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Jaguars waive RB Leonard Fournette after three seasons – NFL.com

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Jaguars trade

Jaguars agree to trade DE Yannick Ngakoue to Vikings – ESPN

6:41 AM ET

  • ESPN News Services

The Jacksonville Jaguars have agreed to trade franchise defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to the Minnesota Vikings for a 2021 second-round draft pick and a conditional 2022 fifth-round draft pick that could go as high as a third-round pick, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Ngakoue still has to sign his franchise tender, but the trade is now in place and he is expected to join the Vikings.

Sources said the fifth-round pick becomes a fourth-round pick if Ngakoue goes to the Pro Bowl this season and a third-round pick if Ngakoue is a Pro Bowler and the Vikings win the Super Bowl.

Ngakoue, 25, and the Jaguars will have to coordinate when he is going to sign his franchise tender Sunday so he can be traded to the Vikings. Because Ngakoue did not sign the tender before the July 15 deadline, he must play this season under the tag, valued at $17.8 million, before he can sign a long-term deal.

Sources said Ngakoue will restructure his one-year deal with the Vikings to create more cap space. The Vikings entered Sunday with approximately $12.9 million in cap space, according to the Roster Management System.

He will give the Vikings a young, proven pass-rusher opposite Danielle Hunter, one whose work ethic and intensity have always been among the most respected in Jacksonville’s locker room. Ngakoue also should ease the loss of four-time Pro Bowler Everson Griffen, who signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys earlier this month.

Ngakoue — whom the Jaguars drafted in the third round in 2016 — has been unhappy with the team since July 2019, when then-executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin abruptly broke off negotiations with Ngakoue’s camp. The Jaguars reportedly offered Ngakoue a deal that would pay him $19 million annually, but the pass-rusher turned it down and he played the 2019 season — after an 11-day training camp holdout — for $2.025 million, a considerable bargain for a player who had racked up 29.5 sacks in his first three seasons.

He suffered a hamstring injury early in the season that limited his production but still finished with eight sacks in 2019 and ranks second in Jaguars history with 37.5 after only four seasons. In addition, his 14 forced fumbles from 2016 to 2019 rank fourth in the league behind only Chandler Jones (17), Khalil Mack (17) and T.J. Watt (15).

Ngakoue also was directly responsible for five of the 12 defensive touchdowns the Jaguars have scored since 2016: a pick-six, a fumble return and three forced fumbles on sacks that other players recovered for TDs. Another forced fumble resulted in a touchdown in the 2017 playoffs.

He had been vocal about his dissatisfaction with the Jaguars, especially on social media, and his desire to play elsewhere. He announced in March via Twitter that he told the team he wasn’t going to sign a long-term deal and in April went on a Twitter tirade against Tony Khan, the son of owner Shad Khan and the team’s senior vice president of football administration and technology.

Ngakoue is the second starter in the past year to essentially force his way out of Jacksonville. Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey seemingly faked a back injury to get traded to the Los Angeles Rams in October.

He also is the latest piece of Jacksonville’s 2017 defense, which helped the team make the AFC Championship Game, to hit the road. Ngakoue, Calais Campbell, A.J. Bouye, Marcell Dareus, Ramsey, Malik Jackson, Tashaun Gipson, Barry Church and Dante Fowler — a list that includes seven former Pro Bowlers — have been traded or cut in the past two years.

Jacksonville selected Ngakoue’s replacement, Josh Allen from Kentucky, with the seventh overall pick in the 2019 draft and added pass-rusher K’Lavon Chaisson this year. Allen had 44 tackles, 10½ sacks and two forced fumbles as a rookie and made the Pro Bowl as an alternate.

The Jaguars are loaded for the 2021 draft, in which many expect Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence to be the No. 1 pick. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Jaguars have a 24% chance to get the top pick, the highest percentage in the league.

Jacksonville is now scheduled to have six picks in the first four rounds — two first-round picks, a second, a third and two fourths.

ESPN’s Michael DiRocco and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Jaguars Rodney

Jaguars’ Rodney Gunter stepping away from football due to heart condition – ESPN

8:37 PM ET

  • Michael DiRoccoESPN Staff Writer

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    • Covered University of Florida for 13 seasons for ESPN.com and Florida Times-Union
    • Graduate of Jacksonville University
    • Multiple APSE award winner

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Rodney Gunter is stepping away from football after being diagnosed with a severe heart condition that could require surgery.

The sixth-year player said doctors told him he was at risk of rupturing or tearing his aorta if he continued to play football.

Gunter also said he does not yet qualify for surgery, and the best thing for him to do is wait.

“These last three weeks have been a hard pill to swallow,” Gunter said. “Seeing my dreams vanish right in front of me has been extremely difficult. After seeing several heart specialists I was told if I continue to play ball with my condition, I could possibly rupture or tear my aorta which is enlarged. This can cause sudden death or a severe stroke.

“There is a 50/50 chance that surgery will fix my current health condition. But at the moment, I do not meet the criteria to undergo the operation. Those who qualify must have 5.5+ cm enlarged aorta, while mine measures 5.0 cm. At this time, I cannot play or have the surgery so I must wait. So at this moment, the best choice for me and my family is to walk away from this game.

“I appreciate the Jaguars for giving me an opportunity, and I’m thankful for everyone who has believed in me along the way. Thank you!”

The Jaguars signed Gunter to a three-year, $18 million contract with $11.15 million guaranteed in March. He was going to be the replacement for defensive end Calais Campbell, whom the Jaguars traded to Baltimore in March. Gunter was going to line up at end on early downs and move inside to rush the passer on third downs.

Gunter is the fifth defensive lineman to either leave the team or get injured in the past month. Nose tackle Al Woods, whom the Jaguars signed in March to shore up a run defense that gave up 139 yards a game last season, and defensive end/linebacker Lerentee McCray opted out because of the coronavirus. Tackles Dontavius Russell (hip) and Brian Price (knee) were placed on injured reserve.

Plus, the Jaguars still don’t have defensive end Yannick Ngakoue in camp. He has yet to sign the franchise tag tender ($17.8 million), though he recently fired his agent and has had some conversations with general manager Dave Caldwell.

In addition, first-round pick defensive end K’Lavon Chaisson has been dealing with a hamstring injury.

The Jaguars signed tackles Carl Davis, Josh Mauro and Caraun Reid in the past week. Defensive tackle Tim Jernigan visited the Jaguars earlier this week and was undergoing COVID-19 testing before he could take a physical and join the club. Coach Doug Marrone said earlier this week “things are in the works.”

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Jaguars Place

Jaguars place five on COVID-19 list, including Gardner Minshew – NBC Sports – NFL

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The Jaguars are counting on Gardner Minshew II to be their answer this season, but for now, they will have to wait on him to begin his strength and conditioning work.

The team placed Minshew and four others on the COVID-19 list Sunday.

Running back Ryquell Armstead, tight end Charles Jones, receiver Michael Walker and safety Andrew Wingard also went on the reserve list.

It means the players either tested positive for COVID-19 or must quarantine after coming in close contact with someone infected.

Minshew, a sixth-round choice in 2019, went 6-6 as a rookie. He began the season as Nick Foles‘ backup but won the job after Foles was injured.

The Jaguars traded Foles to Chicago this offseason.

Minshew threw for 3,271 yards with 21 touchdowns and six interceptions last season.

Earlier Sunday, the Jaguars announced they activated rookie defensive lineman DaVon Hamilton, second-year tight end Charles Jones and second-year offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor from the team’s COVID-19 list.

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