JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith, the team’s leading tackler the past two seasons and a Pro Bowl selection in 2017, is stepping away from football to “give this time back to myself, my family & my health.”
Smith made the announcement Thursday on Instagram, saying “at this time I must take time away from this game & get my world in order.”
“I appreciate all the support I will & will not get,” he added. “I just ask that y’all respect my decision to not play football this season.”
A fifth-round draft pick from Florida State in 2014, Smith has 445 tackles, nine interceptions, 7½ sacks and five forced fumbles in five seasons. He’s one of only 13 players in NFL history to notch 100 or more tackles in each of their first five years in the league.