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#pounditSunday, January 23, 2022

Articles tagged: Jacksonville Jaguars

Tim Tebow sends emotional message after being cut by Jaguars

Tim Tebow

The Tim Tebow experiment in Jacksonville has officially come to an end.

Tebow shared an emotional message on Twitter on Tuesday morning thanking the Jaguars for giving him an opportunity. He wrote that he is “grateful for the chance to have pursued a dream.” While he did not specifically say the Jaguars have released him, multiple reporters confirmed that they have.

There were very few people who believed Tebow, who is 33, would be capable of playing tight end in the NFL. He probably would not have gotten a chance if not for his close relationship with Urban Meyer, but there’s no way the Jaguars coach could have kept him on the roster.

Tebow saw his first live NFL game action as a tight end in Jacksonville’s preseason game last week, and it did not go well. There were multiple plays where he looked totally lost trying to block defenders (video here).

With his football and baseball careers seemingly over, Tebow will likely move back to a television analyst role.

Urban Meyer has unusual complaint with NFL preseason

Urban Meyer

NFL teams rarely show their full hand in preseason. The starters play very limited snaps, and teams typically don’t go as deep into their playbook as they would during a meaningful game. It all makes sense, but Urban Meyer seems to hate it.

The Jacksonville Jaguars head coach vented about preseason limitations Monday, stating that his assistants have kept him from showing more of the offense during games. Meyer also promised a more up-tempo style once the regular season starts.

It’s kind of odd that Meyer would have to be frequently reminded of a pretty standard procedure. However, the college game has no preseason, and this is just part of the adaptation process he’s dealing with.

The Jaguars may not want to rush into speeding up their offense. After all, Meyer has some other issues to deal with that he may want to address first.

Jaguars and Steelers have different stories about Joe Schobert trade

Jaguars logo

The Jacksonville Jaguars surprised many observers by trading linebacker Joe Schobert to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, and the details of how it happened are a bit different depending on who you talk to.

On Sunday, Schobert admitted that from his perspective, the trade “came out of the blue.” The 27-year-old, who signed as a free agent with Jacksonville a year ago, added that he spoke to some of his defensive coaches who were also “shocked” by the trade.

Schobert said Jaguars GM Trent Baalke had told him that the Steelers had called 12 hours before the trade and were “persistent” in their desire to land the linebacker.

“I wouldn’t put you in it if it wasn’t a good situation for you and your family, coming up to Pittsburgh, good team,'” Schobert said Baalke told him, via Brooke Pryor of ESPN. “That’s what I was told.”

Comments made by Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, however, suggest things happened differently.

“It presented itself to us, but it didn’t take us long to consider it because we’re highly familiar with his skill set and productivity,” Tomlin said.

If the trade presented itself to the Steelers, then the Jaguars were likely shopping Schobert around the league. It doesn’t really match with the notion that the Steelers were aggressively trying to get Schobert and spent a day wearing the Jaguars down. Considering the price to get Schobert was only a sixth-round pick, it also suggests the Jaguars didn’t put a high premium on getting top-level value for the linebacker.

Baalke hasn’t always been popular with his players. It probably doesn’t matter all that much that these stories slightly differ, but it’s a bit weird that the Jaguars might be that anxious to get rid of Schobert considering his age and productivity.

Jaguars shopping former top-ten pick CJ Henderson?

CJ Henderson

The Jacksonville Jaguars may be surprisingly willing to trade a player they invested a lot of draft capital in little more than a year ago.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, multiple teams believe the Jaguars are willing to trade cornerback C.J. Henderson, the ninth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Henderson and the team do not appear to have any issues with each other, but the Jaguars are content with their other cornerbacks and may be willing to move him.

It’s not often that a team appears willing to trade a top-ten pick after just one year, especially when there don’t appear to be any issues at play. Henderson was unable to make a huge impact as a rookie after suffering an injury eight games into the year which required offseason surgery. Jacksonville also drafted cornerback Tyson Campbell 33rd overall, and brought back both Sidney Jones and Tre Herndon from last year.

Regardless of how justified it is, it’s not a great look to trade a former high draft pick so quickly, even if it was a previous regime that made the selection. Maybe it fits with Urban Meyer’s win-now mentality, and they’re not interested in waiting to develop Henderson.

Urban Meyer says Jaguars will have a win-now mentality

Urban Meyer

The Jacksonville Jaguars have a new head coach and a rookie starting quarterback, but Urban Meyer does not expect the team to be viewed as a rebuilding project.

Trevor Lawrence will almost certainly be the Jaguars’ starting quarterback in Week 1, though Meyer refuses to make that official. The coach also claimed this week that the Jags are not going to be all that patient with Lawrence and expect the former Clemson star to perform in his first NFL season.

“If he’s not the quarterback we think we can win with — we haven’t made that decision,” Meyer told NFL.com’s Judy Battista. “It’s not a four-year plan. It’s not fair to these players. It’s a one-year plan.”

That is almost certainly an exaggeration. Remember, Peyton Manning threw 28 interceptions in his rookie season. The Indianapolis Colts didn’t bail on him, and the Jaguars aren’t going to give up on Lawrence no matter what happens in 2021. They aren’t going to fire Meyer after one year, either.

Gardner Minshew made it clear with a hilarious quote recently that he is still fighting for a starting job. It would take an awful lot for him to earn it, just as it would take an awful lot for Meyer to abandon the franchise’s long-term plan in Year 1.

Here are the details of Trevor Lawrence’s first NFL contract

Trevor Lawrence

Trevor Lawrence has officially signed his first NFL contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Jaguars announced on Monday that Lawrence has signed his rookie deal. The contract is worth $36.8 million over four years with $24.1 million guaranteed, according to multiple reports. It also includes the standard fifth-year rookie option.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter shared some of the specific language in the deal:

Lawrence’s contract is very similar to the one Joe Burrow signed with the Cincinnati Bengals last year. Burrow and Lawrence, of course, were the No. 1 overall picks in the last two NFL Drafts.

