antonio, Ross graduated from John Tyler and played four years at Texas. Ross won a national championship in 2005 at Texas and followed up the next year with the Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s top defensive back.
In high school, Ross played running back, receiver, in the secondary and returned punts. He helped JT reach the 2000 state championship game as a senior.
In 2010, Ross married sprinter Sanya Richards, an Olympic gold medalist.