Smith announced Thursday via Instagram that he won't be playing football in 2019. Smith has been away from the team all offseason and it appears his absence will continue as he tends to personal issues. The 28-year-old was scheduled to make $9.75 million in 2019 with $5 million already have been guaranteed March 17. It's not clear if he'll have to give any of that back. Regardless, Smith is leaving behind a Jaguars linebacking corps that had little depth behind him.
General manager Dave Caldwell said, "We'll see. I don't want to get into hypotheticals," regarding Smith's status with the Jaguars for 2019, Phillip Heilman of The Florida Times-Union reports. Smith was not present at Jacksonville's voluntary offseason workouts, which began in mid-April, but the noteworthy aspect of this situation is that the team remains in the dark about his actual status and whereabouts, according to Daniel Popper of The Athletic. The cause of the issue -- assuming there is one -- isn't fully clear, but Caldwell's statement is hardly a ringing endorsement of Smith's future with the team. Per Popper, executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin shot down reports that the linebacker was available via trade. Regardless, the situation should receive some additional clarity relatively soon with mandatory minicamp set to begin June 11.
Smith is not with the Jaguars for the beginning of their voluntary offseason workouts, Daniel Popper of The Athletic reports. Smith and Jalen Ramsey are the only two members of the team absent for the start of the offseason program. The 28-year-old is signed through 2021 and has $30 million remaining on the contract after signing an extension in late 2017, so it's unlikely to be any sort of holdout situation. Smith figures to report by June 11 for the start of mandatory minicamp.
Smith had 10 tackles (five solo) in Thursday's 30-9 loss at Tennessee. Smith posted double-digit tackles for the third straight game, but the Jaguars defense was eviscerated on the ground by Derrick Henry, allowing 238 yards on 17 carries. The 27-year-old has a good matchup against the Redskins in Week 15, as the team should be run-heavy with Mark Sanchez likely the starter at quarterback.
Smith (shoulder) is active Sunday against the Colts. Smith just saw the practice field on a limited basis this week, but the Jags leading tackler and elite IDP option will be healthy enough to suit up for the Week 10 divisional matchup.
|1||09/08||Kansas City Chiefs||4|
|6||10/13||New Orleans Saints||20|
|8||10/27||New York Jets||13|
|13||12/01||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||6|
|14||12/08||Los Angeles Chargers||23|