Jaguars' Myles Jack: Next deal 'will take care of itself'

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  • By Adam Maya NFL.com
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Myles Jack has never been more valuable to the Jaguars than he is right now. His worth in terms of money likely won't be determined until 2020, and it might prove greater outside of Jacksonville.

He'll have a chance to showcase his skills in a new way given the absence of inside linebacker Telvin Smith, who announced in May he's sitting out the 2019 season to address personal matters. The timing is probably less than ideal for a Jaguars team whose championship window is unclear. But it puts Jack, who moved to middle linebacker last season, in an even greater spotlight in the last year of his rookie deal.

"Obviously in my position, Telvin (Smith) is gone, so that's 120 tackles unaccounted for, and I want at least 50 of those so I can get 150 tackles to create some leverage for myself," Jack said, via John Reid of the Florida Times-Union. "My job is to play Mike (linebacker). ... I've got to run the defense."

If Jack does so at a high level, he'll also run up his next bill. He's set to make $1.3 million this year. But that advantageous price tag for a productive starter expires soon, and Jacksonville's limited cap flexibility will make it hard to retain Jack, unless he's franchised.

The Jaguars first need to settle contract disputes with fellow 2016 draftees Jalen Ramsey and Yannick Ngakoue. Ramsey, who's under contract for two more seasons, has already been informed he won't receive an extension this year. But the two-time Pro Bowler is expected to reset the cornerback market whenever he strikes a deal. Then there's Ngakoue, who as a former third-rounder is also in the final year of his contract but unlikely to begin the season without a new one, and is in the midst of a holdout.

"Obviously we love the game, but at the same time, we see the ESPN tickers going and guys getting this amount of money," Jack said. "In [Ngakoue's] case, from the numbers that he's put up versus the other guys getting paid, he's either better or neck and neck with (them). I completely understand why he's doing what he's doing.

"Nobody works harder than Yan and he would rather have everything taken care of, but at the same time, this game is violent and we don't know how long we're going to play, and we try to get as much as we can like anybody in any business."

While Ngakoue's situation figures to resolve itself in Jacksonville, Jack might have to go elsewhere to be taken care of. He recorded a career-high 107 tackles in 2018 while playing all of the team's 1,024 defensive snaps. Moreover, he hasn't missed a game in his three seasons, this after entering the league with knee concerns. His main concern moving forward is proving his worth.

"When my time comes up, that's when it's going to come up," Jack said. "But right now, I'm just focused on going out there winning games, getting numbers and then by the end of the season that all will take care of itself."

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