Jacksonville Jaguars Rumors & News

Jaguars Place Marquez Williams On PUP List

  • The Jaguars sent fullback Marquez Williams to the PUP list, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (Twitter link). Williams, out of Miami (Ohio), went to Jacksonville in the seventh round of this year’s draft.

Dolphins Audition DT Roy Miller

The Dolphins recently worked out free agent defensive tackle Roy Miller, according to Mike Kaye of First Coast News (on Twitter). Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (Twitter link) confirms the news, adding that the workout took place on Tuesday. Roy Miller (vertical)

Miller is still recovering from Achilles surgery, Salguero says, and he left Miami without a contract. It’s not immediately clear whether the Dolphins are still thinking about adding him to the 90-man roster.

Back in June, Miller indicated that he was starting to get bites from teams.

There’s a few teams that have shown some interest here and there,” Miller said. “I believe my agent has a few – there’s a couple of trips I have to take – this month. It was always [the plan] to kind of wait until mid-July, so I can go out there with enough time to heal and time to get back in shape and then go out there and compete.”

From the sound of it, Miller might not be as far along in his recovery as he anticipated. His best bet might be to wait a couple more weeks before auditioning for other clubs.

Miller, 30, made 50 starts for the Jags from 2013 through 2016. After an injury-shortened season, the Jaguars didn’t show much interest in retaining him. Still, Miller offers lots of experience and he’s not far removed from a productive 2015 season in which he had 4.0 sacks and 40 total tackles.

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Latest On Jaguars’ Dante Fowler

Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler is facing misdemeanor charges of simple battery and mischief as a result of a Tuesday arrest, but that wasn’t his first run-in with the law during his two-year NFL career. In fact, Fowler has committed 10 traffic violations since December 2015, reports Mike Kaye of First Coast News (Twitter links). What’s more, Fowler was arrested in Miami Beach in March 2016 and charged with misdemeanor counts of assaulting a police offer and resisting arrest without violence, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.

Dante Fowler (vertical)

The arrest report states that Fowler hindered police from trying to break up a crowd in front a bar, as Auman details. Fowler “ignored verbal requests to move off the road,” writes Auman, and, when an officer put his arm on Fowler’s, the Jaguar said “Get the [expletive] off me” and swung his arm backward “in an obvious attempt to strike” the officer, the report indicates. “Numerous officers” then had to escort Fowler out. Despite that, the misdemeanor charges against him were dropped in December 2016, after he completed a pretrial intervention program for first-time offenders.

Now that Fowler has multiple off-field blemishes on his resume, it could lead to a harsher punishment from the NFL. Even if the authorities let Fowler off relatively scot-free for his latest arrest, the league may hand the 22-year-old a suspension. That would temporarily deprive the Jaguars a defensive starter and represent another setback in the career of Fowler, the 2015 third overall pick who missed his rookie season with a torn ACL and was involved in an unbecoming incident last year in which he was caught on video watching a fight between his girlfriend and ex-girlfriend. The league was aware of it, calling the images “disturbing,” but it didn’t punish Fowler.

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Jaguars To Host Gary Barnidge On Visit

Gary Barnidge could finally be getting closer to finding work for 2017. The Jaguars are bringing the former Pro Bowl tight end in for a Tuesday workout and visit, a league source tells Mike Kaye of First Coast News (on Twitter). Gary Barnidge (vertical)

[RELATED: Jaguars Are One Of Eight Fits For Barnidge]

This offseason, the Jags parted ways with tight end Julius Thomas and their only significant addition at the position has been former Raider Mychal Rivera. When considering that Rivera hasn’t topped 300 receiving yards since 2014 and that Marcedes Lewis hasn’t been setting the world on fire in recent years, Barnidge could make a lot of sense for Jacksonville. This season will be a critical year in the evaluation of quarterback Blake Bortles, and he’ll need a big reliable target if he hopes to establish himself as the answer going forward.

