After shocking the Jaguars organization, their fans and frankly the entire NFL after announcing he would not be playing during the 2019 season, retired Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith has broken his silence on Instagram, stating he turned down offers to return to the game last season.
Smith announced his intentions to not play football in 2019 on May 9th of last year — the linebacker remains on the team’s reserve/retired list as of today. A shocking turn of events as the linebacker was only two years removed from a Pro Bowl season in which he accumulated 102 tackles (76 solo), 12 tackles-for-loss, and three interceptions — one of the most integral pieces of the team’s 2017 defense which ranked second in the league in total yards.
While the suggestion was made that the former Pro Bowl linebacker would only be taking an extended vacation, the prospect of him returning to football seems bleak — slim to none as of right now. However, yesterday the former fifth round pick broke his silence with a series of Instagram posts — his first since November of 2019.
In his post Smith stated that he still loves the game of football along with the Jacksonville Jaguars, along with the suggestion of turning down “a few offers to play last season.” Smith has stated in the past that he does not want to play for any other organization other than the one that drafted him — the Jaguars.
While it does not seem as though the retired linebacker plans to return, the fact that he claims to have received offers to play last season either from the team, or otherwise, suggests there may have been a path for him to return last season, however, he ultimately declined.
In another post, Smith spoke on the loss of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and what it meant to him to be with his children, specifically his youngest — his daughter. “I got 3 sons,” Smith said on Instagram. “That’s my youngest technically. This my only daughter. I broke [down] not even ever meeting Kobe. I [don’t] post my kids because I’m not [there] all the time so when I am it ain’t for the gram! But ON ME I can’t imagine something happening to her [expletive] me. [expletive] this game. I gotta get this right for her. I done created a life & played long enough!! She 5 ya feel me. Ain’t no way [I’m] [letting] another 5 go like the last 5. I REFUSE.”
It does not appear Smith has intentions of continuing a future in the NFL. The former FSU Seminole played five years in the NFL from 2014-2018, and if his Instagram post suggests anything, he will not be playing five more.
Smith will count $5,620,470 against the team’s 2020 salary cap next season due to his dead money, and there has been no indication the team has recouped, or will attempt to recoup the amount owed — at least not right now.