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Should Jaguars Telvin Smith “retire?”

Florida Football Insiders

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The ongoing puzzling soap opera involving Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith and his decision, at least for now,  to not play football in 2019. And, that’s spawned an interesting scenario on Tuesday.

That’s when, Florida Times Union Jaguars beat writer, John Reid, floated the idea the Telvin Smith would be smarter to go ahead and fill out formal retirement papers. And thus, he would avoid being fined by the team for not showing up at minicamp last week or be fined in the future for not being at training camp this fall:

Smith announced on May 9th that he was stepping away from the Jaguars, but has never given a definitive reason to anyone, including those teammates and others close to him, as to why?

What we do know is: he’s been Jacksonville’s leading tackler for the last three seasons, a defensive captain and  is in the middle of a four-year lucrative contract that was scheduled to pay him over $9 million total this season. A further complication is: that Smith had already been given an $5 million roster bonus in March, as part of his deal.

The Jaguars led by their hard line VP of Football, Tom Coughlin, are most certainly going to try to recoup that money through the NFLPA. And, Smith is obviously not going to be entitled to any of his salary for this season, as long as he stays away.

Reid’s thinking with having done some research about the implications of formally retiring is that Smith can always come back and resume his current contract at a later date. Here’s part of what he wrote:

However, if Smith files his retirement papers, it would protect him from fines and free up a roster spot for the Jaguars, who would put him on the league’s reserve/retired list.

If Smith files retirement papers and then decides to return after the 2019 season, his existing contract with the Jaguars would resume unless they cut him.

Still, the Jaguars would have the option to pursue the return of a portion of Smith’s signing bonus equal to the unplayed portion of the contract.

This of course supposes the Jacksonville would go along with still wanting him on the roster and not outright release him because of his actions, etc.

Now, it’s still very possible that Smith may return at some point during training camp or the preseason and elect to play.

And until or unless she or someone that knows what’s going on says otherwise, it Still Remains a viable possibility. Much more so, than Smith actually following through and formally retiring at age 28.

Still, it’s an intriguing scenario to contemplate while we wait for what Smith or the team will do.

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