Former Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith, who abruptly retired from the NFL in 2019, was arrested on Wednesday. According to Michael DiRocco of ESPN, he has been charged with unlawful sexual activity with certain minors. No further details were released on the Duval County Jail website, but DiRocco reported that Smith's bond has been set at $50,003.
A former Pro Bowler in 2017, Smith announced his intentions to not play football during the season in May 2019. This move was considered a surprise considering that he was 28 years old at the time and was in the prime of his career. Most fans expected him to make a return after one-year hiatus from the game. Smith later shut down these rumors in January 2020 with posts on Instagram revealing that he had "turned down offers" to return to the NFL.
"The Jaguars are aware of the report involving former linebacker Telvin Smith. The club is unable to comment further on this ongoing investigation," the Jacksonville Jaguars said in a statement Wednesday. Smith is retired from the NFL, but the Duval County-based franchise holds his rights in case he ever attempts to return to the league.
The exact details surrounding the charges have not been released following Smith's arrest. However, Florida statute 794.05 explains unlawful sexual activity with certain minors. This charge is a second-degree felony and applies to any person 24 years of age or older who engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years old.
This is not the first legal issue that Smith has faced since walking away from the NFL. A search warrant was served at his home in Queen's Harbor in November 2019, and he was seen being led away in handcuffs. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office tweeted out that a grow house had been shut down and that 261 live plants had been seized. Another 50 pounds of processed marijuana was seized by the authorities.
There were reports at the time that Smith had been arrested in involvement with the grow operation, but they were not confirmed. A police spokesperson later told First Coast News that no one had been arrested. Although it was later confirmed that Smith's car was towed to the police impound lot.
"If he was in handcuffs, taken away, something happened where the handcuffs were taken off and he was essentially un-arrested," private attorney Curtis Fallgatter said at the time. "Typically, that means that someone is cooperating." The attorney also said that Smith would have been in front of a judge within 24 hours if he had officially been arrested.