Smith did not notify the Jaguars about his intention to not play this season before his announcement and had not been in contact with the club for much of the offseason. He has not been attending the Jaguars' voluntary offseason conditioning program, which began in April, and coach Doug Marrone and GM Dave Caldwell had not been able to get in contact with Smith.
Smith said he needs to take time off for his family and his health in the statement he posted Thursday afternoon on his Instagram account.
Jaguars' LB Telvin Smith announced he will not play football in 2019. pic.twitter.com/GHCMhXmDQb— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 9, 2019
"We will not have a comment about Telvin Smith's statement at this time," the Jaguars said in a statement Thursday. "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 was due to make $9.75 million this season and would have counted $12.56 million against the salary cap. The Jaguars can place Smith on the did not report list and only the prorated amount of his signing bonus ($2.81 million) would count against the cap in 2019.
Smith agreed to restructure his contract last March to help the Jaguars' cap situation and had $8 million of a roster bonus converted to a signing bonus, which allowed the team to spread that money out over the final three years of his deal.
Smith is under contract through the 2021 season and was scheduled to make $10 million in 2020 and $10.25 million in 2021.
The Jaguars drafted Smith in the fifth round of the 2014 draft. A positive marijuana test at the NFL combine contributed to him dropping and, per league rules, also landed him in the NFL's substance abuse program. However, he missed only four games -- all because of injuries -- in his five seasons.
Per ESPN Stats & Information, Smith has had more solo tackles (441) than any player since he entered the NFL, and his 581 total tackles ranks fourth over that span. Smith also has nine interceptions (three of which he returned for touchdowns) in his career.
Smith, who had a career-high 134 tackles last season, was a Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro in 2017 as a key part of a Jaguars defense that finished second in the NFL in sacks and turnovers forced and led the league in pass defense. The Jaguars scored seven defensive touchdowns that season, and Smith had two, as well as another in the postseason.