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Jacksonville Jaguars

Marrone philosophical about fate after Sunday final game

Florida Football Insiders

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars concluded the 2019 campaign with a second win in their final three games by clubbling the Colts after halftime in a 38 – 20 win at TIAA Bank field. And now, the bigger story is: what’s the future for coach Doug Marrone?

For his part, Marrone made it clear Sunday night after the game that he’s not only been in communication with owner Shahid Khan but he doesn’t believe any decision has been made:

It is interesting, if not odd, that Marrone has on multiple times over the last three weeks expressed the he is remorseful or even “sorry” for the teams performance and for how bad the team has been overall in the last couple of years.

It’s almost as if  he senses on his own, or that Khan has let it be known, that some acceptance of blame and public self – shaming for a second straight losing season is somehow going to factor in to whether or not to keep Marrone?

Marrone also referred in his press conference Sunday night to ESPN NFL reporter Dianna Russini’s Saturday report/tweet that Maronne had been told he was going to be fired after Sunday, calling it “kind of a joke.”

And Khan, through his spokesman on Saturday, had quickly debunked the report by saying he hadn’t met with or reached a decision on Marrone.

Still, Khan could in short order go ahead and meet with Marrone and GM Dave Caldwell and elect to dismiss both, one or neither of them. And, if he is firing one or both of them, logic would be that he would do that within the next day or two. That’s because, there are already coaching openings (Washington, Carolina, Cleveland) and soon to be several more, where teams will have a jump on the Jags potentially trying to get a new head coach.

One interesting aspect of the future that has nothing to do specifically with the head coach, but is important: what to do with the quarterback position? After rookie 6th round pick Gardner Minshew won his sixth game as a starter Sunday, it’s a tough spot for the organization with high-priced free agent Nick Foles.

Foles was guaranteed $50 million on the four-year deal that he signed, and while he got injured in the first quarter of game one and was given a pass until healthy, he was ineffective in the next three games back and all were all decisive losses. That sent Foles back to the bench for the rookie.

Minshew on the other hand had the team and the Jaguar fanbase rally around him in the middle of the season and produced more victories at the end.

Now comes the tough part, when you’ve had a rough year, the uncertainty of what the owner will do?

We’re all waiting for that with the Jaguars.

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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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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