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Jaguars Campbell took home NFL Man of Year Saturday night

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The dividends of having signed free-agent Calais Campbell three years ago continue to pay off for the Jaguars and for the star player. This, as Saturday night he was named the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year for his community service work off the field.

Campbell was recognized on the night before Super Bowl 54 at the “NFL Honors” award show in Miami:

It is the latest Accolade for the 33 year old defensive force for the Jags. Six days ago in Orlando, Campbell was named the Defensive MVP of the 2020 Pro Bowl after his sack fumble led to the go-ahead touchdown for the AFC.

It’s the third consecutive year since signing as a free agent from the Cardinals that Campbell received Pro Bowl honors. He also has now put together a string of 11 consecutive seasons with at least five sacks, which is the longest among current players in the NFL.

Campbell, who was previously in the Pro Bowl twice in Arizona, now has 88 career sacks and is the most consistent defender Jacksonville has had.

These have been trying times for the Jaguars with back-to-back bad 10-loss seasons, but Campbell has served as a mentor including two young defensive lineman like Yannick Ngakoue, Taven Bryan and this past year, Josh Allen. Allen, the seventh overall pick last April, set the Jaguars rookie record for sacks in a season with 10.5. He also was a reserve replacement for the Pro Bowl last weekend.

Back to Campbell and the Walter Payton award. It’s  named after the Hall of Fame former Bears running back who was legendary for his off-the-field work in the Chicago-land inner cities and other charities.

For Campbell, his CRC Foundation has been in existence for 11 years. The foundation is named for his late father, Charles, to enhance the community through the teaching of critical life skills to young people. He said Saturday night upon receiving the award:

“My goal when I give back is to inspire people; to encourage people to believe that dreams are achievable if you put the work in,” Campbell said at NFL Honors. “Everybody, and I mean everybody, can give back. Wherever you are in your life, it doesn’t matter where you are in your life, but reach back and help someone. It’s our duty to help our neighbors. Even if you can only give five minutes to someone in need, give it to them. That one-on-one quality time, that little bit of extra time can make a world of difference.

Campbell is making that difference on Sunday’s in the trenches in North Florida, too.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue hinting he’s gone again?

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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:

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:

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.

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Jaguars confirm they are declining option on DT Dareus

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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 was a specifically asked about Dareus’ status and gave a quick answer is part of his Q&A session:

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?

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