Another defensive player told the Jacksonville Jaguars player told the organization he will not play this coming season due to fears of the Coronavirus.
The Jacksonville Jaguars lost yet another piece to their defensive puzzle on Saturday when DE/LB Lerentee McCray told the franchise he was opting out of playing this season because of safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Per Jaguars.com, McCray released this statement about his decision.
"“With the health and safety of my family in mind, I have decided to opt out of the 2020 season during these trying times in ‘Our Nation.’ I will miss being there with my teammates, coaches and Jaguar personnel competing on Sundays, but I feel that God has directed my steps to make this decision. I was honored to be involved in our team’s social justice efforts during this offseason, and I look forward to continuing to support those affected in any way I can. My family and I appreciate the understanding and support of the Jaguars organization and our fans. We are praying and working for the health and safety for this great country! #toughtimesdontlasttoughpeopledo”"
McCray has been instrumental as a special teams player and a part of the team’s defensive rotation since he signed with the Jaguars in 2017 after NFL stops in Denver, Green Bay, and Buffalo.
On Friday, the team announced that free-agent addition Al Woods, a defensive tackle from Seattle who was signed to help the run defense, had decided not to play as well this season because of the potential spread of the Coronavirus.
The losses on the front of the line are a concern, as the Jacksonville Jaguars front office made a concerted effort fix a major weakness on the roster for this season. Woods was expected to challenge for a starting spot in a rotation that included veterans Abry Jones and Taven Bryan along with rookie third-round pick DaVon Hamilton out of Ohio State.
Hamilton was placed on the team’s Reserved/COVID-19 list this week. There is no word when he will return to practice and join his teammates.
The Jacksonville Jaguars front office now has some decisions to make regarding the roster. Who do they find to fill those two spots and have they either been in contact with free agents or will they seek trades with other teams?
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Also, there is still the situation with Yannick Ngakoue that has not been solved. Right now, according to Spotrac.com, the Jaguars have $11.4M in salary cap space to spend, which is 20th in the league. The money does include the $17.8M allocated for Ngakoue should he sign his franchise tender.
In Other News: Former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee has told the New England Patriots he will not play this season either due to the potential issues associated with the Coronavirus.
Lee, who was drafted by the Jaguars in 2014, was released by the team this offseason, According to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, Lee became the seventh member of the Patriots roster to announced they would not play in 2020.