Telvin Smith

Extra Points: Jaguars, Smith, XFL, Vikings

The Jaguars escalated the tension between them and linebacker Telvin Smith recently. Even though Smith announced his intention to sit out the 2019 season last month, he still hasn’t ironed things out with the team and remains on the active roster for now. He obviously didn’t show up for the team’s minicamp this past week, and the Jaguars decided to fine him. Per Demetrius Harvey of LockedOnJaguars.com, Smith posted a photo to Instagram detailing the fines.

In total, the Jaguars fined him $88,650. He posted the fine letter with a caption of “Oh y’all thght [sic] it was a game!!! You say you wanna sit & get ya life right. . . they say nah […] you pay me!!!” also adding “It’s still love!!” The last we heard, Jacksonville still hadn’t had any direct communication with Smith since his shocking decision to step away. Smith is still only 28, and no one seems to know his motives yet for wanting the year off.

Here’s more from around the football universe on a quiet Saturday night:

  • The XFL is starting to ramp up operations ahead of their 2020 debut. They’ve been holding tryouts in different parts of the country recently, and many former NFLers have popped up, like Landry Jones. According to a tweet from the league’s Washington D.C. franchise, former Jets receiver Jalin Marshall will be in attendance at the next one. Marshall signed with New York as an UDFA back in 2016, and immediately carved out a role for himself. He was a contributor on offense, and also was the team’s punt and kick returner for a while. He was suspended for four games in 2017, and the Jets waived him when he came back from his suspension. He played for the Orlando Apollos of the ill-fated AAF, and spent two days on the Raiders’ roster back in May.
  • The Vikings have been big spenders, aggressively pursuing free agents like Kirk Cousins in recent years while also locking up their own guys. It’s created some cap issues, and Minnesota has been up against the cap all year long. According to a recent analysis from Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune, that’s going to continue in 2020. Per Goessling, the Vikings currently have $211.6MM in cap charges for 2020 on the books. The salary cap this past season was only 188.2, which means the Vikings will have to make some significant cuts next offseason. Goessling lists offensive tackle Riley Reiff, defensive end Everson Griffen, defensive tackle Linval Joseph and cornerback Xavier Rhodes as players who could be on the chopping block next year. All four will be at least 30 next season, and all of them have cap numbers of at least $12.9MM, Goessling points out. Minnesota GM Rick Spielman is going to have to get creative.

AFC Notes: Smith, Harris, Broncos, Raiders

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.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • 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.
  • Things appear to be inching in the right direction between the Broncos and cornerback Chris Harris. We heard last week there had been some communication, and then just a couple of days ago that the two sides had exchanged offers. Harris, who has made the Pro Bowl in four of the last five seasons, is scheduled to make only around $8.5MM in 2019, and is looking for a substantial raise. He was originally reported to be seeking at least $15MM annually, and it’s unclear if he’s backed down from that. Denver’s GM John Elway and Harris’ agent spoke again today, according to Mike Klis of Denver 9 News (Twitter link). Klis reports that “negotiations are focusing on short-term deal,” so it doesn’t sound like Harris will be landing anything super long-term as he enters his age-30 season. It sounds like things are progressing toward a deal of some sort, but Klis does caution there’s “still work to do.”
  • The Raiders will have an interesting battle for their backup quarterback job this offseason, with a few ‘big names’ in the mix. Mike Glennon, Nathan Peterman, and Landry Jones are all currently on the roster behind Derek Carr. Vic Tafur of The Athletic writes that he thinks Glennon will be the number two, Peterman has a good shot to stick as a number three, and that Jones doesn’t have much of a chance at cracking the team. Tafur writes that Jones “should hope to get a real look somewhere else come training camp,” and cracks that he’s “getting paid to tell Gruden all of Antonio Brown’s favorite plays from Pittsburgh.” Jones has been decent enough when he was forced into duty for an injured Ben Roethlisberger, but the rest of the league clearly has never thought too highly of him as he’s found it very difficult to find a home after Pittsburgh moved on to Joshua Dobbs and Mason Rudolph.

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.

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.

Latest On Telvin Smith, Jaguars

Last week, reports surfaced that Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith could be on the trade block. Smith, along with star cornerback Jalen Ramsey, ruffled the feathers of executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin when they failed to report to the team for voluntary workouts (which, in turn, compelled a number of football writers to remind Coughlin of the definition of “voluntary”).

The trade rumors intensified when the Jags selected Murray State linebacker Quincy Williams in the third round of the draft on Friday, and GM Dave Caldwell did not do much to quash the rumblings in his post-draft interview. Although Caldwell said that he did not receive any trade calls on Smith during the draft, he was cryptic when asked whether Smith would remain with the club in 2019.

“We’ll see,” Caldwell said. “I don’t want to get into hypotheticals” (via John Oesher of Jaguars.com on Twitter).

