Jacksonville’s spending spree was going to come with a cost, and the team ultimately decided to move on from their leading tackler yesterday. Jack inked a four-year, $57MM deal ($33MM guaranteed) with Jacksonville back in 2019.
With that said, Jack is still a productive player. He finished last season with 108 tackles in 15 starts, and he had a career-high 118 tackles as recently as 2020. The former second-round pick won’t turn 27 until September, so it makes sense that the Steelers still think he’s got something in the tank.
Many of the Steelers initial FA moves were focused on offense, but the team has started adding to their defense. We learned yesterday that the team was signing cornerback Levi Wallace to a two-year deal.
Something had to give. After signing scores of high-end free agents on Monday, the Jaguars are releasing linebacker Myles Jack, according to a source who spoke with Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
Jack led the Jags with 108 tackles last year, his sixth season in Jacksonville. Ultimately, however, he was the victim of a numbers crunch, and the team had no room for the remainder of his four-year, $57MM deal.
It was less than a month ago that newly-hired defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell told reporters how much he was looking forward to working with Jack.
“With Myles he was just, ‘Coach, I’m ready to go, whatever he wants to do,”‘ Caldwell said (via Sports Illustrated). “He’s that type of guy that whatever the team asks him to do, he’s a team-oriented guy. Whatever we want him to do, he’s going to go out there and do it to the best of his ability. But as coaches, it’s our job to let him go do what he does well, and that’s what we plan on doing.”
The “Jack Of All Trades” was a true disruptor in 2020 when he notched 118 stops, one sack, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, one interception, and five passes defensed. He was less of a factor in 2021, though the overall situation in Jacksonville certainly didn’t help.
Jack won’t turn 27 until September and should garner plenty of attention on the open market this week.
Myles Jack is headed to injured reserve, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Jack has dealt with a number of injuries this season, so there’s no one known malady keeping him out of action.
Jack inked a four-year, $57MM extension with the Jaguars prior to the season, a deal that included $33MM guaranteed. Between 2017 and 2018, Jack played in 98% of Jacksonville’s snaps and notched 197 tackles.
As one of the league’s most talented linebackers, he’ll be missed on the field, even though this is a lost season for the 4-8 Jags. The 24-year-old finishes out the year with 66 tackles, one interception, and half-credit for a sack.
Prior to Week 13, Jack had not missed a game in his NFL career. Without the former second-round pick, third-year linebacker Donald Payne figures to hold down the fort at middle linebacker.
Jack hasn’t looked like his usual self this season, so he’ll look to heal up and enter 2020 at 100% health.
“Laremy has been in here all day working with Mike, working with a couple of guys, some of the veteran guys, Nick Martin, guys like that,” the coach said. “Look, at the end of the day, that’s going to be a challenge early on here because he just got here.
“But I think that he’s played a lot of football and maybe what somebody calls an apple, we call an orange. It’s just different terms, but it’s the same blocking assignment.”
Here’s more from the AFC South:
Jacoby Brissett, who recently signed a new two-year, $30MM extension, told Mike Chappell of CBS4 in Indianapolis that he negotiated the contract himself. “I don’t like people to BS on my behalf. I try to say it for myself. . . . all you can be is honest,” the Colts new starting quarterback said. “I did my rookie contract, too, so I kind of had the gist of it.’’
The Jaguars and one of their young defenders reached an extension agreement Saturday. The Jags will extend Myles Jack on a four-year, $57MM deal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).
One of a few impact defenders who entered camp extension-eligible, Jack will earn $33MM guaranteed on this pact. Jack joined Jalen Ramsey and Yannick Ngakoue as members of the team’s standout 2016 draft class, and the team’s top linebacker became the first to see a new contract.
Jacksonville saw Telvin Smith step away earlier this offseason. It is not known if this is a retirement, but the Jags took care of his longtime running mate. This is a more lucrative deal than the one the team gave Smith (four years, $44MM), with Jack’s $14.25MM-AAV figure sitting behind only Bobby Wagner and C.J. Mosley among off-ball ‘backers. Jack’s $33MM guarantee ties him with Anthony Barr for sixth among this contingent.
