Once again this Saturday, former Jaguars legendary left tackle Tony Boselli is up for Hall of Fame inclusion. And, there is some debate among his peers about his accomplishments and place in history.
First, as Boselli has said, and it is correct, it is an honor to simply be a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, especially on multiple occasions like he has been. Boselli is back in the discussion room on Super Bowl weekend for the fourth straight year.
And, it is never easy when you’re looking at contemporaries of not only his own position, but what tremendous players at other positions are eligible as well? That includes this year’s class with the likes of Troy Polamalu and Reggie Wayne as finalists in their first year on the ballot.
Then on Wednesday, Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith weighed in on Boselli’s candidacy and in particular greatness/longevity versus a player having a shorter successful career like Boselli did for the Jaguars:
Bruce Smith said former Jaguars LT Tony Boselli was a phenomenal talent but wouldn't say if Boselli, who caught the nation's attention when he shut down Smith in a playoff game, should make the HOF. "Look, it’s all about a body of work," Smith said…. https://t.co/YvKPYNQYqT
— Michael DiRocco (@ESPNdirocco) January 29, 2020
Smith does have a point that if you are greater for longer you deserve more consideration. However, that’s on a case-by-case basis, and you must also factor in, if other offensive lineman that don’t have greater accomplishments than Boselli have already been put in? Then, the longevity argument holds less significance.
We made the case this time last year that Boselli does have a very strong argument not only from his Jaguars career, but the fact that, the voters set a very interesting recent precedent by putting Broncos running back Terrell Davis in the Hall two years ago. This is with Davis’ having a stellar career cut short by injury.
Further, Boselli had every bit the resume’ as Orlando Pace, the former number one overall pick of the St Louis Rams shortly after Boselli was taken by the Jaguars in the 1990s. While Pace had a longer career, he didn’t have that much more in terms of accomplishment, except having gone to the Super Bowl twice and winning one.
And maybe, that is something that is being held against Boselli? Although, you can hardly say that having gone to an AFC Championship Game, as the Jags did early on in his career, isn’t a significant accomplishment.
Further, with Boselli having only played five years in the 90’s and still being named that decade’s best left tackle by the football writers, that speaks volumes too.
Also it should be noted that Atlanta Falcons defensive end Chuck Smith, who tried to rush the QB against Boselli in the 90s, wrote a letter to the Pro Football Hall of Fame voters advocating tha Boselli he should be in.
— Tad Dickman (@TDickman89) January 28, 2020
Likewise, former Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor, who was voted in two years ago and who also went against the massive Boselli in his career, has been praising him and saying he’s worthy of induction this week.
There is no doubting or disputing that Boselli was a dominant left tackle for a short period of time.
And maybe, that’s a reason why he’s been held out to this point.
Now we wait to see what the 2020 voters think of his case versus that of other finalists and previous linemen they’ve put into the Hall.
Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue hinting he’s gone again?
One of the key free-agent questions for the Jaguars continues to be whether or not they’re going to allow their best pass rusher, Yannick Ngakoue, to test the free-agent market coming up? And, once again, the player may be giving a clue that he’s going to do just that.
Ngakoue tweeted Wednesday morning the following phrase, which seems to indicate, yet again, that he will be playing somewhere else in 2020:
— Yannick Ngakoue (@YannickNgakoue) February 26, 2020
This goes along with something that we wrote earlier in January. That’s when just a couple of days after the season Ngakoue posted essentially a goodbye message to Jaguar fans. This came on the heels of him having held out for a new contract for the first few days of training camp last August, but not receiving a new deal during the season, etc.
Ngakoue, whose 37.5 career sacks are the most by a Jaguars player after 63 career games, is sure to be a sought-after player from many different teams. GM Dave Caldwell said at the end of the season when asked about re-sgning his star pass rusher, “He is a tremendous player and even a better person. How he handled his business this year was tremendous. But, I would say that’s priority No. 1, to make sure he comes back to Jacksonville. Hopefully, we can get that done. ″
It’s also worth noting that at Tuesday’s NFL Scouting Combine at media availability in Indianapolis, coach Doug Marrone repeated that he wants Ngakoue to remain in Jaguars teal and white:
Doug Marrone: ‘’No doubt where I stand or the coaches.”
—They want Yannick Ngakoue back. pic.twitter.com/vOorH4hH95
— John Reid (@JohnReid64) February 26, 2020
However, it remains to be seen if Marrone and Caldwell are willing to “pony up” huge money for him or even potentially, put the franchise tag on him before free agency begins next month?
Ngakoue figures to want a contract close to what the top ends are getting paid right now. Demarcus Lawrence and Frank Clark both signed five-year, over $100 million deals in 2019 and received guaranteed money that exceeded $62 million. That is massive for Jacksonville.
If the Jags opt for the “franchise tag,” then the talented end will be making around $19 million dollars, which is the current average of the top five players at his position. The Jaguars could also put the tag on him and then work on a longer term, salary cap friendly, deal that would replace the tag later in the off season.
Jaguars confirm they are declining option on DT Dareus
At Tuesday’s media session at the NFL Scouting Combine, Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell made official what had been rumored for the last couple of days regarding defensive tackle Marcell Dareus: he will not be brought back for a fourth season in Jacksonville.
Caldwell confirmed the Jaguars are not picking up DT Marcell Dareus' option.
— John Reid (@JohnReid64) February 25, 2020
Dareus only played briefly in 2019, as he suffered a core muscle injury that sidelined him after only six games and he was placed on injured reserve. The former number one pick of the Buffalo Bills had played for coach Doug Marrone for a couple of seasons in Western New York.
Marrone and Caldwell traded for Dareus during the 2017 season and he helped them with their rise to the AFC South title and two playoff wins. This included Darius registering two sacks and four other tackles-for-loss in the Jaguars three playoff games that year.
Dareus made the Pro Bowl twice in Buffalo in 2013-14.
However, he has not lived up to his hefty contract that was reworked Jacksonville last February. Last season, Dareus made over $8 million dollars and the team would have been on the hook for $20 million this year had they picked up the option. That obviously wasn’t going to happen.
Dareus also has had legal troubles off the field, including a civil suit against him in Tampa for alleged sexual misconduct. As we wrote previously, a woman alleged that Dareus had sexually assaulted her in January of 2018 at a North Tampa Florida home, while Dareus was in town for the Alabama-Clemson College Football Playoff Championship Game.
However, that suit filed in Hillsborough County court was “dismissed with prejudice” last April, which means it cannot be re-filed.
Dareus, if healthy after the core muscle injury rehab, may have some value as a defensive tackle on the free agent market.
As for the Jaguars, they have former #1 pick defensive tackle Taven Bryan to play more in the middle and are trying to decide if free agent-to-be, DE Yannick Ngakoue, can be afforded for their 2020 salary cap?