Only 3 players missing as Jaguars open OTAs

Ramsey and Smith absent; Westbrook set to arrive later this week

By Justin Barney - Sports Editor

Jaguars coach Doug Marrone meets with the media on Tuesday morning on the first day of organized team activities.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jaguars opened organized team activities with three players not in camp, including Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey. 

Coach Doug Marrone met with the media on Tuesday morning as OTAs got underway, saying that Ramsey, receiver Dede Westbrook and linebacker Telvin Smith were the only three players missing. 
Westbrook, Marrone said, would be at OTAs later this week.

"We want to build this thing up, and when we talk about our goals for OTAs we’re talking about conditioning, both physically and mentally," Marrone said. "We want to get to that point where we’re doing a little bit more than we did in phase two, and we’re building this thing up so that we’re prepared at training camp to really go out there and practice and have highly productive days from that sense."

OTAs are voluntary and players under contract are not required to report. 

The absences of Ramsey and Smith weren’t unexpected. Ramsey has made it a habit to work out on his own while home at his father’s training facility in Nashville. Smith announced on social media two weeks ago that he planned on sitting out the 2019 season to get things in his personal life in order. 

One player who was at OTAs is defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. 

The third-round pick in 2016, Ngakoue has 29.5 sacks and enters 2019 on the final year of his rookie contract. According to Spotrac.com, Ngakoue is scheduled to earn $2.025 million this season and he has vastly outperformed that contract. He reported to voluntary workouts last month, but left early. 

There was speculation that Ngakoue could skip OTAs while attempting to negotiate a new contract, which will conceivably make him one of the highest-paid defensive ends in the NFL.

“When it comes down to contracts, I have never ever been involved," Marrone said. "From my standpoint, so everyone knows, someone will say, ‘Hey, do you like this player? Do you want him back?’ It’s usually a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’ Once it goes to the other side — the contractual stuff – that is something for [general manager] Dave [Caldwell] and [executive vice president of football operations] Tom [Coughlin]. I really stay out of that because it’s a tough situation for a coach.”

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