Wide receiver Laviska Shenaut Jr. no longer figured in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ plans, so he was traded to the Carolina Panthers just before the 53-man roster deadline. Viska recently met with the media and talked about many topics, including his expectations with the Panthers.
Shenault told the media he drove to North Carolina and said the only thing that was going through his mind during the trip was “how I can make an impact in Carolina” and how to “make sure I do everything I got to do to make sure I eat”. When asked why the Jags gave up on him so early, he simply said that wasn’t a question he could answer.
Similarly, Shenault said that former Jaguars teammate C.J. Henderson (now with the Panthers) had welcomed him. He was then asked if they have talked about their shared time in Jacksonville, he said he would rather focus on the present, “just a little bit. Now, let’s talk about now”.
A second-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft, Shenault had a solid rookie campaign, catching 58 receptions for 60 yards with five interceptions. He was expected to have a breakout year in 2021 but failed to take the next step. Instead, he averaged half a yard less than in the previous season and didn’t reach the end zone at all.
Shenault’s faith seemed sealed when the Jaguars signed Christian Kirk and Zay Jones in the offseason. He was then placed on the trade block but remained with the team throughout the offseason. Maybe the team’s brass wanted to give him a legitimate chance to earn playing time or they didn’t get whatever compensation they were asking for but it seems like they saw enough of him before pulling the trigger. Here’s Shenault’s whole exchange with the media.
Parting ways was the best for the Jaguars and Laviska Shenault
Regardless of the reason, Sheanult is no longer a Jag and is now focused on trying to make the most of his new opportunity. Also, he deserves credit for staying level-headed during his exchange with the media. He had the chance to bash the Jaguars for giving up on him too early but the truth is that it wouldn’t have been productive. In fact, it could have been counterproductive.
Had Shenault complained about his stint with the Jaguars, it would’ve reflected poorly on him. It doesn’t make sense to dwell in the past when you have a prime opportunity in front of you. Of course, he must feel a certain way about being traded to the Panthers, but that’s not something he will probably discuss publicly.
In the end, this could work out for both the Jags and Viska. The Jaguars allocated his roster spot to someone else while he will have a fresh start. Sometimes, we’re better pulling the plug and letting go. This might be one of those times.