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NFLN Host on Jags QB Foles: “I think he switches everything”

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

As North Florida gets ready for the Jaguars to head to training camp later this month to hopefully have a bounce-back 2019, obviously, one of the biggest keys will be the play of newly-acquired quarterback Nick Foles.

And on Tuesday morning, the “Good Morning Football” show on NFL Network debated what free agent could have a “Kawhi Leonard-like” impact in his first year with a new team. As you probably know, Leonard made the most of being traded to the Toronto Raptors, as he led them to the NBA Title last month.

And, one of the “GMFB” hosts pointed right to the Jaguars and their new signal-caller, as her choice to do something similar in Jacksonville:

Obviously, under the premise that Leonard had previously won a championship being part of the San Antonio Spurs before he was was traded to the Toronto Raptors last off season, is not dissimilar to what the situation is with Foles, now.

As host Kay Adams pointed out, Foles proved “championship worthy” leading the Eagles in the playoffs two years ago and the Super Bowl 52 upset of the New England Patriots.

As Adams said Tuesday morning,

“If Nick Foles can go in there and bring this team together, be a mature presence in that locker room I think that he switches everything and makes the biggest impact really on the NFL as far as guys who switched teams.”

The Jaguars are certainly hoping so as they have paid Foles a team record $50 million guaranteed on his four-year free-agent deal back in March. And, they even hired his former quarterback coach John DeFilippo to come in and run the offense. So clearly, they are attempting to recreate the magic that happened in January of 2018, when those two were together.

And, Foles is already shown leadership and the ability to set the right tone for the offense during the Jags off season program. We wrote in May about V.P. of Football Tom Coughlin raving about that point, when he said in an interview then,

“The way he’s gone about it is very interesting. He works his teammates really, really well. You used the word ‘selfless?’ That’s the word he uses. I think the second day he’s here, he’s over at (Leonard) Fournette’s and they’re going over installation for that day…. He’s out there working just like everybody else is out there working. And, his presence is what’s important. It’s like that thing that I insinuate a lot… ‘Don’t tell me. Show me.’ Let’s stop so much verbaige and let’s work it.”

Speaking of the Eagles, co-host and former NFL receiver kick returner Nate Burleson went with new free agent running back Jordan Howard making such a turnaround for Philadelphia and their running game.

Meanwhile, co-host Kyle Brandt said Tuesday morning that he’ll take Odell Beckham, Jr. coming to the Browns via the trade with the Giants, as the “Kawhi-like” one year impact in Cleveland that may put them over the top.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue hinting he’s gone again?

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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

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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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