Jaguars LB Telvin Smith fined for missing minicamp
By David Levin
Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith was fined more than $88,000 for missing the three days of mandatory minicamp last week.
Telvin Smith has been serious about his decision to take the 2019 season off to focus on personal issues, but that has not stopped the Jacksonville Jaguars from fining him $88, 650 for missing the three days of mandatory minicamp this past week.
Smith has repeatedly turned to social media to make his feelings known about his plans for this year, stating he will focus on personal matters. In the meantime, he is still considered a member of the Jaguars roster and per the guidelines of the CBA between the NFL and the Player’s Union, Jacksonville has the right to levy fines for the former FSU star’s lack of attendance.
Smith took to social media once again (through a live Instagram message) to show the papers he received from the league and the Jaguars, outlining his fines.
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The question many fans’ minds – regardless of which side of the fence they regarding the situation – is when will Smith notify the NFL or sign retirement papers to make it official.
"As John Reid of the Florida Times-Union wrote, “Until he does, he won’t get any protection from fines imposed by the Jaguars.”"
As of the NFL Draft and the start of OTAs, there had been no communication between the linebacker and the organization. Head coach Doug Marrone told the media on the first day of OTAs the team was moving on from the situation and if there was news to be shared, he would address it.
The Jaguars drafted Quincy Williams in the third round of the NFL Draft in April. He and other linebackers in camp are competing to fill the void left by Smith at weakside linebacker.
Also, as Reid explained, when Smith made the decision to skip minicamp, he forfeited $5 million of his $9.75 million salary for the 2019 season. He could forfeit all of his salary if he stays off the field for the 2019 season.
"“… 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,” Reid added.“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.”"
Also, if Smith does turn in retirement papers to the NFL, it will be the second season in a row that a Jacksonville linebacker makes that decision. In 2018, Paul Posluszny retired from the team after helping lead them to the AFC Title game in 2017 after a playoff appearance for the first time in a decade.
Many of Smith’s teammates have been supportive of his decision for the upcoming season. Both Jalen Ramsey and Leonard Fournette used their social media accounts to send messages of support. When asked about his decision not to play, defensive end Calais Campbell said during OTAs that he supports his teammate and still holds out hope he will reconsider and suit up this coming football year.