Jaguars Rumors

Latest On Telvin Smith

Telvin Smith‘s announcement that he would spend the 2019 season away from football was one of the more surprising developments in recent years. Smith is only 28, and no one seems to be sure exactly what happened or why. That apparently includes the Jaguars, as the team has yet to have any “one-on-one communication with him” since his announcement, according to Albert Breer of SI.com. The 2017 Pro Bowler had just said a couple of days before that he wanted to stay with the Jaguars, which followed a rocky offseason between the two sides which included trade rumors.

Breer also notes that those trade rumors might not be dead quite yet. Breer says he knows of teams that were interested in trading for the linebacker before the draft, and that those teams “are keenly monitoring the situation” as it unfolds. It wouldn’t be totally shocking if a trade materializes at some point. Smith has started 60 out of a possible 64 games for the Jaguars the past four seasons, and he’s had multiple interceptions in each of the past three campaigns.

  • Speaking of Smith, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone emphasized he wasn’t thinking about football when it came to his player, per the team’s official site. “For me, I kind of put football to the side,” Marrone said. “That, to me, is an afterthought right now in concern with Telvin.” He continued, saying “I really believe in my heart that Telvin knows that we’re here to support him in any which way. Not just myself, but the coaches, the organization, his teammates. I’m sure he’s aware of that. All we can do is make sure we pray. He knows that if he needs some support, obviously we’re here for him.” Marrone also said the team would welcome him back if he chooses to return.

Jaguars Work Out RB Mike Gillislee

The Jaguars worked out free agent Mike Gillislee on Thursday, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Jags were one of five teams that tried to sign the running back last year and they could be on the verge of adding him for 2019. 

Gillislee enjoyed a breakout season in 2016 as he averaged 5.7 yards per carry on 101 handoffs with the Bills. In the following offseason, the Pats signed him to a two-year, $6.4MM deal, but he didn’t get a ton of opportunities in 2017, outside of his three-touchdown performance in Week 1.

After missing New England’s cut in 2018 – and garnering interest from the Jaguars, Lions, and other clubs – Gillislee hooked on with the Saints. He averaged just 2.7 yards in the first four games of the year and was pushed aside after Mark Ingram returned from suspension.

The Jaguars used a fifth-round pick to select Temple running back Ryquell Armstead, but they’re still on the lookout for help behind starter Leonard Fournette. Insurance for the 24-year-old is key after he missed half of the 2018 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/12/19

Here are today’s minor moves:

Detroit Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Kennedy is an interesting story, as he was taken in the third round of last year’s Major League Lacrosse Draft by the Boston Cannons, per Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com. He appeared in six games for the Cannons while also suiting up at wide receiver for Bryant University. Despite only playing two years of football at Bryant, Kennedy is eighth in school history in catches and receiving yards, and he posted 57 receptions for 888 yards and nine touchdowns in 2017. He missed four games due to injury in 2018, but he still finished with 33 catches for 410 yards and a touchdown.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/11/19

Today’s minor moves will be posted here:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: RB Tony Brooks-James (Oregon)
  • Waived/injured: RB Jeremy Langford

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Signed: S Josh Moon (Georgia Southern), OL Jordan Agasiva (Utah)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Signed: WR Spencer Schnell (Illinois State), DE David Kenney, OL Riley Mayfield (North Texas)

With the exception of Kenney, all players signed were undrafted rookies who were inked to deals after participating in their respective teams’ rookie minicamps. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network tweeted a cool story about Schnell, who’s late father Dave briefly played for the Bills. Greg Auman of The Athletic tweets that Schnell was impressive during minicamp, and that he’ll “get a look” returning kicks in addition to his receiving work.

Langford initially looked promising after entering the league as a fourth round pick of the Bears back in 2015. He opened the 2016 season as Chicago’s starting running back, but he’s struggled with injuries and turned into a journeyman ever since. Drafted only a few years ago, the Falcons were already the fifth stop of his career. He only appeared in one game for the Falcons last year, rushing nine times for 25 yards.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/9/19

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Jaguars Sign Jawaan Taylor, Four Other Draft Picks

The Jaguars have signed second-round offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Meanwhile, Jacksonville has also announced the following rookie signings:

Taylor was a projected first-round pick, and many observers believed he’d be a fit for the Jaguars at No. 7 overall. However, the Florida product fell because of injury concerns, although Taylor has since blasted that information as “false reports.” Jacksonville traded up to acquire Taylor on Day 2, and he’ll immediately step in as Jermey Parnell‘s replacement at right tackle.

While Minshew is an interesting developmental option after succeeding in Mike Leach‘s Washington State offense, Oliver is the non-Taylor prospect with the best chance to contribute in 2019. A solid athlete, Oliver posted 709 receiving yards during his final season at San Jose State, and only needs to beat out veteran Geoff Swaim for playing time.

Jacksonville now has only two rookies left to sign: first-round edge rusher Josh Allen and third-round linebacker Quincy Williams.

