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Jacksonville Jaguars

Mystery surrounds retired Jaguars LB Smith Wednesday night

Florida Football Insiders

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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So much for a quiet night before Thanksgiving, at least for the Jaguars and their former Pro Bowl linebacker from 2017, Telvin Smith.

The player who abruptly retired, while in the peak of his career and with a $9 million salary due to him this fall, has apparenlty been taken into custody by Jacksonville authorities.

There continues to be lots of speculation about why, but in connecting the dots, Jacksonville authorities have been at his home this afternoon and it appears that Smith could be involved in an illegal marijuana grow business.

First, Jacksonville TV reporter Vic Micolucci tweeted this video of authorities towing away a vehicle from Smith’s home:

Further the reporter said a short time later that neighbors saw Smith handcuffed and in the back of a police vehicle earlier Wednesday afternoon.

There is still no official confirmation of his arrest and any potential charges.

However, around the same time that all of this was going on at Smith’s residence in suburban Jacksonville, this tweet from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office about a huge illegal marijuana bust got attention and led to more speculation:

Later on Wednesday night a Florida Times Union reporter pointed out that “Zone 2” does encompass the Queens Harbor area of Jacksonville, where Smith’s home is, but stopped short of reporting that this was the reason for the police activity at Smith’s home, etc.

Again, the tweet about the marijuana grow business bust could just be a coincidence, and Smith is presumed innocent of whatever is going on. His representatives have made no statements tonight.

We do know that the Jaguars told Jacksonville members of the media that Smith is on the “Reserve/Retired” list and that therefore, he’s no longer part of their organization at this time. And, they would have no comment now, or in the future on his situation.

Smith had announced in May that he would not play in 2019, which stunned everyone, including the team.

He 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. The team filed a grievance with the the league and the NFLPA to recoup the bonus money that had been given to Smith.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jags coach Marrone acknowledged Wednesday he’s in jeopardy

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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As the Jaguars 2019 season has spiraled downward, their head coach acknowledged Wednesday that there are likely changes coming in North Florida.

Doug Marrone, in his third full season as the Jags head coach, met with the media prior to Wednesday’s practice:

“We’re all fighting for our jobs. When you look at it from that standpoint, each person has to make their own decision on how they handle those things….It’s a constant microscope in this league, but I think it gets magnified when you are not winning football games,” Marrone said plainly.

It’s no secret that the Jaguars are plummeting. Sunday they were embarrassed again at home, this time by the L.A. Chargers 45 – 10. That was the fifth consecutive decisive loss (by at least 17 points) for a team that was once 4 – 4 and in the conversation are the AFC Wildcard picture.

Yes, there are injuries including the team losing defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and recently linebacker Myles Jack to season-ending IR. The same on offense where WR Marqise Lee never got healthy and made contributions this year. He, too is back on injured reserve.

Further, the team also had to deal with the constant off field distraction and then decided to trade away arguably their best player, defensive back Jalen Ramsey to the LA Rams. Granted, Ramsey wanted out and was trying not to play while the trade was being consummated. Still, this missed him on the field and it was an issue.

Then, there’s the mess on offense, where the Jags offensive line is in shambles and Marrone had to bench high-priced free agent quarterback Nick Foles before last week’s game. That’s because of his ineffective play and lack of mobility to play behind their poor line.

Rookie Gardner Minshew, who had won four games earlier this year, didn’t do much with only 162 yards in the air and a late third-quarter touchdown that only cut the lead to 31 – 10 in the loss Sunday.

Further, running back Leonard Fournette has now been neutralized by the lack of good line play and the inability to get the passing game going. Fournette went from having a good start to the season that included three 100-yard or more games out of four in late September and October, to having five of his last six games where he has run for 50 yards or less.

So, everywhere you look, the Jags are struggling and losing, and owner Shad Khan is expected to make wholesale changes at the end of the year.

But for now, Jacksonville must go out to Oakland this week and try not to be further embarrassed there.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars injury woes continue- LB Myles Jack to IR

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Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
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The bad news on the injury front for the Jaguars continued on Thursday, when they placed star linebacker Myles Jack on injured reserve.

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport had the news first:

Jack missed Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers with a knee injury that was believed to be a sprain suffered in the loss to the Colts two weeks ago. However, the move to IR indicates it may be more serious.

The Jaguars season has unraveled over the course of the last month with injuries to their defense and the team trading away perennial Pro Bowl defensive back Jalen Ramsey to the Rams. Jacksonville had already put DT Marcel Dareus on IR, All-Pro defensive tackle Calais Campbell has been trying to battle through a bad back and DB Tony Harrison has still not been cleared with a concussion.

Coach Doug Marrone has expressed the last two weeks that it has been a struggle for his defense with all of the injuries mounting late in the year.

As for Jack, he had settled in the middle linebacker roll after Telvin Smith abruptly retired in May.

Jack has been solid, but not spectacular, in the middle of the defense registering 7 or more tackles in five games this season. However he hasn’t forced a fumble, has only one interception and half of a sack. Jack also has just three tackles-for-loss at a position that often dictates much more output than that.

The former second-round pick out of UCLA had question marks about his knee coming out of college, when the Jaguars took him in the 2016 draft. However, he has answered critics on his durability by being active for all 59 games of his career up until last week.

Jacksonville will use veteran Donald Payne at middle linebacker for now. Payne played significantly last week against the Buccaneers and has been on and off of Jacksonville roster this season.

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