In 16 games last season, the tight end hauled in 55 receptions for 612 yards and two touchdowns. That wasn’t a great stat line, but he’s only two years removed from his breakout 2015 effort. In that campaign, the 6’5″ tight end had 79 receptions, 1,043 receiving yards, and nine touchdowns.

 

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Jaguars DE Dante Fowler Arrested

Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler was arrested in St. Petersburg on Tuesday night, as Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times writes. He is now facing misdemeanor charges of simple battery and mischief. Dante Fowler (vertical)

According to police records obtained by Matthew Head of First Coast News (Twitter link), cops say that Fowler got out of his car and got into a verbal exchange with a man who commented on his driving. When they came face to face, the defensive end allegedly hit the man, knocked off his glasses, and stepped on them. He then proceeded to take the victim’s grocery bag and throw it in a nearby lake.

The victim was not injured and Fowler was arrested without incident. The 22-year-old is currently free after posting a small bond early Wednesday morning.

Fowler, a first-round pick out of Florida in 2015, missed his entire rookie season due to injury. When he debuted in 2016, he recorded 32 tackles and four sacks. Fowler made just one start last season, but this year he projects as a starting bookend opposite of Calais Campbell. If he misses time as a result of this incident, it will be a serious blow to the Jaguars.

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Minor NFL Transactions: 7/17/17

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Falcons have placed offensive lineman Trevor Robinson on the reserve/retired list, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). An undrafted free agent in 2012, Robinson has bounced around between the Bengals, Chargers, and Falcons during his NFL tenure. In 2015, he was a full-time starter with the Bolts, but could only land a reserve/futures deal this spring. Expected to compete for a reserve role with Atlanta, Robinson has instead decided to hang up his cleats.
  • The Jaguars have waived rookie defensive back Charlie Miller with an injury settlement, the club announced today. Miller went undrafted out of Dartmouth earlier this year. He can return to Jacksonville, but he’ll have to wait three weeks plus the length of the settlement.

DeAngelo Williams Rules Out Four Teams

Earlier this month, DeAngelo Williams told ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter that he wanted to continue playing in 2017. However, he said that there were four mystery teams he refused to play for. The running back has now revealed the identity of those teams (audio link). DeAngelo Williams (vertical)

[RELATED: Finding A Fit For RB DeAngelo Williams]

Surprisingly, the Panthers are one of the teams that Williams says he will not sign with. The 34-year-old spent the first nine seasons of his career in Carolina, but he left there with a bad taste in his mouth because of the way his departure played out. He also said that he would not sign with the Cowboys, because he grew up a 49ers fan. The Browns and Jaguars, Williams says, are also not in consideration, because of their losing seasons. Williams was not exactly delicate as he broke down his reasons for crossing off each club.

They don’t ever show up during the playoffs,” Williams said of the Cowboys. “They always disappear in the playoffs.”

In theory, that leaves 28 teams for Williams to possibly join this summer. However, his age and odometer are clearly working against him as we have heard little chatter around the veteran tailback. They say that beggars can’t be choosers, and Williams is being a chooser in the most unorthodox way by ruling out four teams that he could possibly join.

As of this writing, all four of the teams listed by Williams seem pretty well set at running back. However, if one of those clubs loses an RB to injury this summer, he may regret his words.

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Chad Henne Still On Roster For Leadership, Experience

  • Some are wondering why Chad Henne is still on the Jaguars roster even though he does not have a pass attempt since 2014, but Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union has a succinct answer. O’Halloran says, “Henne has experience in many offenses. He has experience working with new coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. And he has accepted being a sounding board for Blake Bortles. That’s why [he] is here.” Of course, as we heard last month, second-year player Brandon Allen could unseat Henne with an impressive preseason.

DiRocco: Bortles May Have Hoyer/Kitna Ceiling?