Telvin Smith Will Not Play In 2019

In a rather shocking twist, Telvin Smith announced he will sit out the 2019 season. The Jaguars linebacker plans to step away from the game for the time being, he announced on Instagram (via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, on Twitter).

After the draft, GM Dave Caldwell did not commit to Smith’s place on the ’19 Jags. Smith had not reported to Jaguars voluntary workouts this offseason. But the five-year veteran said recently he did not want to play anywhere else. While that still appears to be the case, Smith’s NFL future is much cloudier.

At this time I must take time away from the game & get my world in order,” Smith wrote. “I must give this time back to myself, my family & my health. … I know the rumors of trade talk came about, but I started my career in Jacksonville & the day I do decide to call it quits will be right here in Duval.”

This appears to have caught the Jaguars by surprise as well.

We will not have a comment about Telvin Smith’s statement at this time,” the team said in a statement. “We need to have a conversation with Telvin to understand the situation and the circumstances.”

Smith, 28, has been a Jaguars starter for all five years of his career. He earned Pro Bowl acclaim during a 2017 season that ended with the Jags on the Super Bowl precipice. Last season, he led the team in tackles by a significant margin with 134. The Florida State alum has been one of the NFL’s best off-ball linebackers, having been the only player to record 100-plus tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery in each of the past three seasons, per Warren Sharp of SharpFootballAnalysis.com (Twitter link). Smith has nine career picks, returning three for touchdowns, and six fumble recoveries.

Although Smith appeared on the Jags’ injury report with a shoulder injury at points last year, he did not miss a game. The former second-round pick has missed just four games in five seasons. The Jags extended Smith (four years, $44MM) in October 2017. Three years remain on his contract; the Jags stand to control his rights if he returns. Smith was scheduled to count $12.56MM toward Jacksonville’s 2019 cap. Now, the team will have to call an audible at outside ‘backer.

 

This makes Jacksonville’s third-round selection of Quincy Williams, a player most analysts did not consider a Day 2-caliber talent, more interesting. The Murray State alum could now play a bigger part for the Jags as a rookie. Myles Jack is entering a contract year. The Jags also signed former Packers starting inside linebacker Jake Ryan.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars Release Cody Kessler

The Jaguars released quarterback Cody Kessler, according to league sources who spoke with Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Kessler made four starts for the Jags last year while Blake Bortles was benched. Now, both players are gone.

Last year, Kessler took the reins for four games, but didn’t exactly set the world on fire. All in all, he completed 64.9% of his passes (85-of-131) for 709 yards with two touchdowns against two interceptions.

This year, the Jaguars will trot out a totally revamped quarterback room with new starter Nick Foles, sixth-round rookie Gardner Minshew, 2018 sixth-round choice Tanner Lee, and Alex McGough. Of course, at least one of those backup QBs will be displaced between now and September.

In other Jags news, linebacker Telvin Smith says he wants to stay put, despite his absence from workouts and continued whispers about his future.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Execs Split On Jaguars' Josh Allen Pick

  • The JaguarsJosh Allen pick will protect them in the event prospective negotiations with Yannick Ngakoue escalate to an undesirable price point, offers another exec (via Sando). Ngakoue left Jaguars workouts in a likely contract-related maneuver. The defensive end became extension-eligible this year, but talks are not believed to have begun yet. The Jaguars already have Calais Campbell making $15MM per year, but given the new deals handed to Frank Clark and DeMarcus Lawrence, Ngakoue will likely aim higher than Campbell’s pact when the time comes. Allen is locked into his rookie contract until 2022. Conversely, an exec from a team in need of a pass rusher said his team did not have Allen graded particularly high. Said exec viewed the Kentucky product may end up as an off-ball linebacker at some point.

Telvin Smith Wants To Stay With Jaguars

Telvin Smith has been absent from the Jaguars’ voluntary workouts, but he insists that he wants to stay in Jacksonville. On Tuesday, the linebacker took to social media to quell any talk that he’s looking for a way out. 

Understand this, I never left Duval,” the 2017 Pro Bowler said on Instagram (via Justin Barney of News4Jax). “I’m never leaving Duval; it’s Duval til we die. You understand me? Y’all seen trade rumors and stuff. Y’all seen me go anywhere? Exactly. Y’all seen the rumors go somewhere, but y’all ain’t seen me go no where cause I ain’t going nowhere. You understand me? I promise y’all this: Ain’t nothing about Telvin Smith leaving Duval.

Of course, none of this guarantees that Smith will remain on the Jags’ roster. The Jaguars drafted Murray State linebacker Quincy Williams with one of their third-round picks, inviting speculation that Smith could be a trade candidate. Then, GM Dave Caldwell did little to silence that talk after the draft. When asked about Smith’s future by a reporter, he replied, “We’ll see.”

Smith, a fifth-round pick in 2014, has at least two interceptions in each of the past three seasons and three career touchdowns. If the Jaguars put him on the block, they’ll find a ripe market for his services.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.