A former Illinois football player is cashing in again, as his NFL team has re-signed him.
The Illini have had a lot of great players come through the program, and one of the more notable names over the past decade has been Dawuane Smoot. He would spend four seasons in Champaign and amass 136.0 tackles, 38.5 tackles for loss, 15.5 sacks, 5.0 pass deflections, 4.0 forced fumbles, and 2.0 fumble recoveries.
That great career with Illinois earned him a spot in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The Jacksonville Jaguars would pick Smoot with the No. 68 overall pick that year.
Former Illinois football star Dawuane Smoot keeps being a rock for the Jacksonville Jaguars
On Friday morning, David Carter, the agent for Smoot, announced on social media that the talented defensive lineman had re-signed with the Jaguars. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network confirmed the news and reported that it is a one-year, $6.25 million deal. $3.25 million of that is guaranteed.
This deal is inked just months after Smoot had torn his right Achilles tendon in late December 2022. Smoot is clearly progressing well from that injury, as had just visited the Baltimore Ravens in the past week. The Jaguars wanted to keep his talents in Duval County, so Smoot is back in Jacksonville for another year.
I am glad to see Jacksonville make the smart move and retain Smoot. He has been a big part of that franchise for the past six seasons.
Before the injury last year, Smoot was actually leading the Jaguars in sacks. Despite only playing 15 games, he still finished second on the team with 5.0 sacks in 2022.
But I believe this contract for Smoot is bigger than one season. He has been a rock for the Jaguars since being drafted. In 2020 and 2021, Smoot played at least 59% of Jacksonville’s defensive snaps. He would have been around that number in 2022 if it wasn’t for the injury.
When it comes to total snaps on defense and special teams, the lowest snap count percentage he has been a part of was in 2018 when Smoot was involved in a total of 46% of the snaps on defense and special teams combined.
Smoot is back with Jacksonville, and it was a smart move by a franchise that has a bright future.