Mark Lamping

Jaguars President: Khan Wants To Keep Team In Jacksonville

The most frequent team sent to London since the NFL began holding games there annually, the Jaguars have doubled down on their overseas commitment. They are set to play two London games in 2020, stirring understandable speculation about their future in Jacksonville.

The Jaguars are set to become the first team to play multiple home games overseas; they will do so in back-to-back weeks. Both games will occur at Wembley Stadium, a venue Khan was in talks to buy before backing out of the pursuit.

This could be interpreted as the NFL testing the waters for a long-rumored London team, and Jags owner Shad Khan has connections to England sports as owner of the English Premier League’s Fulham F.C. But Khan, per Jags president Mark Lamping during a Sirius XM Radio interview (via Pro Football Talk), is “committed to keeping the (Jaguars) in northeast Florida.”

The most important thing (Khan) wants to do is bring a Super Bowl to Duval County, and obviously we have a lot of work to do on that front,” Lamping said. “But the other thing he wants to do is ensure that there’s NFL football in northeast Florida for many generations to come.

… London supplements what we’re doing in Jacksonville. It certainly doesn’t replace it.”

NFL inroads to a possible London team have stalled, to some degree. But the Jags, who have played a game in London each season since 2013, have long been the top candidate to relocate — if, in fact, the NFL opts to relocate a team to England rather than launch a UK expansion team — to the point that Khan as secured a right-of-first-refusal arrangement regarding an NFL London move.

Lamping, however, insists the Jaguars doubling up on their London schedule has no connection to a potential relocation.

This isn’t about next season or the next few seasons in Jacksonville, but really about the next 10 years, 25 years and beyond,” Lamping said in a team announcement. “There is no better time than now to capitalize on the opportunity to play two home games in London, where we will continue to develop our loyal and growing fanbase there and throughout the UK, during a period in which I will be focused heavily on creating a new downtown (Jacksonville) experience that we want, need and must have here.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Saints, Greenway, Tebow, Eagles

After years of loading up on salary, the Saints have now swung back in a far different direction – shedding veterans who make too much money and loading up on draft picks, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. La Canfora wondered if coach Sean Payton is loading up on draft picks to make a play for Marcus Mariota and he spoke with football execs who felt that the Oregon quarterback would be a terrific fit with what he wants to do at the quarterback position. While the Saints have Drew Brees under center, 2015 could be the last go ’round for the veteran in New Orleans.

Let’s round up a few more notes from across the league….

  • Veteran linebacker Chad Greenway tells Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link) that his agent and the Vikings are working on a new contract that would keep him in Minnesota for the 2015 season.
  • In the wake of Tim Tebow‘s workout with the Eagles earlier this week, Albert Breer of the NFL Network takes a closer look at the former first-round pick’s efforts to get back on an NFL roster.
  • The Eagles have made a lot of moves this offseason but their wide receiver situation remains a bit murky, as Sheil Kapadia of Philadelphia Magazine writes. The group of remaining free agents is not very interesting, headlined by Greg Jennings, Michael Crabtree and Dwayne Bowe. Given that the Eagles don’t have a ton of cap space to work with, it seems unlikely that they’re going to sign a wide receiver, Kapadia writes.
  • Following Chris Borland‘s surprise retirement, Matt Bowen of Bleacher Report, a former NFL player, spoke to a handful of fellow NFL veterans, and most of them said the rewards of playing in the NFL outweigh the risks. However, Borland’s decision “definitely has heightened awareness that the balance could be shifting.”
  • For now, it seems that the Dolphins‘ offense has taken a step backward, Chris Perkins of the Sun Sentinel writes. Assuming that Charles Clay leaves for Buffalo, Miami is left with question marks when it comes to touchdowns in the red zone, even with Jordan Cameron in the fold. Meanwhile, there are also some uncertainties surrounding the power running game, the deep passing game, and even the quarterback (to an extent).
  • The Jaguars have signed president Mark Lamping to a five-year contract extension, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (on Twitter). Lamping’s deal was set to expire in a few weeks, so the new pact has been in the works for some time (link).

Luke Adams contributed to this post.