Jaguars’ LB Telvin Smith announced he will not play football in 2019. pic.twitter.com/GHCMhXmDQb
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 9, 2019
In the Instagram post, Smith cited that he wanted to “take time away from this game and get my world in order. I must give this time back to myself, my family and my health.” He also talked about trade rumors, as his name was brought up in some trade discussion. Smith emphasized that he wanted to spend his entire career in Duval with the Jaguars. “I started my career in Jacksonville, and the day I do decide to call it quits will be right here in Duval.”
This is a very concerning development. We all know that a similar situation occurred with New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon last year. Gordon has a long history of drug problems and decided to step away in the middle of last season to focus on his mental health. You really do hate to see this, especially from a player like Smith, who’s widely considered one of the better linebackers in the game of football. Hopefully, after a year off, Smith will be well enough to return to the football field.
What Does This Mean for the Jacksonville Jaguars
This is a huge loss for the Jags. Smith was a Pro Bowler in 2017 when the Jaguars made it all the way to the AFC championship game. Although Smith didn’t make the Pro Bowl this season, he still put up really good numbers, recording more tackles and quarterback hits than he did in his Pro Bowl season. As of right now, the Jaguars have Blair Brown backing up Telvin Smith. Brown has mostly been on special teams during his tenure, but will likely play a major role in Smith’s absence.