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.
— Vic Micolucci WJXT (@WJXTvic) November 27, 2019
Further the reporter said a short time later that neighbors saw Smith handcuffed and in the back of a police vehicle earlier Wednesday afternoon.
Multiple neighbors now telling me Telvin Smith was put into police car in handcuffs. His mother tells @WJXTScottJ she is aware of situation and is en route to Jacksonville. @wjxt4 pic.twitter.com/A8eizVz7ib
— Vic Micolucci WJXT (@WJXTvic) November 27, 2019
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:
Knock Knock in Zone 2!
✅ 50.30 pounds of processed marijuana
✅ 261 live plants
✅ $5,700 seized
— Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) November 27, 2019
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.
We’re following this #telvinsmith case. I’ve seen a lot of rumors on Twitter saying the JSO bust below was related to Smith. @jaxdotcom has received NO info to actually confirm that. Zone 2 does happen to encompass Queen’s Harbor, but it also extends to Arlington, Southside etc. https://t.co/ULcaydESS7
— Emily “Brilliantly Illuminating” Bloch (@emdrums) November 28, 2019
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.
AFC Championship game another reminder of Jaguars fall
Two years ago, the Jaguars were 72 hours away from playing the New England Patriots for a spot in Super Bowl 52.
Now, 24 months later, you can’t help but reflect on what the Jags had and how quickly it all came unhinged.
That Jaguars team had magically won the AFC South with a 10-win turnaround regular-season. Now, the qualifiers are: QB Andrew Luck was out for the year with shoulder surgery for the Colts after they had dominated the division in his tenure.
And, further, the Jags did not play the Texans in either game against QB DeShaun Watson. This, as he was still on the bench as a rookie in the first meeting in game one of the year. And, he had torn his ACL by the time Jacksonville played Houston in the second matchup.
When you couple that the Jaguars also playing the winless Cleveland Browns, their schedule definitely fell in their favor to help get to 10 victories.
And without a doubt, they played an ugly low-scoring home playoff game on the Wild Card Weekend against an offensively challenged Buffalo Bills team.
Still, a playoff win is a playoff win, and that earned the Jags a chance to play the Divisional Playoff matchup at Pittsburgh the following week.
And, that Sunday in the “Steel City” Blake Bortles looked like one of the best quarterbacks in the league with decisive accurate throws. Plus, Leonard Fournette was pounding the Steelers between the tackles for a couple of scores (above).
And then on the defensive side, Dante Fowler was attacking the quarterback, and Telvin Smith was anchoring the middle of the defense, plus, returning a fumble for a touchdown.
And, Jalen Ramsey was locking down Steeler receivers in one-on-one coverage in a wild 45-42 upset win.
That was then.
And, just two years later all but Fournette out of those players mentioned above, are now no longer with the team.
The Jaguars defense being hit the hardest by trading Fowler and Ramsey in separate deals to the Rams and then, Telvin Smith abruptly retiring in the prime of his career in the off-season.
Gone too is the man, VP of Football Tom Coughlin, who couldn’t get along with several of those players just mentioned above and got himself fired in less than two years after his team played for the whole thing.
He was fired with two weeks to go in the season by owner Shahid Khan, and just 34 months after his heralded return to North Florida to resurrect the Jags. Khan has elected to keep coach Doug Marrone and GM Dave Caldwell despite them following 2017 with 5-11 and 6-10 seasons.
Jacksonville jettisoned Blake Bortles last offseason opting for high-priced free agent quarterback, Nick Foles. However. Foles never really got 2019 underway with a broken collarbone in the first quarter of game one and the team had to turn to Gardner Minshew, a rookie 6th round pick to lead them for a lot of the year.
So even headed into 2020, it’s uncertain who the signal-callers going to be?
Further, with those defensive names above gone and an aging Calais Campbell too, about the only thing a Jags fan can count on is young pass rusher Josh Allen. And, it looks like, he will be one of the most counted on Jaguar Defenders for years to come.
It’s also ironic that the Jaguars counterpart in the AFC South, the Titans have basically been winning down the stretch of this season and now and the two road playoff games at New England in Baltimore with Jacksonville’s 2017 formula. That would be: a strong running game to set up the rest of the offense and physical opportunistic defense more holding the other team in check.
Will the Titans be able to get over the hump and shock high-powered Kansas City, where are the Jaguars failed to knock off Tom Brady and the Patriots when they had their Super Bowl shot?
We are about to find out at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday.
And it’s understandable if Jaguar fans are watching Sunday and wondering how far they are away from that level of play and that big of a game at this point?
And more importantly, how much longer it will take them to have another shot at playing for an AFC title anytime soon?
Former Jaguars coordinator DeFillipo already lands in Chicago
It didn’t take long for former Jaguars offensive coordinator John DeFilippo to land a new gig, although it is a demotion back to a former role that he had previously.
ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reported Wednesdsay evening DeFilippo will be joining the Chicago Bears, as their new quarterback coach under Matt Nagy and working with Mitch Trubisky:
Big changes to Bears coaching staff: former Jaguars’ OC John DeFilippo is being hired as their QB coach, QB coach Dave Ragone is being promoted to passing game coordinator, and Bill Lazor is being hired as OC, per league source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 15, 2020
While the Jaguars and coach Doug Marrone termed DeFilippo’s ouster Monday, as “mutually agreed to part ways,” clearly he wasn’t willingly going to go from being an offensive coordinator to back to being a quarterback coach.
That’s the role DeFillipo previously held two seasons ago with the Philadelphia Eagles coaching QB Nick Foles, as they won Super Bowl 52 over the New England Patriots.
DeFillipo was then hired by the Vikings and coach Mike Zimmer to work with new free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins for 2018. However, he was fired in November has the Viking offense struggled last season.
DeFilippo came almost as a “package deal” in January of 2019 for the attempt to lure Foles, a free agent to come from Philadelphia to Jacksonville. Foles was subsequently signed to the most lucrative guaranteed contract ($50 million) the Jaguars have ever given to a quarterback in March of last year.
However, he was injured with a broken collar bone in the first game of the season, and the Jaguars turned to rookie Gardner Minshew. He performed well in Foles’ absence, winning four games to keep the Jaguars in the playoff hunt.
However, once whole Foles’ collarbone was fully healed, he came back into the starting lineup and performed poorly in three consecutive losses in November, which sunk the Jags season for good and sent him back to the bench for Minshew.
Jacksonville finished 26th in the NFL in points at 18.8 per game.
While the Bears had success in the first year of Nagy/Trubisky making the playoffs, they failed to follow it up this season. The Bears ended up 29th in both total offense and points scored with an 8-8 record.
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