Jaguars Fire GM Dave Caldwell

After another loss dropped them to 1-10, the Jaguars are making a major shakeup. Jacksonville has fired general manager Dave Caldwell, sources told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

It looked for a while like the Jags were just going to ride out this lost season before making any big changes, but obviously owner Shad Khan felt like he couldn’t wait any longer. Just about everybody has assumed head coach Doug Marrone is a lame-duck coach waiting to get fired at the end of the season, so it’s interesting he wasn’t let go here at the same time like we saw with Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn yesterday. It’s the end of a long run for Caldwell, as he was in his eighth season with the team.

Caldwell broke into the league as a scouting assistant with the Panthers in 1996, then spent ten years as a scout with the Colts. From there he moved on to the Falcons, becoming their director of player personnel in 2012. After just one year in that role, he was poached away to lead Jacksonville’s front office. Khan released a statement politely thanking Caldwell for his time with the team but acknowledging the need for new leadership, which you can read in full via this tweet from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Rapsheet also notes that Trent Baalke will take over as interim GM for the rest of the season.

Baalke spent six seasons as the 49ers’ GM from 2011-16 before becoming the Jags’ personnel director back in February. Atlanta, Detroit, and Houston had already fired their GMs in-season, leaving a number of front office head openings around the league.

Caldwell certainly had an interesting tenure with the team. After his hire of Gus Bradley and drafting of Blake Bortles didn’t work out, he was essentially demoted as the team hired Tom Coughlin to run its football ops. Then after a pretty disastrous run which saw most of the star talent get traded away, like Jalen Ramsey, Coughlin himself was fired and Caldwell re-emerged with more power.

Jacksonville was never going to win anything this year with their stripped down roster, and it’s likely Khan was planning for a full-blown house cleaning for 2021 all along. Meanwhile Rapoport tweets that Khan told Marrone after the game he and the rest of his staff are safe through the rest of the season. Caldwell deserves a lot of criticism, but he’ll leave the next GM with an enviable bounty of draft picks.

The Jags had two first-rounders this past April, and they’ll have two picks in the first and second rounds in 2021. They’re entering yet another rebuild, but there could be some light at the end of the tunnel. Priority number one for the new regime will be finding a franchise quarterback, as the current trio of Gardner Minshew, Jake Luton, and Mike Glennon obviously aren’t cutting it.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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14 comments on “Jaguars Fire GM Dave Caldwell

    • Don’t understand why they didn’t fire him and give someone on the staff a look.

  1. mstockw1

    GM job less lucrative tied to Marrone I’d say. He’s gotta be gone too right?

    • markdavisbarber

      Dead Coach Walking….

      How ironic would it be if the Jags made Jay Gruden the intern HC on Thanksgiving? FYI – Ron Rivera was fired from Carolina after the Thanksgiving Day loss to Washington last year.

  2. thequail

    Baalke was TERRIBLE as GM for the 49ers! Hope he’s just pushing papers till the end of the season.

    • Ak185

      I thought that it was interesting that the Jags really went on a downward spiral at the beginning of the offseason. Last year was full of hope, with Minshew’s high level play, and then suddenly, everything tanks. Coincidentally, what do I see in the article above? Baalke, hired at the beginning of the offseason…

      All kidding aside, Caldwell seemed to be bracing for a rebuild after the Coughlin administration. I thought his strategy was fairly clear and that he’d get a shot at exercising it. Heiden, though he’s had success in the past, has not done well with this offense. A lot of players have been dealt, or left, and it’s not all Caldwell’s fault as he was obviously trying to rebuild this team, so it’s not all Gruden either. But Baalke hopefully will not be there for any longer than necessary. For that level of GM value, you may as well have kept Caldwell until the end of the season.

  3. JJB0811

    I’d say in the bight side, we can’t do worse. But then there’s the Jets!

  4. bradthebluefish
    bradthebluefish

    The Jaguars have picks and talent. Bit confused how Caldwell is to fired after being one win away from successfully tanking for Trevor.

  5. Its about time. Caldwell (and Coughlin) were the biggest reasons the Jaguars fell off a cliff. Caldwell did a half decent job at finding talent later in the draft, but constantly busted on his first round picks. The only two guys he’s really hit on with his first round picks are Ramsey and Allen, both of whom were the obvious best player available at their selections.

    A little surprised that Marrone wasn’t fired either, but he probably just gets fired shortly after the season ends anyway. Really not sure if any other coach could get significantly more out of this roster (which is more of a knock on the roster rather than praise for Marrone). Maybe firing Marrone lights a small fire under the players but I’d rather they just roll with Marrone than to see an interim maybe steal a win or two and make Khan thinks he’s the guy and force him onto the new GM.

  6. markdavisbarber

    Almost every contract in the NFL appears to have a think positive incentive clause. If you make the pro bowl, if we win a Super Bowl, you know LTBE and NLTBE.

    The coaching staff and front office personnel should have the same parameters. If you lose 10 games in a row, even across years, you lose all guaranteed money. This could be negotiable for teams that have lost 16 in a row, but it would eventually eliminate this “Tank for ######” crap.

    • crosseyedlemon

      When was the last time a GM or coach cost a team a win by fumbling, throwing an interception, missing a critical block, tackle or FG? Your punitive financial approach seems a bit extreme.

    • bradthebluefish
      bradthebluefish

      It’s an interesting premise. Front office should be financially awarded for wins.

  7. crosseyedlemon

    Need a GM that will look beyond the state of Florida when using first and second round picks.

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