Coughlin, though, was quite clear that he expects Smith to stay with Jacksonville. He said, “Telvin Smith is a linebacker on our football team. We fully expect him to be here. That’s all there is to it. If you know something else, tell me.”

In response to the reports that Smith might be available via trade, Coughlin added, “What reports? Not that I know of.”

Smith would certainly be quite attractive to teams that still find themselves in need of a quality linebacker. The 2014 fifth-round pick just turned 28 and is a capable defender against the pass and the run. He’s also something of a playmaker, having recorded at least two interceptions in each of the past three seasons, and he has three career touchdowns.

Smith has been a full-time starter for the Jags since November of his rookie campaign. He is under club control through 2021 thanks to the four-year, $44MM extension he signed in October 2017.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Trade Rumors: Cardinals, Armstead, Haskins

The Seahawks and Chiefs agreed to a blockbuster trade earlier today that will send Frank Clark to Kansas City. And as Albert Breer of SI.com writes, the veteran trade market is expected to remain hot this week. Breer says that rival clubs are “keeping an eye” on Cardinals‘ DL Robert Nkemdiche, and given that Nkemdiche suffered a torn ACL in December, it’s possible that he could be had for minimal compensation. He has battled injuries throughout his career and has not really lived up to his potential when on the field, but as a former first-round pick who won’t turn 25 until the regular season starts, it makes sense that he would draw some interest. He did post 4.5 sacks in 10 games (six starts) last year.

Now for more trade rumblings from around the league:

  • Assuming the Cardinals draft Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen expects the club to be patient with a Josh Rosen trade (Twitter link). If they cannot get fair value for Rosen prior to the draft, the Cards could wait until after a few signal-callers come off the board and QB-needy teams start to get a little anxious. We heard earlier today that Arizona is still undecided as to what it will do with the first pick in the draft, but if the Cardinals don’t nab Murray, it would be a major surprise.
  • Breer writes that 49ers‘ DE Arik Armstead is also expected to draw some trade interest, though he remains in San Francisco’s plans. Raiders‘ DT Justin Ellis is also said to be available, while Cowboys WR Allen Hurns is the best wideout that could be had via trade [SOURCE LINK].
  • In a separate piece, Breer writes that rival clubs are monitoring Jaguars LB Telvin Smith and Broncos CB Chris Harris Jr. as potential trade targets, though neither player is on the trade block just yet.
  • Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports continues to hear that the Lions and Jets are interested in trading down from their current first-round slots, and he sees the Falcons as a potential partner for Detroit (Twitter link). Interestingly, Breer hears the same [SOURCE LINK]. Clemson DT Christian Wilkins could be the target if Atlanta wants to move up, though Breer says the team has been “nosing around” offensive linemen as well as defensive linemen.
  • As La Canfora writes in a separate piece, the Redskins could be the Jets‘ trade partner if Washington feels it needs to trade up to land Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins. One way or another, JLC believes the Redskins will come away from the draft with Haskins in tow. This is at least the second time La Canfora has written about a potential deal between Washington and New York.
  • The Chargers are open to trading down from the No. 28 overall pick in Thursday’s draft, per the team’s official website. But given that there is a lot of depth in this draft and not many obvious first-round talents, GM Tom Telesco could find it difficult to execute such a deal.

Jaguars Carve Out Cap Space

The Jaguars converted linebacker Telvin Smith‘s $8MM roster bonus into a signing bonus, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The roster bonus was due on Sunday, but the blow to this year’s cap has been lessened thanks to this maneuvering. 

[RELATED: Jaguars’ Depth Chart]

The Jaguars also created room on Tuesday by releasing wide receiver Allen Hurns and tight end Marcedes Lewis. Those moves plus the Smith restructuring have created roughly $16.75MM in additional cap space for Jacksonville.

Smith, a former fifth-round pick, has become a major contributor for the Jags. Last October, Jacksonville rewarded him with a four-year extension worth $44MM plus incentives that can push the value of the deal to $50MM. The 26-year-old (27 in April) is fast enough to play in coverage, but has also been stellar against the run.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Raiders, Jags, Bengals

There was a team-wide brawl that took place between the Raiders and Broncos this afternoon, started by Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree and Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib. The two have a had a go of it in the past, when both engaged each other during a game last season. However, this fight was capped off by Crabtree throwing and partly landing a punch at the head of Talib. Both players were immediately ejected from the game, which forced the veteran wideout to watch the rest of the contest from a suite, according to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com.

