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Jacksonville Jaguars release leading tackler Myles Jack after spending spree

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jaguars have released veteran linebacker Myles Jack in a move that will save the team $8.35 million.

Tuesday's announcement comes one day after the Jaguars agreed to terms with six free agents, including linebacker Foye Oluokun, who led the NFL in tackles last season with 192. Jack was the Jaguars' leading tackler last season with 108 and has had at least 107 tackles in three of the past four seasons.

The move costs the Jaguars $4.8 million in dead money. Jack was due to make $10.5 million and count $13.15 million against the cap in 2022, which would have been the third-highest cap figure on the team behind left tackle Cam Robinson ($16.662 million) and cornerback Shaq Griffin ($16.5 million).

Jack signed a four-year, $57 million extension that included $33.06 million guaranteed in September 2019, a deal that at the time made him the NFL's third-highest-paid inside linebacker. The Jaguars drafted him 36th overall after trading up two spots in 2016.

There were concerns about Jack's right knee before the draft, and he acknowledged to the New York Post in a pre-draft story that there may be some degenerative issues, "but it's nothing extreme."

Jack has missed only nine games in his six-year career and has 513 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 3 interceptions and 4 fumble recoveries.

"Myles has made a positive contribution on and off the field in Jacksonville, providing leadership in our locker room as a captain and making a significant impact on the First Coast community," general manager Trent Baalke said. "His recognition as the team's 2021 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee is indicative of his commitment to inspiring positive change in those around him. We appreciate all he has done for our organization and wish him the best."

Jack, who has started games at inside and outside linebacker, never made a Pro Bowl, but he will forever be a part of Jaguars lore because of a play in the AFC Championship Game following the 2017 season. Jack ran down New England Patriots running back Dion Lewis, stripped the ball as he tackled him, and jumped up and returned it for what should have been a touchdown that gave the Jaguars a 17-point lead early in the fourth quarter.

However, the officials blew the play dead after he recovered the ball because they believed he was down by contact. The Patriots later rallied to win 24-20.

Replays showed he wasn't down, and that birthed the "Myles Jack wasn't down" phenomenon among Jacksonville fans.