Winborn traded to the Jags
The San Francisco ***** on Thursday agreed to a trade that will send former starting linebacker Jamie Winborn, estranged from the team for the past week, to the Jacksonville Jaguars, ESPN.com confirmed.
The deal is contingent upon Winborn, 26, passing a physical examination. The fifth-year veteran arrived in Jacksonville late Thursday night and the physical will be administered on Friday morning. Terms of the trade were not yet available, but it is believed the ***** will receive a 2006 draft choice.
"It's exciting," Winborn said when reached on his cell phone. "It's a new start for me."
If the trade is completed -- and, while Winborn has suffered injury problems in the past, he is expected to pass the examination -- it will end a strange chapter in the career of the former Vanderbilt star.
Winborn has suffered a series of injuries that slowed his advancement at times. The most serious was a neck injury in 2003. There have also been knee and shoulder injuries. It is likely that the neck injury will receive the most scrutiny from Jacksonville team doctors.
San Francisco first-year head coach Mike Nolan last week told Winborn to clean out his locker and leave the team, and then announced that the ***** would attempt to trade him. The decision came after Winborn, who started the first two games of the season, was demoted in favor of Andre Carter, a one-time first-round defensive end who was moved to linebacker in Nolan's new 3-4 alignment.
Nolan acknowledged that, while Winborn told him he did not feel he was a backup, there was no verbal confrontation. Neither did Winborn, both Nolan and the player said, ask to be traded. Apparently the decision to deal Winborn was made by Nolan because he felt it would be in the best interest of both parties.
Late last week, Nolan said there were four teams that had indicated interest in a trade but Jacksonville, at least at the time, was not believed to be one of those franchises. One of the teams that pursued a deal is Seattle, and it is believed that New Orleans also showed some interest.
A second-round choice in the 2001 draft, Winborn has appeared in 43 games, mostly as a weakside linebacker in a 4-3 defense. He has 258 tackles, 8½ sacks, three interceptions, four forced fumbles, three recoveries and 16 passes defensed. A versatile defender, he had his best season in 2004, registering 104 tackles and 4½ sacks. In his three games in 2005, Winborn had 13 tackles.
While it is believed that some adjustments were made to his contract to accommodate the trade, Winborn, who was paid by the ***** even during his absence from the team, will earn the full $1.75 million he is due for this season. Under terms of the contract, Winborn is signed through 2009, at base salaries of $3 million for each of the next four years.
That is only a formality, though, since Winborn has already reached performance levels that allow him to void the final four years of the contract and to become an unrestricted free agent next spring.