  • The Raiders receiving corps took a further hit in the AFC West battle as they lost Amari Cooper for the game with a concussion, Gutierrez also passes along. The 23-year-old wideout suffered the injury when he was hit in the head by Broncos safety Darian Stewart on a collision over the middle of the field. There appeared to be no malicious intent behind the play, even though there was a personal foul penalty given. Nevertheless, Oakland may be without both their top receivers for next week’s game because of what transpired today versus Denver. The Raiders would need extra contributions from the likes of Seth Roberts, Johnny Holton and Cordarrelle Patterson should Crabtree get suspended and Cooper not pass concussion protocol.
  • The Jaguars were hit with a concussion of their own as starting linebacker Telvin Smith did not return after suffering the injury, reports Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. Smith has been one of many key contributors in what has turned into perhaps the best defense in football. This situation will certainly be worth monitoring throughout the upcoming practice week.
  • Bengals running back Joe Mixon had the best game of his professional career in the team’s blowout of the Browns. The second round pick tallied over 160 yards from scrimmage, while averaging exactly five yards per carry. Mixon had already been getting a lot of work in recent weeks, but finally broke through with a performance that he and the team were waiting for. “It feels great,” said Mixon, “The offensive line was great and the receivers did a great job blocking on the perimeters and we just went out and finished.” (Quote courtesy of Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com)Look for Mixon to continue to be a big part of the Cincinnati offense in the last five games of the season.
  • In other Bengals news, backup quarterback A.J. McCarron was seen mingling with Browns head coach Hue Jackson and owner Jimmy Haslam before Sunday’s game. This is notable considering Cleveland tried to trade for the signal caller right before the deadline, but it’s not something that McCarron really focused on when discussing the interaction after the contest. “No point talking about the trade. It didn’t happen and it’s not going to happen now,” McCarron said. “I saw Mr. Haslam just to say hey to him. I’ve known Mr. Haslam through the whole draft process. I took a visit there. He’s a good Tennessee guy and you know the love between Tennessee and Alabama.” (Quote courtesy of Hobson).

AFC South Notes: Jaguars, Smith, Colts, Good

The Jaguars are no joke, Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post writes. After shutting out the Colts on Sunday, the Jags are now 4-3 with a real chance to put themselves in the playoff mix.

Despite the many question marks they have on offense – including quarterback – the talent-rich defense has bolstered them through the first half of the season. Thanks to high draft picks and lots of free agent dollars, Jacksonville has Jalen Ramsey, Dante Fowler Jr., and Calais Campbell to help anchor the defense. There are also late-round gems like Yannick Ngakoue and Telvin Smith, who was just rewarded with a lucrative four-year extension.

Jacksonville is on its bye this week, but they’ll look to build on their winning record when they face Cincinnati on Nov. 5. Here’s more from the AFC South:

  • We have some details on Smith’s extension with the Jaguars, courtesy of NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The four-year pact is worth $44MM in new money with $20.5MM in guarantees. The deal can max out at $50MM and includes a $7.5MM signing bonus.
  • It sounds like the Colts will bring Denzelle Good back from injured reserve. The guard/tackle is eligible to return in two weeks, as Stephen Holder of the Indy Star (on Twitter) notes. Good played well in Indianapolis’ season opener before the team discovered a torn wrist ligament the following day.
  • The Texans are bringing tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz back from injured reserve.

Jaguars Extend LB Telvin Smith

The Jaguars have signed linebacker Telvin Smith to a four-year extension through the 2021 season, the club announced. The deal is worth $44MM and has a maximum value of $50MM, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) and Adam Schefter of NFL.com (Twitter link)."<strong

“He has earned this second contract,” Jaguars executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin said of Smith in a statement. “We want to identify the players who will contribute to helping this team win going forward, and reward those who can do that. Telvin is certainly one of those players for us.”

Jacksonville found Smith in the fifth round of the 2014 draft, and he’s been a playmaker since day one. While he’s been a starter for much of his time with the Jaguars, the 26-year-old Smith entered the league’s elite linebacker class in 2016, and has continued his excellent production through seven weeks of the 2017 campaign.

An every-down linebacker, Smith has remained on the field for 99% of Jacksonville’s defensive snaps, helping the club to a No. 1 overall DVOA ranking and a 4-3 record. On an individual level, Smith grades as the No. 3 linebacker in the league, per Pro Football Focus. Fast enough to play in coverage, Smith is the prototypical 21st century ‘backer, but he’s also spectacular against the run (No. 2 behind Lavonte David, per PFF).

While the specifics of Smith’s new deal aren’t in just yet, his $11MM annual average value would place him behind only the the Browns’ Jamie Collins and the Panthers’ Luke Kuechly as the highest-paid off-ball linebackers in the NFL. Contract structure and guarantees will impact analysis of the pact, but at first glance, Smith has met market expectations.

The Jaguars have not been shy about extending players whom they feel have a long-term impact with the club, and the 2014 class is no exception. Along with Smith, Jacksonville has also locked up center Brandon Linder and wide receiver Allen Hurns (who was signed as a undrafted free agent) to multi-year deals.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.