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Jaguars Marrone auditioning for job again like 2016?

Florida Football Insiders



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It was Christmas Eve of 2016 and the Jaguars were set to play host to Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans. And, this game came six days after owner Shad Khan had fired then coach Gus Bradley and head named assistant head coach, Doug Marrone, as his interim.

Now, just like three seasons ago, Marrone may very well be auditioning for the job in the final two weeks of 2019.

Marrone met with the media on Thursday, a day after Khan jettisoned VP of Football Tom Coughlin after one nightmare off-the-field embarrassment after another and a whole lot of losing the last two seasons.

As you would expect, Marrone was very realistic, telling the media that he and the players understand that all of their jobs are on the line with two games remaining:

“We’re all fighting for our jobs- our life, really. I mean, that’s what we do, as coaches. We all know that. That’s what the situation is. No different for the players. They have the same thing.”

The good news for Marrone is that he had success three years ago in this situation, as the Jags defeated the Titans that day costing them a shot at the playoffs, and even injured Marcus Mariota with a broken leg in the process. Further ,the Jaguars played very competitively in a narrow loss the following week to the Colts.

Eventually, Khan brought Coughlin, the original architect of the Jaguars and their successes in the 1990s, back to run his football operation. And, Coughlin decided that Marrone deserved the chance to be the full-time head coach.

We know that the Jaguars soared to playoff success in year one of Coughlin/Marrone with two postseason wins before narrowly losing to the Patriots in the AFC Championship game in late January of 2018.

But, we also know that the Jaguars have floundered the last two seasons amid high expectation from their owner that they would still be a contender.

The good news for the Jags embattled coach is his team rallied to beat Oakland in the 4th quarter last week and snapped a five-game losing streak. It would be better news, if with the weight of coughlin’s iron-fisted ways removed from them, that the Jaguars further respond by playing well and winning one or both of the remaining games.

Those are at Atlanta Sunday and coincidentally, at home with the same Indianapolis Colts Marrone finished with three years ago.

Again, we at F.F.I. were told by a source close to the situation two weeks ago the Khan was fed up with the off field issues that couldn’t be overcome and led to players Dante Fowler, Telvin Smith and Jalen Ramsey no longer being around. And, that he is heavily leading towards firing not only Coughlin, but GM Dave Caldwell as well as Marrone, and starting over.

And, that Khan may even look to hire a coach / GM to run the whole thing. “A Splash hire,” as it was described to us.

So, who knows how much this Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and next week’s final game with the Colts at home would mean and could save Marrone’s job or not? It may mean nothing.

All we know is that he was in this situation before, and in a short sample, the team responded.

To the negative, we further know that if the Jags continue to be bad and lose one or both of these games, while everyone including Khan is watching, then likely the “slate will be cleaned” as soon as the Monday after the season.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue hinting he’s gone again?

Florida Football Insiders



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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

Florida Football Insiders



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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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