Shad Khan

Latest On Jaguars DEs Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue

Count Jaguars owner Shad Khan among those who’d like to see the team’s top defensive ends return to Jacksonville next season. Khan told Jaguars.com’s Ashlyn Sullivan that the organization wants to retain both Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue (via John Oehser of the team website).

“Both of those players – Yannick and Calais – I had chats with them after the season,” Khan said. “I would love for them to be back and I’m very hopeful they’ll be back.”

We heard back in January that the Jaguars’ front office had made Ngakoue a priority, and rightfully so. The 24-year-old had another standout season in 2019, finishing with 41 tackles, eight sacks, six passes defended, and four forced fumbles. The former third-rounder will hit unrestricted free agency this spring, but Oehser is confident he won’t be going anywhere; if the two sides can’t agree to an extension, there’s a good chance the Jaguars slap Ngakoue with the franchise tag.

Campbell is a different story, as the veteran has a cap hit of $17.5MM in 2020. The team could save upwards of $15MM if they moved on from the 33-year-old, but there’s a better chance that the two sides will work on an extension that lowers that cap hit. Campbell hasn’t missed a game since joining the Jaguars, and he finished the 2019 campaign having compiled 6.5 sacks. The lineman is also well-respected, and he was the team’s first ever recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

“I think he’s a fabulous guy and I think his contributions … everybody understands, knows, respects,” Khan said.

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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.”

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Jaguars To Retain HC Doug Marrone, GM Dave Caldwell

The Jaguars will retain head coach Doug Marrone and GM Dave Caldwell for the 2020 season, as Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reports (via Twitter). There were conflicting reports over the weekend as to what owner Shad Khan would do, but for the second year in a row, Khan has elected for continuity.

Of course, Khan did fire executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin on December 18, and he indicated in a statement that he would not be filling Coughlin’s role. Instead, Marrone and Caldwell will continue to report to Khan directly, just as they have been doing since Coughlin’s dismissal. That means that Caldwell, who lost final say over personnel matters when Coughlin was hired in 2017, will regain that authority.

Khan said he met with Marrone, Caldwell, and their respective staffs in recent days, and it was those meetings — not the team’s 38-20 win over the Colts in Sunday’s meaningless finale — that led to his decision. However, Khan stressed that the team’s last-place finish in 2019 was not acceptable, and it sounds as if both Marrone and Caldwell could be on a short leash moving forward.

And that stands to reason, as neither man has set the world ablaze during their tenures in Jacksonville. Marrone is 22-28 since taking over as the club’s head coach towards the end of the 2016 season, and the Jags are 36-76 since Caldwell was hired as GM in January 2013. Of course, everyone remembers the run Jacksonville made in 2017, which nearly culminated in a Super Bowl berth, but even though that was just two years ago, the regression the club has seen since then makes it feel like a lot longer.

Marrone himself was not considering any major changes to his coaching staff, though as Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network tweets, it’s unclear whether his meeting with Khan will have changed his stance.

Khan’s statement may be found in its entirety here, courtesy of the team’s official website, but it reads in part as follows:

“The 2019 season was unacceptable and I’ve made my dissatisfaction clear. While many unusual circumstances influenced our season, none can fully explain or defend our second-half collapse with first place in the division within reach on Week 9. At the same time, there were positive developments and contributions that should not be overlooked.

We came out of our AFC Championship Game season of 2017 by making a four-year commitment to the collective leadership of our football operations. Only two seasons have passed and one change from that leadership team has already been made. I want to see what we produce under a new organizational structure in 2020. Goals have been established. Accountability will be paramount.”

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Latest On Tom Coughlin, Jaguars’ Plans

While Tom Coughlin is expected to pursue other opportunities in football, the since-fired Jaguars executive was planning to leave the team on his own accord at season’s end, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.

