The Jaguars announced their upcoming July training camp dates Friday morning, including when they will practice first and then, open the preseason with the Baltimore Ravens in August.
Jacksonville used social media for the initial release of key dates and information:
Notable @Jaguars training camp dates:
7/22: rookie, first-year players and QBs report.
7/24: veterans report.
7/25: first TC practice.
7/28: first practice in full pads.
8/5-8/6: joint practices with @Ravens.
Info on open fan practices will be available in early July.
— Tad Dickman (@TDickman89) June 14, 2019
It’s a critical year with a lot of different question marks for the Jags to begin to sort out in Late July.
Most eyes will be on free agent quarterback Nick Foles and the beginning of his leadership to invigorate Jacksonville’s offense. As we wrote earlier in the week, Foles has been very complimentary of the Jaguars best weapon, Leonard Fournette. And, the hope for Jaguars fans is that Fournette will return to the form of his rookie season and not, the injured disappointment the 2018 became.
Further, Jacksonville has a question mark at middle linebacker, at least for now, as Pro Bowler Telvin Smith has announced that he will not play this season. It is still unclear as to exactly what his motive is for staying away from the team in the NFL for this year? However, the belief is it is some kind of personal problem are bothering Smith and/or his family. We also make room for the possibility that Smith could change his mind, and join his teammates at some point after veterans report or along the process in training camp and the preseason.
As for the preseason schedule, as the Jags announced they will have joint practices with the Baltimore Ravens coming on August 5th and 6th before playing the Ravens in the opening preseason game of 2019 on Thursday night August 8th in Baltimore.
That mean checks bill will get an up-close look in the workouts and at least for the first quarter at Ravens Speedy former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Lamar Jackson.
The Jaguars passed on opportunity two drafts ago to take Jackson at the end of the first round. The Ravens ended up making a trade back into the first round and grabbing former Louisville star quarterback. And, he came on as their starter in the second half of last season replacing Joe Flacco and led them to the AFC North title and the playoffs.
If you’re wondering, Jacksonville has frequently held combined practices with other teams. That includes a year ago when they traveled to Minnesota to work out with the Vikings before playing them in the preseason.
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?