The IDP fantasy football world was sent reeling last week when Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith announced via Instagram that he would not play during the 2019 season.
Smith posted this:
“It was said to me from a great coach, that in order for the man to be his best, he must get his world in order. At this time I must take time away from this game & get my world in order. 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 to respect my decision to not play football this season. I know the rumors of trade talk came about, but I started my career in Jacksonville & the day I do decided [sic] to call it quits it will be right here in Duval. I love y’all & even in my time off it’s #10toesdwn ya feel me!!! Love!”
The star linebacker also posted a video where he declared: “Understand this, I never left Duval. I’m never leaving Duval. It’s Duval til we die. You understand me?”
Duval is the county where Jacksonville is located and is used by Jaguars fans to refer to the team’s roots. Perhaps stung by some of the criticism he received for the decision, Smith struck a defiant tone by the start of the weekend.
“Why is it so crazy I want to step away from the game?” he said in a video Saturday. “Y’all just chill. Everything’s solid. You feel me? Stop going crazy. It’s getting aggravating. … Football ain’t everything.”
The team had little to say about Smith’s decision. Coach Doug Marrone expressed concern for his player.
“I kind of put football to the side,” he said. “I think for me, that is an afterthought right now in concern with Telvin. I really believe in my heart that Telvin knows that we are here to support him in any which way.”
So what’s going on here?