Jack has been the least vocal of the Jags’ 2016 defender draftees about a re-up, with Ngakoue holding out into camp and Ramsey making no secret he believes the Jags can afford to give him top cornerback money. But this marks another win for a college superstar who entered the 2016 draft with injury-damaged stock. Both Jack and Jaylon Smith fell out of the first round because of injuries; both are now on high-end linebacker contracts.
The soon-to-be 24-year-old ‘backer has played in 98% of Jacksonville’s snaps since 2017. He’s made 197 tackles over the past two seasons, playing a key role on a defense that has been one of the league’s best in that span.
Another player who will need a new deal soon is linebacker Myles Jack, although his situation has flown much more under the radar. Speaking to John Reid of the Florida Times-Union recently, Jack emphasized that it’s been by choice that his contract isn’t getting too much attention. Jack is purposefully keeping a lower profile, and isn’t going to be making public demands anytime soon.
“When my time comes up, that’s when it’s going to come up. But right now, I’m just focused on going out there winning games, getting numbers and then by the end of the season that all will take care of itself,” Jack said. The UCLA product knows his payday will be tied to the stats he puts up, saying “obviously in my position, Telvin (Smith) is gone, so that’s 120 tackles unaccounted for, and I want at least 50 of those so I can get 150 tackles to create some leverage for myself.”
Telvin Smith recently announced he won’t be playing in 2019, meaning Jack will be even more important to the defense. Heading into the final year of his rookie deal, Jack has been a very solid player since Jacksonville took him 36th overall in 2016. He’s been durable and hasn’t missed a game since entering the league, making 16 starts each of the past two seasons. Knee issues caused Jack to fall out of the first round in the draft, so it’s been a very good sign for his next contract that he’s been able to stay healthy.
Jack also acknowledged Ngakoue’s situation, and said that he and his teammates are paying attention to what’s happening across the league. “Obviously we love the game, but at the same time, we see the ESPN tickers going and guys getting this amount of money,” Jack said. “In [Ngakoue’s] case, from the numbers that he’s put up versus the other guys getting paid, he’s either better or neck and neck with (them). I completely understand why he’s doing what he’s doing.”
Jack was a large part of the team that helped Jacksonville reach the AFC Championship Game in 2017, and they’d surely like to keep him around. Some teams don’t like giving out big contracts to inside linebackers though, and it’ll be interesting to see how highly Tom Coughlin and co. value Jack. Still only 23, Jack could land a huge contract from a team desperate for linebacker help next offseason.
The Texas Tech product is one of the fastest-rising commodities in this draft. He’s had 18 visits and private workouts thus far, but this one is among the more interesting for the high-volume college passer because of the Texans’ status as a two-time reigning division champion and void at quarterback.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports noted earlier this month Mahomes was unlikely to slip past the Texans at No. 25, and the team is now doing some work on him. Houston would have a better shot at drafting the strong-armed former Big 12 signal-caller at No. 25 than Watson, but the former looks to have gained extensive ground and could be a priority for a team holding a higher pick — or one that trades up in front of the Texans — at this point.
Here’s more from the AFC South.
Corey Davis made a trip to Nashville, Tenn., today to visit with the Titans, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Davis will meet with the Titans tonight and Monday before flying to Baltimore for a Monday-Tuesday Ravens summit, per Rapoport. The Titans recently met with fellow first-round wideout prospects John Ross and Mike Williams. The franchise holds two first-round picks (Nos. 5 and 18) and is believed to be targeting wideout help. Their aggressive Brandin Cooks pursuit made this rather apparent.
The Jaguars will have some movement at linebacker, it appears. Last year’s second-round pick, Myles Jack has already learned middle and strong-side linebacker and is set to supplant Paul Posluszny in the middle, relocating the career-long middle ‘backer to the strong side. But the Jags view Jack as a natural fit on the weak side long-term, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. Telvin Smith currently occupies that position and is expected to start there again in 2017. However, Smith is slated to be a 2018 UFA, and another Jack move would stand to impact Jacksonville’s decision on Smith. O’Halloran adds that Smith extension talks could pick up after the draft, but the fourth-year linebacker’s spot could be tenuous if Jack is viewed as the future at that position.