Furthermore, Jags owner Shad Khan did not give Coughlin a chance to resign before firing him, Florio notes, adding that Coughlin was expected to announce next week he was leaving after the regular season’s conclusion. This lends further credence to the notion Khan’s dismissal of the third-year executive VP came as a result of an arbitrator’s ruling in favor of the NFLPA regarding player grievances against the franchise.

Khan has kept seventh-year GM Dave Caldwell and third-year head coach Doug Marrone on board, despite the team’s struggles over the past two seasons, rather than opting for a full housecleaning. While this could point to the owner leaning toward giving the duo a full season to operate without Coughlin, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets Khan has long admired the Patriots’ way of doing business. This has led to weeks-long buzz of the Jags being interested in pairing Scott Pioli and Josh McDaniels together in a front office-sideline tandem.

McDaniels has caused rather notable chaos in Denver and Indianapolis, the latter instance coming when he spurned an agreement to become the Colts’ HC in 2018. But the Patriots OC has generated consistent interest for much of this decade. Despite his recent Colts decision, McDaniels took an interview with the Packers earlier this year. Pioli’s opportunity running a team did not go well, either, with he and the Chiefs parting ways after four seasons. The former Patriots exec resigned from his post as Falcons assistant GM in May, ending a five-year tenure. McDaniels and Pioli have not worked together since the 2008 season.

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Jaguars Owner Shad Khan Willing To Give Jalen Ramsey Record-Breaking Deal

Tensions have been boiling between the Jaguars and Jalen Ramsey for quite some time. The cornerback wants out, but owner Shad Khan doesn’t necessarily want to let him get away, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports. 

The assumption has been that Jacksonville’s game against Tennessee last night would be Ramsey’s last in a Jaguars uniform. After all, Ramsey, who is due for a massive contract in the near future, requested a trade earlier this week, and virtually all of the league’s other 31 teams have expressed at least some degree of interest. Plus, the Jags have received multiple trade offers that include a first-round draft choice heading to Jacksonville, though it doesn’t sound as if a rival club has dangled two first-rounders, which is what the Jaguars are reportedly seeking.

But Khan apparently wants to continue building around Ramsey, one of the league’s best corners, and he’s willing to pony up record-breaking cash to do it. Presently, Miami’s Xavien Howard is at the top of the cornerback market in terms of total contract value ($75.25MM) and AAV ($15.05MM), while Washington’s Josh Norman is the pacesetter in terms of fully-guaranteed money ($36.5MM). Given his youth and track record, Ramsey should easily clear those numbers.

However, Ramsey is dissatisfied with at least one member of the club’s front office, and while we don’t know for sure, it’s reasonable to guess that he and executive VP Tom Coughlin don’t have the warmest of relationships. Perhaps a contract that far exceeds those of other top corners will be the salve that keeps Ramsey in Jacksonville for the long haul (unless another team does offer two first-round draft picks for him, which would be very difficult for Khan to turn down).

Ramsey refused to talk about his trade demand after last night’s win.

Rory Parks contributed to this post.

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Jaguars’ Coughlin, Caldwell, Marrone To Return In 2019

The Jaguars apparently won’t be making any sweeping changes this offseason. Owner Shad Khan announced that Tom Coughlin, general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Doug Marrone will all return in 2019 (via the team’s Twitter account).

“I informed Tom Coughlin this week that I want him to see through our shared goal of bringing a Super Bowl title to Jacksonville,” Khan said in a statement. “Given our overall body of work over the past two seasons, I offered to Tom that I preferred entering the 2019 season with as much stability as reasonable or possible at the top of our football operation. However, those decisions, at all times, are Tom’s decisions, and I would respect any call he made on our general manager and head coach. I am pleased that Tom sees our situation and opportunity similarly, so we will return to work this week fully confident and optimistic with Dave Caldwell as our general manager and Doug Marrone as our head coach.

