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Jacksonville Jaguars

REPORT: Jaguars release Benny Cunningham, sign three players

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 1, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Benny Cunningham (29) runs with the ball during training camp at Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today the Jaguars announced they have signed three players including rookie offensive lineman Ka’John Armstrong, nine-year offensive lineman Ben Ijalana, and first-year tight end Ethan Wolf. In order to make room, the Jaguars released running back Benny Cunningham via injury settlement and waived offensive linemen Jordan Agasiva and Andrew Lauderdale.

Armstrong, 6-5, 322 is an undrafted rookie out of Eastern Michigan. He played guard and tackle throughout his collegiate career and was signed earlier this offseason by the Cleveland Browns before being released. Armstrong will wear No. 67.

Ijalana, 6-4, 322 is a nine-year veteran and has appeared in 34 games in his NFL career all at tackle. Ijalana has most recently played for the New York Jets (2013-2018) but began his career as a second-round pick with the Indianapolis Colts (2011-2012). Ijalana has dealt with injury issues throughout his career including suffering a torn ACL with the Colts in 2011 before tearing it again just as he was returning in 2012. Ijalana will compete for playing time at tackle during his time with the Jaguars. Ijalana will wear No. 66.

Wolf, 6-5 255, spent time on the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad in 2018 and was with the CArolinaPanthers during training camp earlier this year. Wolf spent his collegiate career at the University of Tennesse (2014-2017) where he totaled 998 receiving yards and seven touchdowns on 91 receptions. Wolf will wear No. 46.

The Jaguars have been working the bottom part of their depth chart over the past few weeks, specifically along the offensive line. Bringing in a nine-year veteran such as Ijalana is a clear sign about how they feel regarding their depth at the tackle position with Jawaan Taylor and Cam Robinson out due to injury at the moment. The Jaguars have also suffered injuries at the tight end position including both starters — Geoff Swaim and Josh Oliver — and signed Wolf as a result.

Benny Cunningham was released with an injury settlement. Cunningham simply could not stay on the field for the Jaguars this offseason and as a result, got cut. He was slated to be the Jaguars third-down back. Look for the Jaguars to scout the waiver wire for an extra running back come cut-down day.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

REPORT: Jaguars trade CB Jalen Ramsey to Los Angeles Rams

Demetrius Harvey

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Sep 19, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) and corner back coach Tim Walton are all smiles after a win over Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

After weeks of speculation and intrigue, the Jaguars have finally solved the long-standing feud with cornerback Jalen Ramsey

The Jaguars have officially traded cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams. The compensation? Two first-round picks (2020,2021) and a fourth-round pick (2021). After a tumultuous few weeks, the long-awaited trade has finally happened.

Many speculated the Jaguars may hold onto the star cornerback beyond this season to maximize their potential compensation, but it only took one desperate team willing to part away with what the Jaguars felt he was worth to ultimately get the deal done.

The Jaguars cornerback had not participated with the team in several weeks due to an on-going back injury. Ramsey became malcontent following a reported dispute between himself and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin after the Jaguars played the Houston Texans in week two.

After the reported discussion, Ramsey requested a trade via his agent and would go on to play one more game for the Jaguars.

“Some disrespectful things were said on their (Jacksonville Jaguars) end that made me definitely walk out and call my agent. As soon as I walked out,” Ramsey said on the 17 weeks podcast shortly before the team’s week three matchup against the Tennessee Titans. “I told him, ‘its time. my time is up here in Jacksonville.’ I said, ‘I wanna ask for a trade’.” The Pro Bowl corner says he was truly at peace when he made the decision. “I was completely calm.”

Now, a little over a month later, the Jaguars have made good on his request and have ended their toxic relationship with the star cornerback by sending him to Los Angeles.

Drafted fifth overall in 2016, Ramsey accounted for 182 total tackles, 45 passes defended and nine interceptions. Ramsey joins former 2014 and 2015 first-round picks Blake Bortles and Dante Fowler Jr., in LA.

The Jaguars have long-wanted at least two first-round picks for the star corner, and get their wish. Ramsey met with Jaguars’ owner Shad Khan last week and had a “heart-to-heart” which ended with Khan believing the All-Pro player would be suiting up last weekend.

The Jaguars later confirmed the trade and now have 18 picks, including four first-round selections, over the next two drafts. The Jaguars will now have plenty of ammo to surround their extremely talented young core of players in Jawan Taylor, Ronnie Harrison, Myles Jack, Yannick Ngakoue, Josh Allen, DJ Chark Jr., and potentially quarterback Gardner Minshew moving forward.

In the meantime, the Jaguars will likely continue with second-year cornerback Tre Herndon as they have for the past three weeks. Herndon has had an up-and-down three starts with the Jaguars, however, he has shown potential to — at the very least — be a capable starter opposite of A.J. Bouye.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars: Three crucial adjustments needed before bye week

Brandon Carroll

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Oct 13, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) runs the ball against New Orleans Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata (93) during the fourth quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

An up-and-down start to the season for the Jaguars seems to be on a downward slope as Jacksonville loses another tough matchup for after struggling offensively in Sunday’s game against the Saints.

Following that loss, the Jaguars continue to be sucked into the abyss that is being below .500 at this point in the season.

With a 2-4 record, many believe that it is just the beginning of another disappointing season that will cause turmoil within the supporters of the team and players.

That is far from the case according to defensive end Calais Campbell. In a post-game interview following the Jaguars fourth loss of the season Campbell says “You’ll be foolish to doubt the heart of this team, this team has a lot of heart. We’re gonna keep it together…and we’re gonna find a way to be a really good team this year.”