The Jags could also be exploring the idea of moving A.J. Cann to left guard, per O’Halloran. A third-year player, Cann’s been the Jags’ right guard starter the past two seasons. Recently re-signed Patrick Omameh and former Cardinal Earl Watford are the team’s other top guards presently. Jacksonville made a push for Kevin Zeitler but saw him sign with the Browns.
The Patriots have been linked to multiple impact receivers during Combine week. In addition to including their No. 32 overall pick in a package for Brandin Cooks, mutual interest between the Pats and Brandon Marshall exists, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter). The Jets cut Marshall earlier this week, a move Marshall sought after declining an extension to stay on a rebuilding team. Entering his 12th year and age-33 season, Marshall should generate interest, and the Patriots’ penchant for street free agents that don’t affect the compensatory pick formula makes this a potential situation to monitor. Marshall going 11 seasons without a playoff appearance does as well.
New England has its top four wideouts under contract for 2017, although Danny Amendola‘s $7.7MM cap hit is probably untenable at this point. The Patriots want the veteran back at a reduced rate. Marshall also has a connection to the Patriots, who employ former Broncos HC Josh McDaniels as offensive coordinator. However, McDaniels traded Marshall to the Dolphins in 2010 after one season with the then-mercurial wideout. During that ’09 slate, Marshall drew an insubordination suspension during the preseason and saw McDanniels bench him for a game later that year.
Here’s more from the AFC.
Martellus Bennett wants to test the market, but the Patriots would like him to return. Their top competition could come from fellow AFCers, with the Raiders and Jaguars interested in the veteran tight end, Volin tweets. Jacksonville just unloaded underwhelming UFA signing Julius Thomas, and the Raiders haven’t seen much from Clive Walford yet. Former starter Mychal Rivera is a free agent. Bennett and Jared Cook reside as the top tight ends on the market.
Shad Khan bringing Tom Coughlin back to Jacksonville in a front office role will affect GM Dave Caldwell, but the Jaguars’ former top decision-maker will still have input. Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com compares the rearranged Jags front office to the ones in Miami and Atlanta, with three men dividing up power. “Surprisingly enough, through the whole process and having an idea that this was going to happen, you kind of think, ‘How’s this going to work?’ But Tom has been great,” said Caldwell, who’s entering his fifth season as Jags GM. “It’s been great to be able to walk down the hallway and bounce some things off of him: ‘Hey we’re going to do this; we’re going to do that. What do you think about this? What do you think about that?’ And then we sit together with he, I and Doug [Marrone] and we come together on a collective decision.”
Myles Jack is expected to move to middle linebacker next season, Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union reports. If that comes to fruition, Paul Posluszny would slide to strong-side ‘backer. This season represents the final year on Posluszny’s contract. He loomed as a cut candidate, but nothing’s surfaced about a potential release thus far this offseason. The 32-year-old has started for six seasons in Jacksonville. He’s due a $3.95MM base salary and will collected a $500K roster bonus if he remains with the Jags by the fifth day of the 2017 league year.
Mentioning DeSean Jackson and Kenny Stills being set to see “huge” contract offers, DraftAnalyst.com’s Tony Pauline included Robert Woods in this category. Woods hasn’t produced on the level of Stills or Jackson, with season-best receiving totals of 699 yards and five touchdowns (in 2014). But the former USC talent is still just 24 and hasn’t played with the kind of quarterbacks, from a passing standpoint, with the Bills that most of his UFA receiving peers have. His market could be difficult to determine as a result.
The Chiefs added another assistant coach, bringing first-timer Terry Brandon into the fold. He will work as a defensive assistant, Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star reports. Brandon will make quite the jump, moving from graduate assistant at Bethune-Cookman to a job as an NFL staffer.