Jaguars LB Telvin Smith says he will sit out 2019 NFL season for personal reasons

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The Jacksonville Jaguars will be without one of their defensive mainstays this season.

Linebacker Telvin Smith announced via Instagram on Thursday he does not plan to play during the 2019 season for personal reasons.

“At this time I must take time away from this game & get my world in order,” Smith wrote. “I must give this time back to myself, my family, & my health. I appreciate all the support I will & will not get. I just ask y’all respect my decision to not play football this season.”

Smith did not offer further details on the reason for his decision. Along with Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, he opted to sit out the team’s voluntary offseason workouts in April.

A full-time starter for the last four seasons, Smith has been one of the key figures on Jacksonville’s defense. He led the team with 134 total tackles last season and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2017.

“We will not have a comment about Telvin Smith’s statement at this time,” the Jaguars said in a statement. “We need to have a conversation with Telvin to understand the situation and the circumstances. If there is a way we can support him we need to understand that.”

Smith, who is under contract with the Jaguars through 2021, had been set to earn $9.75 million in base salary this year.

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