Some surprising news surfaced for the Jacksonville Jaguars organization Thursday afternoon. Linebacker Telvin Smith has announced that he will be steeping away from football for the 2019 NFL season.
Smith did not show at the Jaguars voluntary offseason workout program last week and now has taken his explanation to Instagram. The linebacker hinted at this announcement two days ago when he stated that he would let his followers know what was going on “this week.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the picture that Smith left on his Instagram Thursday.
Jaguars’ LB Telvin Smith announced he will not play football in 2019. pic.twitter.com/GHCMhXmDQb
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 9, 2019
The 28-year-old linebacker was selected in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Jaguars. The 2019 season would be the sixth year for the former Pro-Bowler.
In his five seasons in the NFL, Smith has totaled 587 combined tackles, 7.5 sacks and five forced fumbles. In addition, he has proved his coverage skills to be useful with nine interceptions and 26 pass deflections.
Since entering the league, Smith has been a trustworthy starter for Jacksonville. Out of the 76 games Smith has played in, he started in 69 of them. His reliability showed in 2017 as a cornerstone of the defensive unit that led the Jaguars to the AFC championship game.
With Smith’s announcement to sit out of for 2019, his future with the Jaguars seems unclear. As for the Jaguars, the team is now left with a whole to fill. Recently signed free agents Ramik Wilson, D.J. Alexander or Najee Goode could step up as possible replacements for Smith in the 2019 campaign.