Jaguars Hire Doug Pederson As HC

Jacksonville’s winding path toward hiring a head coach is coming to an end. Doug Pederson will land the job, Adam Schefter of reports (on Twitter). The Jaguars have since announced the hire.

Pederson interviewed twice with the team, which is close to bringing in ex-Vikings GM Rick Spielman for a high-ranking front office position alongside Trent Baalke. Pederson, who led the Eagles to a win in Super Bowl LII, did not coach last season but was connected to multiple jobs during this year’s hiring cycle.

The former Philadelphia HC will soon work with another highly drafted quarterback, and Pederson spoke with Trevor Lawrence on the phone earlier Thursday night, Schefter tweets. While Pederson’s final season with Carson Wentz ended in the Eagles radically changing course, the veteran play-caller will have a chance to work with one of the top QB prospects to enter the NFL in many years.

At the end of this search, the Jags were also linked to recent Raiders interim HC Rich Bisaccia and Buccaneers OC Byron Leftwich. The latter was believed to be in talks with the Jags about a deal last week, but momentum stalled. The former Jacksonville first-round pick may well have bowed out of this search earlier Thursday. Leftwich indeed balked at pairing with Baalke, according to Aaron Wilson of

Pederson, 54, was the first candidate to meet with the Jaguars during the new in-season interview period. He also met with the Bears and Saints in the weeks following that initial Jags discussion.

Pederson clashed with Eagles management during his Philadelphia tenure, and’s Albert Breer notes his interest in the Jacksonville job cooled a bit because of the Jags’ commitment to Baalke. But Spielman’s potential arrival — for a position that could outrank Baalke’s — may have been enough to convince Pederson. The two share an agent, Breer adds (Twitter links).

The former Chiefs offensive coordinator went 42-37-1 as Eagles HC, with 2020’s disastrous 4-11-1 season heavily impacting that mark. Still, Pederson oversaw one of the most remarkable playoff runs in modern NFL history. The Eagles won Super Bowl LII as the NFC’s No. 1 seed but did so despite being underdogs in all three playoff games without Wentz. With notable assistance from then-OC Frank Reich, Pederson guided future Jaguar Nick Foles to two dominant performances to close out the Eagles’ championship run. The Eagles did not win 10 games in a season again under Pederson, however, with Wentz not playing up to his MVP-level form of previous years.

The Jaguars are attempting to shake off Shad Khan‘s poor Urban Meyer hire, and the team is in need of upgrades at most positions, having gone 4-29 over the past two seasons. Lawrence represents a potentially high-end centerpiece, adding to this job’s appeal despite the franchise’s struggles for most of the past decade and change. The Jags are also set to hold nearly $60MM in cap space, providing more resources for a rebuild. If nothing else, Khan figures to give Pederson plenty of time after the quick Meyer unraveling.

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