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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars got what they needed in Cincinnati Sunday

Florida Football Insiders

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Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

After a month of headaches off the field involving a saga with Jalen Ramsey, the Jaguars needed to take advantage of an easy opponent on their schedule and get a win. And, the Cincinnati Bengals proved to be just what they needed on Sunday.

While the Jags were not perfect, they were good enough, especially in the fourth quarter, to put away a 27-17 road victory at Paul Brown Stadium. And in doing so, help put some of the drama involving their former All-Pro defensive back in the rearview mirror.

Say whatever you want about whether Ramsey deserved more respect, a long-term deal or not oh, etc., there is no question that his antics of the last couple of weeks, specifically, had begun to drain on the organization and even into the locker room.

So, with Ramsay dealt to Los Angeles in exchange for a couple of number one picks and a mid rounder, the Jags could focus on roughing up the winless Bengals.

And, even though Jacksonville was dismal scoring TDs in the red zone for a lot of the game and settling for Josh Lambo field goals, they finally got their act together, when it mattered the most.

Rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew floated a two yard TD pass to Keelan Cole and then fired the ball on the two pointer to Chris Conley that helped get the lead to 17-10.

Next, the Jacksonville defense took over as pass-rushing specialist Yannick Ngakoue came up with game changing play of the defensive day when he grabbed this terribly thrown Andy Dalton screen pass:

Even with over four minutes remaining, when he rumbled 23 yards for a two TD lead, the game was basically decided.

The Jags defense further salted the game way, when Ronnie Harrison picked Dalton, again and Lambo added his fourth field goal for a 17  point cushion.

More good news, as Leonard Fournette was again the bruising power back that Jacksonville finishing with over a hundred yards for the third time in four games finishing with 131 yards on 29 carries.

No, all the Jaguar ills are not solved with their victory in the Queen City Sunday afternoon, but at 3 – 4 they are respectable at the moment in the division and in the overall AFC landscape.

And with more good news that Nick Foles is scheduled to begin practicing this week off of his broken collarbone in game one, things may begin to brighten up even more in North Florida.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue hinting he’s gone again?

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars confirm they are declining option on DT Dareus

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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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