  • Blake Bortles will again enter a season as the Jaguars‘ starting quarterback. But after more positive stances about the fourth-year passer’s potential surfaced last summer following a 2015 season of 35 touchdown passes, he’s on the quarterback hot seat, so to speak, after a brutal 2016. Bortles’ finish to the 2016 season, one that featured just one interception in the campaign’s final month compared to 15 in the three prior months, encourages Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com, to a point. DiRocco noted Bortles’ mechanics are still poor and that his ceiling may be on the Brian Hoyer/Jon Kitna tier, which may mean the Jags are going to have to look at this position hard come 2018. But the limiting of the turnovers were a positive sign.

Make-Or-Break Year: Blake Bortles

Quarterback Blake Bortles is under Jaguars control for the next two years, but it’s reasonable to suggest he’s entering the quintessential make-or-break season. The Jaguars decided in May to pick up Bortles’ fifth-year option for 2018, which will cost them upward of $19MM if he plays the season under it, though that’s guaranteed for injury only. That means they’ll be able to end the Bortles experiment next offseason if he struggles through 2017 but emerges with his health intact.

Blake Bortles

Staying on the field hasn’t been an issue to this point for Bortles, who has appeared in no fewer than 14 games in any of his three seasons and played full slates in each of the previous two years. While Bortles has shown durability, his run-of-the-mill output leaves questions as to whether he’ll end up as Jacksonville’s long-term solution under center. Bortles starred at Central Florida from 2012-13, leading the quarterback-starved Jaguars to use the third overall pick on him in 2014, but he hasn’t lived up to his draft slot in the pros.

At his best, Bortles showed real promise in 2015, his second season, when he fired the NFL’s second-most touchdowns (35, one behind Tom Brady) and amassed the league’s seventh-most passing yards (4,428, on 7.3 yards per attempt). He also averaged an outstanding 6.0 yards per carry and added two more scores on 52 rushes. Bortles’ performance that year came with negatives, namely the league’s fifth-worst completion rate (58.6 percent) and highest interception total (18), but it still looked as if the Jaguars had a legitimate building block on their hands.

The Jags went just 5-11 in 2015, but thanks to Bortles’ progress and an action-packed offseason, the club went into last year as a somewhat popular pick to push for a playoff spot. Instead, both the team and Bortles flopped en route to a 3-13 mark, and the QB was among the main reasons for its awful season. Even though Bortles took a career-low 34 sacks – down from 55 as a rookie and 51 in 2015 – and was once again a threat on the ground (6.2 YPC, three TDs on 58 carries), there was a notable decline in his production as a passer. The 6-foot-5, 232-pounder threw for 23 scores, 12 fewer than he tossed as a sophomore, against 16 INTs, saw his YPA drop over a yard (6.2), and completed under 59 percent of attempts for the third straight year.

Toward the end of their nightmarish 2016, the Jaguars fired head coach Gus Bradley. At the time, general manager Dave Caldwell suggested that Bradley’s successor could pick a different quarterback. But the Jags then tabbed ex-Bradley assistant Doug Marrone as his replacement, and both Marrone and Caldwell’s new superior, executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin, quickly showed confidence in Bortles.

The Coughlin-led Jaguars went to work in the offseason to ensure Bortles would have more at his disposal in his age-25 year than he did in any of his first three campaigns. Jacksonville used its first-round pick (No. 4 overall) on former LSU running back Leonard Fournette, who should add another dimension to an offense that finished a below-average 17th in yards per carry and a far worse 29th in rushing DVOA last season. The Jaguars also reinforced their offensive line, adding veteran bookend Branden Albert and second-round tackle Cam Robinson to a group that already had capable starters in center Brandon Linder, guards Patrick Omameh and A.J. Cann, and right tackle Jermey Parnell.

With Fournette, improved personnel along the line and the established wide receiver trio of Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns returning, it should be harder than ever for Bortles to fail. If he does, the Jaguars would be within reason to cut the cord and go back to the drawing board at the game’s foremost position next offseason. At that point, Kirk Cousins, Jimmy Garoppolo, Tyrod Taylor and Alex Smith could be among the league’s free agents and the likes of USC’s Sam Darnold, Wyoming’s Josh Allen and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson may offer enticing options in the draft.

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