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Concern continues for former Jaguars DB Donovin Darius

Florida Football Insiders

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Former Jaguars first-round pick and star defensive back of the late 90s- early 2000s, Donovan Darius, remains under a mental health watch after being arrested for DUI in North Florida Sunday and, further, concerns that he was suicidal.

ESPN Jaguars reporter Mike Dirocco had more details on the Sunday arrest and later hospitalization of Darius who was a first-round pick of the Jaguars in the 1998:

According to a police Source, DiRocco reported that Darius had crashed his vehicle around 10 a.m. Sunday and told paramedics that he had ingested 20 – 30 pills trying to kill himself. 

Police did find empty pill bottles in Darius’ car and could not follow through with a field sobriety test, as apparently Darius could not stand on his own and was incoherent. Darius was transported to a nearby hospital and is currently being held on Florida’s 72-hour “Baker Act,” which allows authorities out of concern for a person’s well-being or that he’s a danger to others, to hold and evaluate them.

Darius was also charged with misdemeanor DUI, although he didn’t appear in the Duval County Jail.

Darius started 117 games in his nine-year Jaguar career. His biggest season was 2004, where he had 89 tackles recorded five interceptions and recovered four fumbles. Dariuss played in four playoff games all coming in his first two seasons. That included an interception against the New York Jets in Jacksonville’s AFC Divisional round playoff loss 34 – 24.

Darius’ last season with Jacksonville was 2006, where he played in 10 games. Darius played in three games in the 2007 season for the Dolphins before being released and retired after that.

The 44 year old Darius has remained involved in the Jacksonville Community including being part of a sports camp for youth last November:

Darius was recognized on the field at halftime of the Gator Bowl game at TIAA Bank Field (photo above) back on January 2nd between Tennessee and Indiana.

Duval County records do not yet have a court date yet for Darius, and it will be up to mental health officials to evaluate whether he can safely be released later this week.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars exercise 2020 option for WR Conley

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Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Before free agency hits in March, the Jaguars have already begun to put some pieces together for their 2020 roster. And, that includes a big play wide receiver that they intend to keep around for this season.

The team announced on Friday afternoon that they have picked up a contract option on fifth year receiver Chris Conley, who comes off a career year in Jacksonville:

Conley signed a two-year deal with the first year being guaranteed and the second year being a team option. He definitely lived up to the free-agent billing having a career-high season in receptions (47) yards (775) and touchdowns (5) despite Jacksonville struggles.

Conley did develop a chemistry with rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew, as he took over for the injured Nick Foles early in the year and won four games to get the team to 4-4. Conley also averaged a career-high 16.5 yards per catch in 2019.

He previously played four seasons in Kansas City before coming to the Jaguars via free agency. In picking up the option Jacksonville will pay Conley $2.3 million for this season including a $445,000 roster bonus. That is very cost-effective for the team in terms of the salary cap can other players they are looking to fit in.

The team must decide whether they will put huge money in front of their top pass-rusher the last three years, Yannick Ngakoue. Ngakoue has 29.5 sacks from 2017-29 with is the most productive three season stretch for any Jacksonville pass rusher in that amount of time. Jaguars coach Doug Marrone and GM Dave Caldwell have to figure out if they can get Ngakoue to agree to a long term deal or will they perhaps use the 2020 “franchise tag” for him, which would pay him around $18-19 million for the upcoming year.

And, the team also can negotiate a new deal with star running back Leonard Fournette, who is about to enter the final season of his rookie contract and is also going to be seeking a huge extension.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Report- Jaguars to hire former Giants coach McAdoo as QB coach

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Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars are trying to fix things offensively and especially, at the quarterback position. And, to that end, they have apparently settled on another hire, involving another former NFL head coach to lead their QB room.

ESPN Giants reporter Jordan Raanan reported Tuesday night the Jacksonville is hiring former New York Giants head coach, Ben McAdoo, to be their quarterback coach:

McAdoo had been under consideration by head coach, Doug Marrone, for the offensive coordinator vacancy that occurred when the team dismissed John DeFilippo after just one season.

Eventually, Marrone decided upon another former NFC East coach, Jay Gruden, from the Redskins, as the offensive coordinator hire. Gruden, the younger brother of Jon Gruden, is known as an innovator in the passing game.

However, the Jags, including GM Dave Caldwell, were obviously impressed with Macado’s previous work with the Giants and Eli Manning. McAdoo began as an offensive coordinator in New York in 2014 – 15. He was then given the head coaching job, basically at the uriging of the two-time Super Bowl champion QB Manning to take over in 2016.

The Giants finished 11 – 5 McAdoo’s first year as the head coach and made the playoffs. However, the relationship with Eli Manning quickly soured and the team fell apart going 2 – 10 in its first 12 games with McAdoo actually benching Manning late in the 2017 season. McAdoo was fired the week after that benching and has been out of the NFL the last two seasons.

McAdoo will replace QB coach Scott Milanovich, who took over as head coach of the CFL Edmonton Eskimos for later this summer.

The Jaguars still have to resolve their quarterback situation, as they have high price free agent signing Nick Foles, who did not perform well in his first season in Jacksonville.  And then, they have fan favorite rookie 6th round pick Gardner Minshew, who did play well at times in relief of the injured Foles and when Marrone benched Foles for the final four games of the year.

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