- Jacksonville LB Telvin Smith announced he will sit out the 2019 NFL season for personal reasons
- Smith was ranked the 67th-best player in the league last season by NFL.com
- Jacksonville’s Super Bowl odds remain at +3300 following Smith’s declaration
Telvin Smith stunned the NFL on Thursday. The Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker revealed via his Instagram account that he wouldn’t be playing during the upcoming NFL season.
Jaguars’ LB Telvin Smith announced he will not play football in 2019. pic.twitter.com/GHCMhXmDQb
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 9, 2019
Smith declined to get into the specifics behind his choice. He wrote that he needed to take time away from the game to get his world in order. It’s known that he had not been participating in the team’s offseason conditioning programs.
The decision hasn’t impacted Jacksonville’s 2020 Super Bowl odds at all. Bovada still lists the Jaguars’ chances of winning Super Bowl 54 at +3300, the same as prior to Smith’s shocking announcement.
Super Bowl 54 Odds
|Team||Odds to win Super Bowl 54 at Bovada|
|New England Patriots||+700|
|Kansas City Chiefs||+850|
|New Orleans Saints||+900|
|Los Angeles Rams||+1100|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+1600|
|Green Bay Packers||+1800|
*Odds taken May 9, 2019. Follow the link in table above for a complete list of all teams.
Jacksonville played in the AFC Championship Game in 2017 but fell to 5-11 last season. The only AFC teams worse than Jacksonville in 2018 were the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders. Both finished the campaign 4-12.
Telvin Is Terrific
A fifth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Smith blossomed into an NFL star. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2017. Last season, he was placed 67th overall on the NFL.com list of the league’s top 100 players. That vote is based on ballots filled out by fellow players.
The Jaguars are going to miss Telvin Smith in 2019, namely his mental processing and play speed to key & diagnose: pic.twitter.com/Kt2ZW4810v
— The Scouting Academy (@TheScoutAcademy) May 9, 2019
Last season, Smith led the Jags and was sixth in the NFL with 134 tackles. Darius Leonard (111) of the Indianapolis Colts, Leighton Vander Esch (102) of the Dallas Cowboys and Smith (100) were the only NFL players to compile 100 solo tackles during the 2018 season.
To put into context what Jaguars’ LB Telvin Smith has done before he announced today that he was stepping away from the game. https://t.co/a5acAH9ERW
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 9, 2019
Smith is one of just 13 players in NFL history to compile 100-plus tackles in each of their first five seasons.
"The people will love this Mic'DD Up. I'm telling you now baby."
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) December 19, 2018
He was the only NFL player over the past three seasons with 100 tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery in each of those seasons.
The 2019 campaign was to be the second of a four-year, $45 million contract that Smith signed before last season.
No Drag On Jags
The fact that so far, Smith’s mysterious departure hasn’t caused any movement in Jacksonville’s Super Bowl 54 line is somewhat surprising. He’s one of the best inside linebackers in the game.
Only two players in franchise history have 3 pick-sixes.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) December 29, 2018
Jacksonville stumbled record-wise last season but for the most part, the Jaguars defense remained solid. They finished with the league’s fifth-best defense.
Minus Smith, they will undoubtedly suffer.
That Sinking Feeling
Really, though, could things get that much worse for the Jaguars? There are 15 teams currently given better odds of winning Super Bowl 54.
No one outside of a delusional Jaguars supporter was about to rush out and bet on this team winning the Super Bowl, whether or not Smith was in the fold.
I also want to make one more point about the Telvin Smith situation and how inspiring it is.
"Work" culture in America is often toxic and people feel like they can't take days off. Your mental health is IMPORTANT. If this young man can walk away from millions, you can #takeaday.
— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) May 9, 2019
Jacksonville stumbled to a basement finish in the AFC South in 2018. The Houston Texans and the Colts hit double digits in wins and made the playoffs. Even the Tennessee Titans closed out the campaign 9-7.
Smith or no Smith, the Jaguars weren’t winning the division. A playoff berth wasn’t in their immediate future.
Statement regarding LB Telvin Smith. pic.twitter.com/0LzdM4K9NC
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) May 9, 2019
And the Super Bowl? Well, it’s 348 miles south from Jacksonville to Miami, where Super Bowl 54 will be played at Hard Rock Stadium.
If any of the Jags desperately want to go to the big game, it’s about a five-hour, 15-minute drive.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.