Burrow’s deal with the Bengals took a bit longer, as the two sides didn’t come to an agreement until late in July. Burrow’s father had a funny comment about the negotiations at the time.

Lawrence is the favorite to be named NFL Rookie of the Year this season, and he will certainly have every opportunity to live up to the hype under Urban Meyer.

DJ Chark feeling bullish about Jaguars under Urban Meyer

DJ Chark

The Jacksonville Jaguars are definitely of interest to a lot of football fans, but not necessarily because big things are expected of them in 2021. Wide receiver D.J. Chark seems to feel that higher expectations might be warranted.

Chark suggested that new coach Urban Meyer and the team’s new additions were going to turn things around quickly in Jacksonville thanks to their experience in “winning programs.” He also added that he felt the Jaguars were going to “shock a lot of people” in 2021.

“Just to go out there and compete, be better than what we were last year,” Chark told NFL Network’s Omar Ruiz on “NFL Total Access” Friday, via Jelani Scott of NFL.com. “The 1-15 season is somewhere that we don’t want to go back. Everyone that’s here understands that. The guys that came in came from a lot of winning programs so we’re trying to develop that winning culture and just that comradery here and I think we’re going to do really good. I think we’re gonna shock a lot of people. I’m not one of the people that’s huge on setting record goals or anything like that, or saying how many wins or losses we’re gonna have but we’re gonna be an exciting football team, for sure.”

Plenty of NFL fans will have an eye on the Jaguars due to Meyer’s presence, as well as top draft picks Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne. There’s also Tim Tebow, though that intrigue may not last very long.

Still, while some improvement is expected, the big strides Chark seems to be hinting at would definitely be a surprise. There is definitely an expectation that there will be some growing pains for the likes of Lawrence, even as polished as he is. Plus, there are some skeptical that Meyer will be a success in the NFL. Even contention from the Jaguars would come as a surprise in 2021.

Urban Meyer, Jaguars among teams fined for OTA violations

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer’s first period of NFL OTAs has ended with a pretty hefty fine.

Meyer was among three coaches fined by the NFL for OTA violations on Thursday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Both Meyer’s and the Jaguars’ fines were the heaviest at $200,000 for the franchise and $100,000 for Meyer.

It is likely that the Jaguars will also lose OTA days in 2022 as part of the punishment, which is a typical step the NFL takes against violators.

While the nature of these violations was not disclosed, the NFL typically takes these actions against teams found to have engaged in excessive on-field contact during drills.

Meyer’s adjustment to the NFL has not been without its growing pains. This looks like another example of that. While the Jaguars aren’t the only team in trouble for OTA violations, the fact that they received the biggest fine suggests that their rules violations were the most egregious.

Are Tim Tebow’s chances of making Jaguars’ roster dwindling?

Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow has drawn mixed reviews in his first offseason as an NFL tight end, and Urban Meyer will soon have to decide if his former quarterback is worth keeping on the roster. With one month to go until training camp, Tebow has limited time remaining to impress the Jacksonville Jaguars’ coaching staff. Will he be able to do enough?

John Reid of the Florida Times-Union provided a breakdown of the current state of the Jaguars’ tight end position. The way he sees it, the odds are stacked against Tebow. Jacksonville has six tight ends vying for three or four roster spots, and veterans Chris Manhertz and James O’Shaughnessy seem like locks to make the 53-man roster. Fifth-round rookie Luke Farrell is also expected to make the team. That leaves Tebow, Tyler Davis and Ben Ellefson fighting for one spot, unless Meyer only carries three tight ends.

Meyer referred to O’Shaughnessy and Ellefson as “two of the most improved really on the team” this offseason. He recently said Tebow has done a “decent job” and spoke about how difficult it is to make an NFL roster.

That doesn’t exactly sound like a ringing endorsement, though Meyer is likely conscious of people thinking he is playing favorites with Tebow.

Reid speculates that the Jaguars could release Tebow at some point and re-sign him to their practice squad.

Tebow apparently has not looked as lost this offseason as many expected him to. That said, he’s still 33, has not played in the NFL in nearly a decade, and has never played tight end at this level.

Tebow is probably fueled by those who have taken shots at him over his comeback attempt, but we’d still be surprised if he makes Jacksonville’s Week 1 roster.

Here is how Tim Tebow has looked at Jaguars practice

Tim Tebow

There are very few people who believe Tim Tebow has a legitimate chance to make the Jacksonville Jaguars’ final roster, but that does not mean the former quarterback is embarrassing himself this offseason.

ESPN’s Michael DiRocco said on “Get Up!” Monday that Tebow has not looked out of place while working with the tight ends at organized team activities. The reporter said Tebow “looked like he belonged” at practice on Monday.

“His fundamentals need work. His footwork’s a little slow,” DiRocco said. “He’s getting some coaching after every drill, but if people were expecting him to look like he didn’t know what he’s doing, that’s not the case.”

Urban Meyer has said it is unclear what role the team will use Tebow in when training camp begins next month. He could be used as a true tight end or more of a “gadget” player.

DiRocco also reported that Tebow is very well-liked by his teammates and no one has taken issue with him being in camp.

Plenty of people have taken shots at Tebow over his comeback attempt, and that is likely fueling the 33-year-old. He obviously has a close relationship with Meyer, which could be a factor when the final roster is set. At the very least, it doesn’t sound like Tebow is going to make Meyer’s decision easy.

Photo: Sports Spectrum/Wikimedia via CC-BY-SA 4.0