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Jaguars “double crossing” Marcedes Lewis shows ugly side of NFL

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Last month the Jaguars looked magnanimous, as they rewarded the last link to their previous winning ways of 10+ years ago, and picked up the 2018 contract option on veteran TE Marcedes Lewis.

Lewis stuck it out through continuous ten loss seasons over and over in the past few years, and he finally got rewarded. The Jaguars won 10 games, the AFC South, and two playoff games before losing just shy of the Super Bowl in New England. That’s him in the photo above catching a touchdown pass in the first half of that game.

Slated to play his 13th season coming up, the 33 year old Lewis was to have made $3.5 million in Jacksonville.

Notice, we are using past tense above.

That’s because Tuesday afternoon, the Jaguars cut Lewis a month after allegedly, rewarding him.

This move was dictated by what Jacksonville did at the end of last week in free agency: bringing in former Bucs second round pick and Jets TE of the last two years, Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Jenkins was given a two year $9.5 million deal, but it’s not known how much of that is guaranteed.

Also, the Jaguars signed Redskins free agent Niles Paul to a two year deal, but that was only worth $4.75 million total and only $1.5 million was guaranteed.

So, at that point it made Lewis’ deal/2018 salary cap dollars expendable.

He was understandably not thrilled, not only with the news, but the timing coming a week after the free agency chaos began.

Look, this isn’t anything new.

Teams release long time veteran players all the time for many reasons, and some aren’t really legitimate in terms of play or what you have sacrificed, previously.

You make too much. They want you gone. You don’t cost a lot or anything against the cap (Lewis doesn’t for 2018), you can and might very well be bye-bye.

Still, to do it this way, stinks.

It’s not some rookie or second year player that hasn’t been around. Lewis is a team captain and has played only for the Jaguars for 12 seasons.

Lewis agreed to a five year $34 million deal in 2011, while the losing had been going on. He even agreed to take a reworked new contract that was salary cap friendly for the team in April of 2015, when the Jags had lost 10 or more games for four straight years.

That freed up over $4 million for the Jaguars that season, when he did it.

And then, he agreed to the three year deal in 2016 (after two more ten loss seasons) that had the team option for 2018. The option that the Jaguars are now reneging on Tuesday.

Maybe, Lewis will find someone who gives him a decent one year deal. Maybe, he will play on for the league minimum?

Maybe, he will hang it up after 12 years?

Just remember this, when players are holding out for the most money they can get, while they can get it, it’s days like today and situations like Marcedes Lewis’ that they are thinking about.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Why is Jalen Ramsey Twitter feuding with NFL Network analyst?

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

There is no mistaking that Jaguars defensive back Jalen Ramsey is talented, and in 2017 he was named as an All-Pro by his peers and most recenlty in the player polled “Top 100.” So, that’s a validation that doesn’t need a whole lot else.

Yet, an NFL Network analyst and a former NFL defensive back himself, is questioning part of his game.

And, Jalen Ramsey got annoyed. Like, really annoyed.

It all began when, Bucky Brooks, who hosts a successful podcast and appears regularly on the NFL Network questioned another player, DB Casey Hayward of the Chargers, and whether he was a “transcendent talent” in coverage.

The exchanges with Hayward on Twitter Thursday went on for a bit and then, Ramsey jumped in here:

 

And, when Brooks tweeted about Ramsey and why he was drafted two years ago in the top five by Jacksonville, things cranked up on social media:

Next, Ramsey questioned whether Brooks believes Ramsey is only a product of the Jaguars “defensive system” and not of his ability to shutdown the opposing team’s top wideout, one on one:

Brooks referenced former fellow Noles All American and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Deion Sanders as one of those rare “lock down” corners, and of course, that someone that Ramsey, two years removed from FSU, wants to be compared to with his own game.

Brooks then explained further about his own analysis and teams/GMs/personnel executives thinking:

In the end, Ramsey, who is not bashful about expressing his opinions on or off the field, finally gave some props to Brooks for having an informed opinion:

The bottom line is that analysts get paid to analyze. And the good ones are always soliciting the opinions of others, who are actually coaching and working in the NFL Front office.

