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Training Camp 2019: Marrone calls Ngakoue holdout "part of this business"


JACKSONVILLE – Doug Marrone gets the non-football part of the NFL.

That side was a big part of the conversation during the third-year head coach's first media availability of 2019 Jaguars Training Camp on Thursday.

That's because perhaps the two major topics entering '19 camp centered on off-field "stuff" surrounding two of the Jaguars' best players – cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.

The pressing issue is Ngakoue, who did not report to training camp Wednesday and who is expected to hold out early part in camp because he and the team have not agreed upon a long-term contract extension.

"It's really part of this business, what goes on; I stay out of it," Marrone said early Thursday morning before the Jaguars' Day 1 practice of '19 camp at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex adjacent to TIAA Bank Field.

Ngakoue, a Pro Bowl selection following the 2017 season who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, was placed on the team's reserve/did not report list Wednesday. He also missed the team's mandatory three-day minicamp in June.

"I've been in touch with Yannick," Marrone said. "We've been talking to him. Again, it's just between Yannick and his agent – management, contracts. He's working hard. He's trying to get this thing done. We're trying to get this thing done. We're excited for him."

Marrone emphasized that he believes Ngakoue will report to training camp at some point.

Under the rules of the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement, a player must report 30 days before the start of the regular season to accrue a season toward free agency. If Ngakoue doesn't report by then, he won't be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2019 season if he has not signed a contract extension by that time.

"He's going to come," Marrone said. "He'll report. I don't know when. I know it will be before a certain date. When he comes, we'll be excited about it. He's looking to get back and looking to be with his teammates. That's where he is."

The Jaguars also on Wednesday placed weak-side linebacker Telvin Smith on the reserve/retired list. A Pro Bowl selection following the 2017 season, Smith announced via social media in May that he did not plan to play in 2019.

"I personally have not had any contact, but anyone who retires – or anyone who's not with us – we're here to support them if they need us," Marrone said. "Anyone who's ever been a part of the team, we want to make sure we're there if they need us."

Marrone also emphasized that he did not have a problem with Ramsey's highly-publicized arrival at camp on Thursday.

Ramsey, who also is entering the final year of his rookie contract, arrived at TIAA Bank Field Thursday in an armored truck with a "hype man" who announced, "A man so good they're fixing to give him his own jail, Jalen Towers, because these receivers are on 24-hour lockdown…"

"I was like, 'Those Adidas people know how to market,''' Marrone said with a smile. "If you do something and everyone else talks about it, it's good. I'll say this: What people see on the outside, they're going to form an opinion. But as soon as he crosses into our building, it's all about doing what's best for the team and doing everything from that nature.

"I look at this profession now as, 'It's business.' They have agents. They have marketing people. They have so many things that go on. You're not going to micromanage the business part of their lives.

"Jalen has done a good job of communicating with his coaches all through the year, working hard, staying in great shape, ready to go. He talks about team in here, and that's what my concern is."

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