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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars DE Ngakoue ends holdout without new deal

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Jaguar fans will be excited that their best pass rusher has reported to training camp on Sunday morning. However, for Yannick Ngakoue oh, he cannot be thrilled, as he’s showing up without a new long-term deal.

ESPN Insider Adam Schefter was the first to report that Ngakoue had decided to come in, in advance of the Tuesday deadline for him to report to camp or lose out on a year of service towards unrestricted free agency:

The team confirmed that Ngakoue had shown up later on Sunday morning, and head coach Doug Marrone met with the media saying he was hopeful to get him on the field, as soon as possible.

However, it was not known as to whether he would work out with them on Sunday.

Ngakoue has been away for more than 10 days of Jacksonville’s practices and has accrued more than $300,000 in fines, which is a good portion of his 2019 salary.

Ngakoue was a no show in June, while seeking a massive pay raise from small salary in the final year of his four-year rookie contract. He is slated to make $2 million this season. Or, roughly about an eighth of what the top 5 defensive ends in the NFL make on average ($15.5 million).

It’s unclear whether the Jaguars and specifically, VP of Football Tom Coughlin and GM Dave Caldwell, have made progress with Ngakoue’s representatives on a new deal. Obviously, the team “called his bluff,” as the player reported without that contract Sunday and won’t even miss a preseason game, as it stands.

He’s been Jacksonville’s best pass-rusher over his three-year career accumulating 29.5 sacks (9.5 in 2018) and 70 quarterback hits. This after being an unheralded 3rd round draft pick out of Maryland in 2016. So, you can understand his frustration and wanting a new deal.

The star defensive end had until Tuesday to report under CBA rules for rookie contracts or risk losing 2019 as a year of service. Then, Jacksonville could essentially pay him his same $2 million salary again next year, without Nkakoue having the leverage of an unrestricted free agent or being “franchise tagged.”

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jags coach Marrone acknowledged Wednesday he’s in jeopardy

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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As the Jaguars 2019 season has spiraled downward, their head coach acknowledged Wednesday that there are likely changes coming in North Florida.

Doug Marrone, in his third full season as the Jags head coach, met with the media prior to Wednesday’s practice:

“We’re all fighting for our jobs. When you look at it from that standpoint, each person has to make their own decision on how they handle those things….It’s a constant microscope in this league, but I think it gets magnified when you are not winning football games,” Marrone said plainly.

It’s no secret that the Jaguars are plummeting. Sunday they were embarrassed again at home, this time by the L.A. Chargers 45 – 10. That was the fifth consecutive decisive loss (by at least 17 points) for a team that was once 4 – 4 and in the conversation are the AFC Wildcard picture.

Yes, there are injuries including the team losing defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and recently linebacker Myles Jack to season-ending IR. The same on offense where WR Marqise Lee never got healthy and made contributions this year. He, too is back on injured reserve.

Further, the team also had to deal with the constant off field distraction and then decided to trade away arguably their best player, defensive back Jalen Ramsey to the LA Rams. Granted, Ramsey wanted out and was trying not to play while the trade was being consummated. Still, this missed him on the field and it was an issue.

Then, there’s the mess on offense, where the Jags offensive line is in shambles and Marrone had to bench high-priced free agent quarterback Nick Foles before last week’s game. That’s because of his ineffective play and lack of mobility to play behind their poor line.

Rookie Gardner Minshew, who had won four games earlier this year, didn’t do much with only 162 yards in the air and a late third-quarter touchdown that only cut the lead to 31 – 10 in the loss Sunday.

Further, running back Leonard Fournette has now been neutralized by the lack of good line play and the inability to get the passing game going. Fournette went from having a good start to the season that included three 100-yard or more games out of four in late September and October, to having five of his last six games where he has run for 50 yards or less.

So, everywhere you look, the Jags are struggling and losing, and owner Shad Khan is expected to make wholesale changes at the end of the year.

But for now, Jacksonville must go out to Oakland this week and try not to be further embarrassed there.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars injury woes continue- LB Myles Jack to IR

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Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
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The bad news on the injury front for the Jaguars continued on Thursday, when they placed star linebacker Myles Jack on injured reserve.

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport had the news first:

Jack missed Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers with a knee injury that was believed to be a sprain suffered in the loss to the Colts two weeks ago. However, the move to IR indicates it may be more serious.

The Jaguars season has unraveled over the course of the last month with injuries to their defense and the team trading away perennial Pro Bowl defensive back Jalen Ramsey to the Rams. Jacksonville had already put DT Marcel Dareus on IR, All-Pro defensive tackle Calais Campbell has been trying to battle through a bad back and DB Tony Harrison has still not been cleared with a concussion.

Coach Doug Marrone has expressed the last two weeks that it has been a struggle for his defense with all of the injuries mounting late in the year.

As for Jack, he had settled in the middle linebacker roll after Telvin Smith abruptly retired in May.

Jack has been solid, but not spectacular, in the middle of the defense registering 7 or more tackles in five games this season. However he hasn’t forced a fumble, has only one interception and half of a sack. Jack also has just three tackles-for-loss at a position that often dictates much more output than that.

The former second-round pick out of UCLA had question marks about his knee coming out of college, when the Jaguars took him in the 2016 draft. However, he has answered critics on his durability by being active for all 59 games of his career up until last week.

Jacksonville will use veteran Donald Payne at middle linebacker for now. Payne played significantly last week against the Buccaneers and has been on and off of Jacksonville roster this season.

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