JACKSONVILLE – Telvin Smith didn't want to talk money too much. But he did.
Just a little. And with a smile.
Smith, a four-year veteran outside linebacker, said while he indeed signed a four-year contract extension last week that will ensure he will remain with the Jaguars for the foreseeable future, he didn't see much point in discussing it extensively.
He did, however, provide a touch of insight into his emotions Monday.
"I'm happy, elated – you feel me? I'm rich," Smith said with a smile Monday as the Jaguars (4-3) prepared to play the Cincinnati Bengals (3-4) at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.
Smith, a fifth-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, became the second player from the Jaguars' 2014 draft class to sign an extension when he signed a four-year deal last Wednesday. Center Brandon Linder, a '14 third-round selection, re-signed this past summer.
"He's playing well; he's played well for a while," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said of Smith. "The good thing about Telvin in my opinion is he's worked to earn that. He's playing extremely well."
Smith, who leads the Jaguars with 58 tackles and eight tackles for loss this season, has been named AFC Defensive Player of the Week three times in four seasons. He won Defensive Player of the Week this season after a 10-tackle performance in a victory over Pittsburgh in which he returned an interception 28 yards for the go-ahead, second-half touchdown.
He has two interceptions, three passes defensed and two quarterback hits this season. He also has a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Smith said speaking about his contract Monday was more stressful than the recent months leading to the agreement and signing.
"Let's talk about ball," he said. "Money is money. I got paid. I'm grateful to the organization. I am happy for my family. Everyone who played a part in it, I am happy for. It is just another step in life. I have been here and now I just have a bigger bank account to say I am here. …
"I earned it. Why do I have to talk about what you earn? You feel me? It is done."
Smith and Marrone each spoke to the media Monday as the team began preparations for the Bengals, as did newly-acquired defensive tackle Marcell Dareus.
Here are notes and observations from around EverBank Field Monday:
*Running back Leonard Fournette worked in practice Monday, as did wide receiver Dede Westbrook and Linder. Westbrook, who practiced for the first time since being placed on injured reserve before the regular-season opener, remains on injured reserve but can be activated at any time. "We got him back on the field today and that's step one," Marrone said of Westbrook. "Step two, will be getting him in there, getting him involved with practice, and see how he performs. Obviously, if he performs well he's got an opportunity to get up there and if he's still a ways away then I believe we have another week if we have to go that route." …
*Marrone also on Monday declined to offer thoughts on whether Fournette might play Sunday, saying "I think you have a better idea on Wednesday; He was out there [Monday] and he took reps." Fournette missed the Jaguars' last game before this past Sunday's bye – a 27-0 victory at Indianapolis on October 22 – with an ankle injury sustained October 15. …
*Linder practiced after missing the last three games before the bye with an illness. "Last week we had the conditioning and strengthening at a good level," Marrone said of Linder. "I think now we have it back to where it was. I feel very good about that. He's cleared, ready to go and he's out on the field and we're watching him as he comes back. He did a nice job getting back." …
*Dareus, who arrived in Jacksonville Saturday after learning on Friday he had been traded to the Jaguars from the Buffalo Bills, was asked to described Saturday: "I said my goodbyes [Friday] night; a lot of people came to the house, very emotional, people I've known for a long time, played with. … That morning, it was just a waving moment: 'I'm out of here.' It was so swift. Before I knew it, I was already in Charlotte. By the time I got to Charlotte, in the blink of an eye, I'm here in Jacksonville saying 'hey' to the coaches, the biggest cocktail party in the world [with the annual Florida-Georgia game] … With all that going on, the world is spinning – traded, on the plane, cocktail party, going to the stadium, saying hello, getting out, going to the hotel room, laying on the bed, looking at the roof … What is going on? Called my kids and spread the news. Hey, this is life." …