And further, if Ramsey keeps “locking down” the likes of the Texans DeAndre Hopkins, and the Colts T.Y. Hilton, who he sees twice a year, then he will continue to get the respect he wants. And, he’ll get the second contract dollars that come with it, too.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL Network will show Jaguars preseason game at Minnesota nationally

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a tremendous surprise turnaround season that included a division win and two playoff victories, the Jaguars have everyone in North Florida buzzing for 2018. And the NFL Network is interested enough that it has announced it will be showing their second preseason game, at the Vikings, to the nation on Saturday August 18th.

This information was included in the NFL’s announcement that NFL Network will televise a total of 15 preseason games live, nationally:

The Jaguars will practice against the Vikings in Minnesota on Wednesday and Thursday (8/15-16) prior to playing the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Minnesota, who won the NFC North and made the NFC Championship Game last year, signed arguably the top free agent on the market last March. That’s when they inked former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins to a massive three year fully guaranteed $84 million deal.

Jacksonville will open the preseason the previous week against the NFC South champion Saints at newly renamed TIAA Bank Field in North Florida.

The good news in addition to the practice time with the Vikes, most of the starters on both sides of the ball will see action into the second quarter, if not halftime of the second preseason game.

This will be good work for QB Blake Bortles and his new assortment of targets like WR Donte Moncrief and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who both signed with the Jags in March.

And for the stout Jaguars defense led by DT Calais Campbell, LB Telvin Smith and CB Jalen Ramsey (all of whom made the Pro Bowl last year) will get a good opening half challenge from Cousins, and receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. It will also be curious to see if second year former FSU star running back Dalvin will be fully recovered from his ACL tear. And, we’ll see if the Vikings want to give him some work or rest him completely in August.

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Jaguars DT Marcell Dareus involved in two sexual assault allegations

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars traded for defensive tackle Marcell Dareus last year to re-unite him with former head coach Doug Marrone and give him a fresh start on living up to his first round draft pick expectations.

Unfortunately, less than a year later, Dareus is involved in not one, but two sexual assault complaints.

First, it was learned Wednesday afternoon that a woman in Houston, TX, has accused Dareus of having unprotected sex with her in April, while she was unconscious. And she further claims that Dareus gave her a sexually transmitted disease. The unidentified woman filed a civil lawsuit seeking $15,000 in damages.

“News 4” in Jacksonville reporter Chris Parenteau had more on that allegation:

News 4 reported on it’s evening newscast Wednesday that there’s no criminal complaint with Houston Police against Dareus at this time.

The accuser’s attorney did give this statement to the station Wednesday afternoon:

“There are civil and criminal laws in both Florida and Texas that address circumstances where someone knowingly exposes another to sexually transmitted diseases. As of now, we are not aware that any criminal charges have been filed in this matter. Our focus is on protecting our client’s right to recover damages for the severe physical and emotional harm that’s been caused to her.”

The situation is further confused by the accuser in the Houston case admitting to having consensual sex on multiple occasions with Dareus after the alleged incident.

Meanwhile, there is another allegation that came to light on Wednesday, involving Dareus and others, that an alleged sexual assault occurred at a Tampa mansion in January of 2017. In a civil complaint originally filed in December of last year, an unidentified Las Vegas woman says that Dareus and members of his “entourage” sexually assaulted her after a night of partying.

The woman accused Dareus formally in an amendment to her civil suit in Hillsborough County Court in January. Dareus and his lawyers are trying to get the lawsuit dismissed at an August 9th hearing.

Dareus played in 12 total games for the Jaguars after the trade with the Bills. He had one regular season sack, but excelled in the playoffs with sacks in the Pittsburgh win and the narrow loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. He had 10 total tackles in the three post season games.

The 28 year old Dareus, a first round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, is scheduled to make $10.2 million dollars this season in Jacksonville.

The Jaguars only comment to the media on Wednesday evening was that they were aware of the allegations and monitoring the situation.

Dareus’ agent had not returned calls or emails seeking comment from them or Dareus on the civil lawsuits and sexual assault allegations.

Obviously, in addition to the seriousness of the allegations, even in civil court, the NFL will likely be investigating the situation soon under the league’s personal conduct policy.

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