JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed a five-year deal with former Cleveland Browns free safety Tashaun Gipson, the team announced Thursday. A league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan the deal is worth $35.5 million.
Gipson is the fourth significant player to depart the Browns. Center Alex Mack (Atlanta), receiver Travis Benjamin (San Diego) and offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz (Kansas City) agreed to deals with new teams on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Gipson was asked about the exodus of Browns players. He paused for a few seconds.
"The pause tells you everything," Gibson told reporters. "No, I think, I won't sit here and say that - I couldn't tell you. I'll be the last guy to sit here and bash the city of Cleveland. It's honestly just as confusing to me as it is to the fans and the city of Cleveland. To everybody that's on the outside looking in, how do you lose two Pro Bowlers and an up and coming right tackle and one of the best returners, as well as an up and coming receiver, in one free agency class? I don't know. But, for me, it's not my job to know.
"I know that when an opportunity came, Cleveland, they made their choice and we had to move on from it. ... "
Free safety was one the Jaguars' major needs, along with pass-rusher. Gipson, 25, gives them a player they trust to play single-high coverage and will allow them to use Johnathan Cyprien strictly as a box safety.
Gipson was a Pro Bowl selection in 2014, but he was slowed in 2015 by a hamstring injury before the season and an ankle injury during it.
He had been showing steady improvement before 2015, but he missed a portion of OTAs in search of a long-term contract. He also was not pleased that the team gave him a second-round tender as opposed to a first-round tender. When the team and Gipson could not agree to a deal, he reported and said he would play out the season and then test free agency.
Since 2013, when he became a full-time starter, Gipson has 13 interceptions, tied for fourth in the league. He finished tied for second in the league in interceptions in 2014 despite missing five games with a knee injury.
Gipson also was the first Browns undrafted defensive player to make the Pro Bowl since 1991.
ESPN Jaguars reporter Michael DiRocco and Browns reporter Pat McManamon contributed to this report.