Jaguars LB Telvin Smith will not play in 2019
By David Levin
The Jacksonville Jaguars will be without linebacker Telvin Smith per Smith who made the announcement on his Instagram account on Thursday.
Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith took to his Instagram account to announce he will not play football in 2019. The former Pro Bowl player made the statement on Thursday afternoon, a day before the’s three-day rookie minicamp.
The message Smith sent to the masses sheds some light, but not much on why the outside linebacker had not been in contact with the franchise this offseason. It’s a move that is surprising given Smith led the Jaguars in tackles last season and took to Instagram earlier this week to announce he has never left the team, and that fans would find out what’s going on later this week.
The Jaguars are still in the process of gathering information about the situation. The team has decided not to make a comment right now.
"“We will not have a comment about Telvin Smith’s statement at this time,” the Jaguars said in a statement Thursday. “We need to have a conversation with Telvin to understand the situation and the circumstances. If there is a way we can support him, we need to understand that.”"
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There has been plenty of speculation as to why Smith, a 2015 fifth-round pick out of FSU, had not had any contact with the team and has not been present for the Jaguars voluntary offseason workout program. Smith and Jalen Ramsey were singled out, not by name, by Executive Vice-President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin at the team’s “State of the Franchise” address last month for not being present at TIAA Bank Field with his other teammates as the offseason program began.
The NFLPA asked the league to talk to Coughlin about making statements about the voluntary program because the players have the choice of whether or not to attend.
The loss of Telvin Smith for this season creates another issue for this roster and a huge hole in the middle of the defense.
The Jaguars added four linebackers in free agency after the NFL Draft last week. The team announced signing fifth-year pro, D.J. Alexander, eighth-year veteran Najee Goode, and fifth-year veteran Ramik Wilson to the 90-man offseason roster last week.
The ball club previously signed linebacker James Onwualu off waivers from the 49ers. Jacksonville drafted Quincy Williams out of Murray State with the 98th pick in Round 3 of the NFL Draft.
Also, per Phillip Heilman of the Florida Times-Union, the Jaguars are releasing linebackers, Donald Payne and Blair Brown.