Less than a year into the Jaguars‘ Urban Meyer–Trent Baalke partnership, the two power brokers may not be seeing eye to eye. Some tension has surfaced between the new coworkers, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes. This is certainly not the first sign of trouble for the Meyer regime in Jacksonville. A host of controversies and/or scrutinized decisions have emerged this year, peaking with the first-year NFL HC’s decision not to fly back to Jacksonville with the team earlier this season, and the Jags are now 2-10. They have seen their offense, led by prized QB prospect Trevor Lawrence, struggle for most of the season. The Jaguars are averaging just 10.6 points per game over their six contests since their bye week, inviting speculation about assistants’ job security. Baalke, the ex-49ers GM whom the Jags named to the same position shortly after tabbing Meyer to lead their latest rebuild, might not be on solid ground either. While Meyer being a one-and-done is far from certain, the former national championship-winning coach’s first season has gone about as badly as possible.
Here is the latest from around the AFC:
- The Patriots’ Matt Judon deal has become one of the best from this past free agency period, with the ex-Ravens edge rusher having amassed a career-high 12.5 sacks. Deviating from its usual lower-key free agency strategy, New England moved quickly to land Judon on a four-year, $54.5MM accord. Prior to this agreement, Judon gave the Ravens a chance to match it, La Canfora writes. Judon had told teammates he did not want to leave Baltimore, JLC adds, though he had said in February everything would have to line up for him to stay. The Ravens, who have let several edge rushers walk to recoup compensatory picks, opted to retool at the position again. After letting let both Judon and Yannick Ngakoue leave, the Ravens drafted Odafe Oweh in Round 1 and signed Justin Houston on a low-cost deal.
- Jaguars tight ends coach Tyler Bowen is set to become Virginia Tech’s offensive coordinator, Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com reports. Bowen, 32, is in his first season with the Jags. He had previously worked with new Hokies HC Brent Pry at Penn State, being a Nittany Lions assistant from 2018-20.
- The Raiders figure to have several new staffers next year, with GM Mike Mayock and interim HC Rich Bisaccia far from assured they will be back. But the team will not be parting with Marcel Reece. The former Oakland fullback will be staying on as a senior adviser to Mark Davis, Vic Tafur of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Reece, who played for the Raiders for nine seasons (2008-16), has been in his current role since 2020. He figures to play a role in the franchise’s coaching search as well.
- A.J. Cole joined Daniel Carlson in signing extensions to keep the Raiders’ current kicking corps intact long-term. The young punter signed a four-year deal worth $12.4MM, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Cole, who will receive $5.9MM guaranteed, is now one of the NFL’s five highest-paid punters.
- Greg Newsome suffered a concussion on the final play of Browns practice Friday, Jeff Schudel of the Lorain Morning Journal tweets. Cleveland’s first-round pick is out for Sunday’s game against the Ravens. The Browns do have an experienced option to elevate into their starting lineup, with Greedy Williams having been a regular starter as a rookie in 2019. Pro Football Focus grades Williams, who has played 45% of Cleveland’s defensive snaps, as a top-20 corner this season.