Jaguars revamp secondary by parting ways with Gerald Alexander, Scott Starks and Reggie Nelson

The Jacksonville Jaguars are making a last-ditch effort to revamp their struggling secondary.

The Jaguars cut safety Gerald Alexander on Saturday and traded safety Reggie Nelson to the Cincinnati Bengals. Jacksonville received cornerback David Jones and a conditional draft pick in return for the former first-round draft pick.

The team also cut nickel back Scott Starks, meaning Jones could get playing time in next Sunday's season opener against Denver.

Alexander and Starks were among 21 players cut. The list included 12 veterans, most notably receiver Troy Williamson and tight end Ernest Wilford. The team also placed linebacker Kyle Bosworth on injured reserve.

Other veterans cut: linebacker Alvin Bowen, defensive tackle Atiyyah Ellison, guard Kynan Forney, linebacker Tony Gilbert, linebacker Teddy Lehman, defensive lineman Jeremy Navarre, running back Kolby Smith and linebacker Rod Wilson.

Three first-year players — defensive tackle Walter Curry and receivers Clarence Denmark and John Matthews — were waived. Six rookies — offensive tackle Daniel Baldridge, tight end Mike Caussin, quarterback Trevor Harris, running back Chad Kackert, defensive tackle Ko Quaye and center Bradley Vierling — also failed to make the 53-man roster.

Three undrafted rookies — linebacker Jacob Cutrera, offensive tackle Kevin Haslam and defensive end Aaron Morgan — made the team. The Jaguars also kept fullbacks Greg Jones, Montell Owens and Brock Bolen.

Jacksonville will sign some of the waived players to the eight-man practice squad Sunday.

Alexander and Starks are not eligible for the practice squad. Alexander started 10 games last season and had been penciled in to start this season, but he struggled in the preseason and was benched in favor of Nelson.

Nelson wasn't much better, playing well in some games and missing tackles in others. Coach Jack Del Rio said last week that tackling needed to improve in the secondary.

Without Alexander and Nelson, Jacksonville is left with Anthony Smith, Sean Considine, Tyron Brackenridge and Courtney Greene at safety.