A promising statement from a leader of the Jaguars. But — as the saying goes –, actions speak louder than words.

The Jaguars will start a stretch of games that are rather favorable for them to get back on track going into the bye week and could put them in a position to make a late-season playoff run.

As the Jaguars gear up to take on the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets, and Houston Texans over the next three weeks, there are three essential adjustments to make in each of those games to go into the bye week with a winning record.

Three crucial adjustments for the Jaguars to make before the bye week: 

1.) Limit penalties

With only two penalties accepted in week six, the Jaguars must continue to limit unnecessary penalties that shoot themselves in the foot. As we have learned thus far in the season, the Jaguars are not a good enough team to overcome an abundance of penalties.

With questions surrounding multiple parts of the team —including the linebacker and offensive line positions— the Jaguars do not have the luxury that some teams around the NFL do to overcome penalties with talent.

To this point, the Jaguars rank in the bottom half of the league with nearly 63 penalty yards averaged per game. With football being a game of inches, it is essential to execute cleanly to be successful in the NFL.

In the fourth quarter against the Saints, we saw a first-down run of 14 yards by Leonard Fournette subsequently negated due to a hold that backed the Jaguars up eight yards into a 1st and 18 on the Jaguars 44 instead of a first down in plus territory.

Just three plays later, Jacksonville was stopped on fourth-and-short and set up the Saints with the opportunity to close out the game.

The inability to get out of their own way all season has created an inability to win in close games. If the Jaguars can somehow find a way to limit the number of penalty flags thrown, they have a much better chance to “win games now” as Myles Jack would say.

2.) Find consistency on the offensive line. 

The Jaguars have struggled all year on the offensive line. The plugging and playing of multiple different players and the continuous rotation at the guard right guard position have resulted in lackluster develop for the group.

They have been unable to establish a consistent push and protection and it has ultimately resulted in tallies in the loss column.

While every game has not been 100% on the offensive line, the struggling front five have not done much to ensure victory for the Jaguars.

The lack of holes being opened in the run game paired with the collapsing of the pocket when their quarterback drops back to pass will plague any team’s ability to win games.

For most of the year, the Jaguars have been able to hide the fact that their offensive line is subpar — for the most part — due to Gardner Minshew’s uncanny ability to escape the pocket and make plays on the run.

But, in week six against the Saints, the offensive line was exposed for the weakness that it really is. The Saints brought pressure on Minshew but confined him to the pocket and didn’t allow him to make the plays he had been making throughout the majority of the young season.

A formula that many teams will begin to use as the season goes on. A containment pass rush to keep the star rookie quarterback in the pocket is going to be the trend as the well-oiled machine that had been running for the Jaguars throughout the first few weeks was shut down by Cam Jordan and company.

This new way to limit Minshew’s playmaking ability will be a call to action for the lackluster offensive line. One of the only teams in the league that continuously rotates players at the right guard position, with Will Richardson and A.J. Cann, will need to solidify that spot in order to gain chemistry within the offensive line.

Regardless of who is put in that spot permanently, there is very little chance it results in worse production that is currently being put out.

3.) Have the offense and defense show up in the same game. 

Both sides of the ball have failed to show up for the Jaguars in five out of their first six games of the season. The number of times one side of the ball has shown up, but not the other, this season is problematic.

So far this season, the Jaguars have been unable for the offense and defense to put together consecutive games of competent play at the same time.

In weeks two, three, and six, the Jaguars’ defense decided it was their time to play. Allowing a maximum of thirteen points in those games. They went 1-2 over that stretch.

On the other hand, in weeks one, three, four, and five, the Jaguars’ offense showed up and produced yardage in a big way. They were able to go 2-2 in those games.

The team is on the cusp of winning close matchups, three of their four losses have come by seven points or less. If the Jaguars can figure out how to get both sides of the ball to play effectively down the stretch of the season at the same time, they can definitely find a way to come out victorious.

Jacksonville looks to take on the rest of the season with an iron fist. They have the ability to control their own destiny but it will be up to them whether they want to squander the opportunity at hand, or seize the moment and take the rest of the NFL by surprise.

Climbing the ladder to a playoff appearance will be no easy feat, especially as a 2-4 team. But if Jacksonville is able to execute to the best of its abilities and make the three crucial adjustments needed for success, the weak AFC conference could feature a Jaguars team within its playoff.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars, Myles Jack donate to keep the lights on for families in need

Demetrius Harvey

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Oct 6, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars middle linebacker Myles Jack (44) reacts in the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

There has been a lot of philanthropy in Jacksonville this season thanks in part to the Jacksonville Jaguars and their players.

Announced yesterday, the Jaguars and linebacker Myles Jack helped keep the lights on for some elderly customers who were unable to pay their utility bills. According to JEA, the organization and Jack were able to help 31 customers thanks to a one-time donation.

The Jaguars have been in the news lately not only for their play on the field but off of it. Recently, Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell donated nearly $20,000 to Feeding Northeast as part of his “season of giving” initiative. Now, Jack, who received a four-year $57M contract earlier this year, has done his part in donating. A wonderful act of kindness which will allow some Jacksonville residents to rest easier for an undisclosed amount of time.

“I’m blessed to play the sport I love for a living, but I know that many individuals are less fortunate and may struggle from time to time with their monthly bills,” Jack said in a letter to an undisclosed JEA customer. “I want to do my part to support other members of the Jacksonville community.”

The Jaguars agreed to match Jack’s contribution, doubling the amount given to particular elderly JEA customers.

“Thank you for your support of me and my teammates. The DUUUVAL spirit is with us every Sunday. We couldn’t do it without you!”

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