The day after the Jacksonville Jaguars got word their star linebacker Telvin Smith would not play in 2019, head coach Doug Marrone talked to the media about the support of the player and the person.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are still piecing together information regarding the news that former All-Pro linebacker Telvin Smith has announced he will not play in 2019 to deal with his health and family.
The 2014 fifth-round draft pick has yet to speak to head coach Doug Marrone, as Marrone told the media on Friday during the first day of a three-day rookie minicamp at TIAA Bank Field.
There is plenty to unpack with this kind of a situation. Smith, who led Jacksonville in tackles last season, has left the team with a big hole at outside linebacker, but that isn’t the biggest issue at this time. Marrone said he wants his player to know there is support for him within the organization.
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Smith took to Instagram earlier in the week to tell those who were watching his live feed that he would let everyone know later this week why he has not been in contact with the Jaguars front office and he will always be a Jaguars player.
On Thursday, the Jaguars and fans found out about Smith’s decision, once again by Instagram, at the same time.
"“I kind of put football to the side,” Marrone said. “I think that [football], to me, is an afterthought right now. I really believe in my heart that Telvin knows that we’re here to support him in any which way – not just myself, the coaches, the organization, his teammates, and I’m sure he’s aware of that.“All we can do is just make sure we pray, and he knows that if he needs some support, obviously we’re here for him.”"
Marrone told the media at the team’s Pre-Draft Luncheon when asked about Smith’s whereabouts during the team’s voluntary offseason workout program he had not talked to Smith. He said on Friday the door would be open for the star player to return to the team if he changes his mind.
Leaving the team also has financial consequences for Smith and the organization.
"Per Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com, “Smith, 28, was due to make $9.75 million this season and would have counted $12.56 million against the salary cap. If Smith does not play, only the prorated portion of his signing bonus ($2.81 million) will count against the salary cap in 2019.”"
Per Spotrac, in 2017, Smith signed a 4-year, $45,051,175 contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, including a $4,051,175 signing bonus, $20,051,175 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $11,262,794. In 2019, Smith was to earn a base salary of $9,750,000.