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Jacksonville Jaguars

Once again, Jaguars make right move with Bortles contract

Ari Russell

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(USA Today - Mark J. Rebilas)

It’s amazing what a year and some change means for an organization which spent the better part of a full decade in the doldrums of the NFL. The Jaguars before their major shake-up had seemingly been one of the most dysfunctional franchises on this side of the Cleveland Browns. Then they hired Tom Coughlin to run the front office, and all of a sudden, the landscape of the organization changed.

On Saturday, the Jaguars signed QB Blake Bortles to a contract extension, once again showing that they know exactly what they are doing.

The Jaguars by far won the offseason last year and so far they are off to yet another fantastic start. This Bortles deal is the best possible scenario they could ask for. We don’t have to get into the nitty gritty of NFL contracts, the only thing you need to focus on is guaranteed money. For the Jags they didn’t have to shell out a heck of a lot more than what was already allocated to Bortles this season.

As much criticism Bortles faced throughout the year, the Jaguars still made it within a few plays of the Super Bowl. This without having a really solid receiving corps. It looks like the Jags realized this and looked at what else is available and felt this was by far the best decision possible.

Now the Jaguars were one of the teams rumored to be a potential landing spot for Kirk Cousins. However, if they were to bring him on board, his price tag would be astronomical. Also Nick Foles may be on the trading block, but it’s doubtful the Jags are willing to give up valuable draft picks for a QB.

This was the safest possible move for the Jags and shows the savvy of Coughlin and company. Not only do they solidfy the QB position for the next several years, they aren’t getting killed in the pocket book which gives them flexibility the next several years. They also get to keep all their assets in the draft and that’s how you build a sustaining winning team.

The model the Jaguars are using at the moment is a good one to is going to build a sustained winner. Their core on the defense is  going to be in place for a few more years. They have a stud RB in Leonard Fournette. Offensive line had a solid year as well.

When the QB market is thin free agent wise making any rash moves is a bad idea. The draft certainly is a crap shoot and unless one of the top 3 QB’s drops down to when the Jags pick, they probably aren’t going in that direction.

That said, regardless of what the Jaguars do next, expect this guy right here to give a stamp of approval.

The track record so far has been impeccable.

Born in the Nation’s Capital, Washington D.C., Ari Russell watched the rise of the 1980’s Miami Hurricanes and knew that he had to be part of the “U” someday. After graduating from Coral Gables, Ari rose through the ranks of the former XM Satellite Radio and then Sirius/XM as college football executive producer. He later spent 2 seasons as the publisher of the website “Beyond U Sports” focusing on major college football/basketball. Ari brings a great perspective on everything Miami, including the Dolphins to F.F.I.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars DB Jalen Ramsey implied Monday he wants out of Jacksonville

Florida Football Insiders

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Frustration is mounting in Jacksonville as the Jaguars dropped their fifth straight game losing Sunday in Indianapolis 29 – 26.

And as the cliche goes, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” However, the literal meaning of that phrase can now being taken by Jaguars fans and media with regards to controversial defensive back Jalen Ramsey taking to social media Monday morning to imply that he wants to get going out of Jacksonville.

Whether it was frustration, trying to be funny or just being honest, Ramsey’s tweeted mid-morning message is definitely going to stir things up. And, the clear indication is that the former fifth overall pick of the Jags in 2016, who’s playing in his third season on his rookie contract, is counting down the days to be gone from North Florida.

This is the latest in a series of headaches for the Jaguars front office and Coach Doug Marrone. It began in the offseason when Ramsey refused to come work out with his teammates during OTAs and instead, elected to remain training in Tennessee with his father at their training facility.

Now, that one is more easily explained and accepted, because Ramsey has trained there throughout his young adult life in the offseason. And ultimately, OTAs are supposed to be voluntary workouts anyway.

Still, the perception was that Ramsey was not wanting to be part of the team concept and around his teammates coming off of a playoff season, when the franchise was hoping to take the next steps.

Then came Ramsey’s decision to not show up at the beginning of Jaguars training camp due to the birth of his daughter. While he informed the Jaguars of his intentions in advance, the fact that Ramsey did not come to participate in practices and preparation for the season for five days of actual practices was another concerning hint that he’s not pleased with the Jags and the situation.

The subject was basically glossed over by the media in Jacksonville, but if winning and getting better with your teammates is a priority and your girlfriend and child did not have any complications during childbirth, why were you not with them within a day or so of the birth?

Next, came and ugly and embarrassing public skirmish at a Jaguars training camp practice, as defensive line teammates Yannick Ngakoue and Dante Fowler got into a shoving match and had to be separated from teammates in full view of fans and media looking on. Ramsey joined in in threatening two different reporters to stop video taping the incident, even though they were perfectly within their right to do so covering the team.

Maronne suspended both Fowler and Ramsey for the entire week of practice with the Minnesota Vikings before playing the preseason game in Minneapolis. Fowler was traded two weeks ago to the L.A. Rams, while in the final year of his rookie contract.

Also, Ramsey’s comments in GQ Magazine and an online article also came out later that same August week  and in the article, Ramsey took shots at quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger, rookie Josh Allen, Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan, too.

