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New Jags OC DeFilippo addressed Vikings ouster Thursday

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Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday, prior to the Jaguars OTA workout, we got our first chance to hear from new Jaguars offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. And while most of the conversation centered around new QB Nick Foles and DeFilippo’s relationship with him in Philadelphia, the reason that made him available to Jacksonville, his firing by the Vikings mid-season a year ago, got brought up.

And while Defilippo did not want to dwell on criticism of his play calling, etc. last season in “The Great White North,” he wanted to make very clear what his play-calling philosophy is and will be with the Teal and White.

“Every play that I have ever called in my tenure as an offensive coordinator has been with what I think gives our team the best chance at success. It has nothing to do with stats. It has nothing to do with quarterback rating, what our running backs are doing, what our receivers are doing. Every play that I have called in my past, every play that I will call in my future, will be what I believe gives the Jacksonville Jaguars the best chance to win the football game.”

DeFilippo was hired as offensive coordinator in Minnesota for 2019, and then, was unceremoniously dumped late in the year by head coach Mike Zimmer.

Zimmer had hired DeFilippo after his work with Foles/Eagles staff and to have him mesh with newly acquired free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins. However, the offense sputtered and late in the year in two key losses to New England and on a Monday night to the Seahawks, where they scored a total of only 17 points.

Many believed that Zimmer was scape-goating DeFilippo to deflect rightful criticism at Cousins’ repeated poor play at times in year one.

Still, Minnesota ousting DeFilippo made him available to the Jaguars. And, it’s no secret, that coach Doug Marrone hired him, in part, to help lure Foles to North Florida after the two of them worked closely together two years ago,when the Eagles won it all.

For the Jaguars, after their dismal offensive showing, especially in the second half of last year, they need an overhaul in every aspect. And, that will include the tone and the calls of DeFilippo this fall.

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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