Jarrod Wilson

Four Jaguars Players Detained In London

Sunday, 9:42am: It appears that this situation will blow over. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Church was not actually arrested — Hayden, Wilson, and Harrison apparently were — but none of the four players were charged. London Police say the matter is “resolved.”

Rapoport says that the four men skipped out on a $64K bar tab, but that may have been due to a misunderstanding (video link). Apparently, expensive bottles of alcohol were being sent to their table, but they believed someone else was paying for them. They were therefore surprised when they were expected to pay.

In any event, it seems this incident will not have any impact on the team or the players moving forward.

Saturday, 9:15pm: The players arrested were Barry Church, D.J. Hayden, Jarrod Wilson, and Ronnie Harrison, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (Twitter link). All four players are defensive backs, which could explain why the team was so reluctant to name them in their statement.

Jacksonville is already shorthanded in the secondary and can’t afford to be without both Church and Harrison, so they will almost certainly still play. Church, a safety, plays nearly every down while Harrison, also a safety, has seen his snaps increase in recent weeks. Hayden was already unlikely to play with an injury, and Wilson is a lightly-used special-teamer.

Saturday, 9:05pm: Online reports from British tabloids began circulating that four Jaguars players had been arrested ahead of Jacksonville’s game in London, and now the team is confirming those reports, according to James Palmer of NFL Network (Twitter link).

The Jaguars released a very brief statement acknowledging what happened, which reads as follows: “We are aware that four of our players were detained over restitution of a bill. The matter is being resolved and the players are with the team. Any discipline will be handled internally.”

The statement is very light on details, and it hasn’t been reported yet which four players were detained. The original report from the British paper said the players were confronted by security at a nightclub and accused of trying to avoid paying their tab. While the team is clearly being intentionally vague, we should know more details soon. At this point, it’s unclear if the players will still play in the game against the Eagles tomorrow.

No matter what happens, it’s an awful look for a club that’s been in disarray for weeks now, with the news breaking 12 hours before they’re set to kick off. The locker room has reportedly turned toxic, with multiple shouting matches breaking out after their most recent loss. Blake Bortles was benched and is now on a very short leash, and this is the last thing the team needs.

The NFL has made expanding the game into the London market a major focal point in recent years, and the league office will likely be outraged at the optics. While the Jaguars have said any discipline will be internal, commissioner Roger Goodell may disagree.

Rory Parks contributed to this post.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

South Notes: Bortles, Morgan, Bucs

Now that Andrew Luck‘s record-setting contract has been wrapped up, beat writers and national reporters alike are already speculating as to when the next big-money quarterback deal will be consummated. Members of the 2014 draft class are eligible to sign extensions after the 2016 season is over, and Hays Carlyon of The Florida Times-Union writes that the Jaguars will extend quarterback Blake Bortles, the third overall selection of the 2014 draft, as soon as the collective bargaining agreement allows them to do so.

Of course, as a first-round selection, Jacksonville could keep Bortles under club control through 2018 by exercising his fifth-year option, but Carlyon believes the Jags will move to sign Bortles to a long-term deal early so that they can front-load his contract and take advantage of the considerable salary cap space they currently have, thereby giving them more flexibility down the road.

Now for more notes from the league’s south divisions:

  • Jarrod Wilson, an undrafted free agent safety from Michigan, made a couple of splash plays towards the end of the Jaguars‘ offseason program, and those flashes have put him on defensive coordinator Todd Wash‘s radar. He still has a long way to go to crack the team’s 53-man roster, but Ryan O’Halloran of The Florida Times-Union can envision at least one scenario in which Wilson would make the club.
  • Titans OLB Derrick Morgan has joined free agent offensive tackle Eugene Monroe as a vocal supporter of increased cannabis research, as Ben Volin of The Boston Globe (citing USA Today) writes. Morgan did multiple interviews last week calling for the NFL to support cannabis research to determine if cannabidiol or any other compounds can help treat or prevent chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Morgan is entering the second year of a four-year, $27MM he inked with Tennessee last March.
  • Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter recently indicated that his club may target a few veteran free agents to round out the roster when cuts start being made this summer, and Greg Auman of The Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter) indicated that obvious positions in need of an upgrade are fourth defensive tackle, third running back, and fifth linebacker.
  • Rookie quarterback Josh Woodrum, who was signed by the Giants as a UDFA before being released just three days later, was ultimately claimed off waivers by the Colts, and he believes he has made great strides during Indianapolis’ offseason program, as Andrew Walker of Colts.com writes. Currently the fourth QB on the Colts roster behind Andrew Luck, Scott Tolzien, and Stephen Morris, Woodrum is encouraged by his progress in adapting to the traditional pro-style offense that the Colts run, which is a stark contrast from what he became accustomed to while setting records at FCS program Liberty University. Needless to say, Woodrum is unlikely to make the team in 2016, but he is hoping to develop his game enough to make a good impression on all of the league’s 32 clubs if and when he gets a chance in the preseason.

Jaguars Agree To Sign Nine UDFAs

The Jaguars announced that they’ve agreed to terms with nine undrafted free agents:

AFC Draft Updates: Ravens, Lynch, Texans

The final visit for Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch will take place in Baltimore, according to agent Leigh Steinberg, who tweets that Lynch will meet with the Ravens on Wednesday. Holding the No. 6 overall pick, the Ravens seem like an improbable first-round suitor for Lynch, so perhaps the team is just doing its due diligence in case it trades down in the first round or Lynch slips to round two.

Here are more draft updates from out of the AFC:

  • The Texans hosted Louisiana Tech quarterback Jeff Driskel for a visit this week, and are also hosting Eastern Michigan running back Darius Jackson today, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Houston fortified its offensive backfield by signing Brock Osweiler and Lamar Miller in free agency, but could still be eyeing additional depth.
  • We heard yesterday that Virginia Tech cornerback Kendall Fuller had a Monday visit with the Jets and a Wednesday visit in Carolina this week. Aaron Wilson fills in the gap in Fuller’s schedule, tweeting that the young corner is meeting today with the Titans.
  • The schedule for Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah includes a pre-draft visit with the Chargers this Wednesday, writes Aaron Wilson in a piece for the Chronicle. Wilson reported yesterday that Ogbah was also visiting Carolina and Atlanta this week, though he doesn’t include the Panthers in his list of Ogbah’s visits in his latest piece.
  • Texas A&M cornerback Brandon Williams has been busy during the pre-draft visit, making five visits and taking part in 14 private workouts, according to Aaron Wilson, who tweets that Williams is meeting with the Steelers today. Utah running back Devontae Booker and Michigan safety Jarrod Wilson are also in Pittsburgh to visit the Steelers, Wilson adds (via Twitter).