This obviously brought unwanted attention to Ramsey around the football world, at a time when the Jaguars would have wanted it toned down.

Now, the Jaguars are facing adversity on the field having lost five in a row to drop to 3 and 6 on the season and in last place in the AFC South.

It’s also interesting timing for Ramsey to be speaking out, half joking or not, because it’s after the trading deadline and the Jaguar still have Ramsay’s exclusive rights to give him a new deal through next season. They also have the option to pick up the 5th Year on his rookie contract, which would be 2020.

Another theory would be: that Ramsey is trying the  “if you complain loudly and long enough they will trade you” route to get out.

There is no disputing that Ramsey is one of the best one-on-one cover corners in football, but as we have asked frequently, at what point do all of the antics and drama off the field outweigh that?

This is especially, when you can potentially get something for him of substance in return or maybe, in a trade Ramsey.

However that’s a question for the off-season for the Jags. For now?

It’s another headache off the field from #20.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars slide continues, as comeback comes up short

Florida Football Insiders

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Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

A valiant comeback in the second half in Indianapolis was spoiled by a late turnover, and unfortunately at this stage for the Jaguars, there’s no such thing as a “moral victory.”

And in the end, the scoreboard read Colts 29, Jaguars 26.

That’s five straight losses for Jacksonville, a team that won the division and two playoff games a year ago, but looks very ordinary and at times, awful when it matters this season.

For example, they were bad defensively for much of the first half of this game Sunday, as Andrew Luck repeatedly riddled them for big throws and touchdowns in the first half  building a 21 – 7 lead.

Still, the Jags showed great moxie in the second half trying to snap their four-game losing streak. Jacksonville put together a 75-yard drive out of the locker room that culminated with Leonard Fournette’s second touchdown of the season and trimmed the lead to 29 – 23.

The Jaguar defense continue to lockdown the Colts in the second half, and linebacker Telvin Smith picked off Luck at the end of the third quarter to keep the Jaguars within range.

After a Josh Lambo field goal had cut the lead to three, Indianapolis was trying to put the game away, but could not run the clock out. Then, they elected to try a 52-yard field goal from Adam Vinatieri which the future Hall of Famer missed.

And, that opened the door for the Jags to have one last chance.

However, that chance also got  squandered after Blake Bortles had completed a couple of passes to T.J. Yeldon, and then Yeldon had a 9-yard run down to the Indy 35 making it 3rd and one.

That’s when Bortles completed a pass downfield to Rashad Greene, who was stripped by defensive back Kenny Moore of the Colts. The play was initially called a catch on the field, but replay review later overturned it and allow the Colts to kneel on the ball and run the clock out.

So it was a mixed bag of some good things, but not enough of them.

And the reality for coach Doug Marrone and the team is: five straight losses and a team that was once riding high in the AFC South off a win over the Patriots that made them 3 – 1, has now disintegrated.

The Jaguars five game losing streak has also put them in the basement of the AFC South at 3 – 6.

And that’s not a place where anyone expected them to be.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Gameday- Jaguars must bounce back at Indianapolis

Florida Football Insiders

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Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Who: Jaguars (3-5) at Colts (5-5)

When: Sunday 1 p.m.

Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

Spread: Colts by 3 points (Courtesy VegasInsder.com)

Here’s what to watch:

Fournette is back

Those are three words that Jaguar fans have been waiting for five weeks. And finally second-year running back Leonard Fournette appears to be healthy after missing six of the last seven games with a hamstring injury. Fournette re-aggravated that hamstring injury in October game against the Jets and has not played in the last for Jaguar games. All of those games have been losses, with the Jaguars unable to run the ball and set up their play action passing.

Now, off the bye week, the explosive second-year running back from LSU was able to practice all week and should be a full go for this match-up in Indy. He should make a difference, provided that there’s not another reaggravatation, which would only have the Jags fans throwing up their hands and rolling their eyes.

Get after Andrew Luck

If the Colts are going to continue their success it’s writing on the former number one overall pick. After missing all of last season with shoulder surgery, Luck is rounding into form in the middle of 2018.

Luck has 23 TD passes and just eight INTS as the Colts have won back to back games.

The Jaguars pass rush has got to be ready to go in this one. That means players like Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, Telvin Smith and Myles Jack have to pressure, knock down and sack Luck on Sunday or it could be a long day for the Jags.

Play with a sense of urgency

Just like what we wrote in the Buccaneers preview with the Redskins, the Jaguars have seen their 3-1 start evaporate, and with four straight losses, they have to come out Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium playing like their season is on the line.

That’s because, it likely is.

The Jags have to get to nine wins, just like the Buccaneers in the NFC, to have a realistic hope at a wild card spot. Their drought of victories has put them at 3 – 5, and that means they have to start winning, now.

Off their bye week, will they be sharp and well disciplined on both sides of the ball? Will there be penalties, will there be turnovers and will there be mistakes in assignments?

If there are a lot of those, then excitement built off a year ago and the hope for following it up with a playoff season in 2018 will basically be gone.

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