After weeks of ambiguity into the status of star linebacker Telvin Smith of the Jaguars, we’ve now have somewhat of an answer on Thursday afternoon.
Smith has obviously been troubled by something in his personal and or professional life and he announced on social media that he will step away from the Jaguars and the NFL this season. The linebacker, who is slated to head into his sixth season, made the announcement Thursday afternoon via Instagram:
Jaguars’ LB Telvin Smith announced he will not play football in 2019. pic.twitter.com/GHCMhXmDQb
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 9, 2019
Quoting from Smith:
“At this time I must take time away from this game and get my world in order. I must give this time back to myself, my family, & my health.”
Smith had taken to “Instagram Live” on that same account above with a video earlier this week. In which, he answered a couple of questions and comments on the subject of him being gone by reiterating that he had not been traded and he had no intention of leaving Jacksonville and the Jaguars.
The 2017 Pro Bowler was the Jaguars top tackler a year ago with 134 of them, including 100 solo stops, he also had two interceptions one fumble recovery and one sack on the season. Smith, who is a former 5th round pick out of FSU in 2014, has registered 100 or more tackles in each of his five NFL seasons.
During the Jaguars turn around 2017 playoff season, Smith signed a four-year $45 million dollar contract extension the kept him from becoming a free agent at the end of that year. Smith made $9.75 million a year ago and is slated to make $10 million with a $5.6 million dead cap hit for this season.
At least initially, there was no reaction from the Jaguars as to Smith’s announcement.
At 4pm Eastern on a Jaguars internet show on their website, team reporter J.P. Shadrick told the audience that he had been told that the team had not heard from Smith in advance of his announcement on social media.
The team released a statement shortly after:
Statement regarding LB Telvin Smith. pic.twitter.com/0LzdM4K9NC
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) May 9, 2019
There has been speculation that there was some kind of dispute going on between he and the team, as Smith was staying away from voluntary workouts last month. Coach Doug Marrone told the media in late April that he had not spoken Smith, while he has been away from the team.
There will be further speculation with the announcement today, that Smith has some type of alcohol or drug issue that he will be addressing. However, until either he or the team clears that up, it only remains a speculation as to what’s truly going on?
The Jaguars can obviously petition to have Smith put on something like the “Commissioners Exempt List,” where he would not count against the roster, while all of this is trying to be sorted out.
That would also give the team some salary-cap relief, if it’s granted.
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