I have the same trust in Tom, Dave, and Doug as I did upon their introduction two years ago, and I do believe our best path forward for the moment is the one less disruptive and dramatic. Stability should not be confused with satisfaction, however. I am far from content with the status quo and while it’s best to put 2018 behind us, I will not overlook how poorly we accounted for ourselves following a 3-1 start. There were far too many long Sundays over the last three quarters of the season, with today’s loss in Houston being the final example, and that cannot repeat itself in 2019. That’s my message to our football people and players, but also our sponsors and fans, both of whom were remarkable.”

All around, the news isn’t all that surprising. Coughlin, who is serving as the Executive Vice President of Football Operations, all but has free reign over the organization, and he signed an extension back in February that would take him through the 2021 season. Caldwell, who has been the team’s general manager since 2013, also extended his contract through 2021 back in February.

However, there were some whispers that Marrone could find himself on the hot seat. We heard back in November that Marrone was safe, and the organization doubled down on that sentiment last week. There were some rumblings that Coughlin could actually make himself head coach of the Jaguars, but the organization appears to be content rolling with their current head coach. In two-plus seasons with the team, Marrone has helped guide the Jaguars to 16-18 record, and he led the team to an AFC Championship appearance last season.

While key members of the front office and coaching staff will return in 2019, the team could still see some major changes this offseason. The team could decide to find a replacement for quarterback Blake Bortles, and there have also been rumors that they’ll search for a new offensive coordinator. Nathaniel Hackett was fired from the role back in November.

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Jaguars Owner Pulls Wembley Stadium Bid

Jaguars owner Shad Khan withdrew his bid to buy Wembley Stadium in England, according to a press release from the site’s owners. Evidently, Khan pulled the offer due to criticism he received in Europe.

Earlier this year, The FA received an unsolicited official offer from Shahid Khan to buy Wembley Stadium. It was a very credible offer and was given very serious consideration. Shahid Khan has informed us today that he will be withdrawing his offer to buy the stadium – and we fully respect his decision,” the FA said in a statement. “Mr. Khan believed that his offer to buy Wembley Stadium would release funds to help improve community football facilities in England and that it would be well received by all football stakeholders. At a recent meeting with Mr. Khan he expressed to us that, without stronger support from within the game, his offer is being seen as more divisive than it was anticipated to be and has decided to withdraw his proposal.”

Of course, the plan to buy Wembley Stadium also stirred up a bit of controversy here in the United States. Some reports claimed that Khan was planning to move the Jaguars from Jacksonville, Florida to London, England. The team has denied those types of claims for years, but Khan’s decision to pull out of the Wembley bidding may finally put those rumors to rest.

Jaguars Bid To Buy London Stadium

Jaguars owner Shad Khan has entered a bid of nearly $700MM to purchase London’s Wembley Stadium, according to the Evening Standard. In a statement, Khan confirmed his efforts to purchase the historic soccer venue while reaffirming his commitment to the city of Jacksonville. 

Today’s news changes none of what we envision for the long-term promise for the Jaguars here in Jax, and it changes nothing as to the goals we have for your downtown,” Khan said. ” If anything, today’s news is the embodiment of the ethos we adopted several years ago of being proud, bold and committed.”

The Jaguars have a deal in place to play at Wembley stadium through the 2020 season and today’s news will only increase speculation that Khan is eyeing a move to England. Many view London as a high-potential untapped market that could draw major dollars for an NFL franchise and the Jaguars have build a following there by playing multiple games on the other side of the pond. Still, Khan insists that the plan to purchase Wembley Stadium is not the first step towards relocation.

If my ownership interests were to include Wembley Stadium, it would protect the Jaguars’ position in London at a time when other NFL teams are understandably becoming more interested in this great city,” Khan said. “And the stronger the Jaguars are in London, the more stable and promising the Jaguars’ future will be in Jacksonville.”

The timing of the leak is curious and one can’t help but wonder if Khan purposely wanted the news to be buried under the frenzy of tonight’s NFL Draft. But, taken at face value, the acquisition will not impact the Jaguars’ future in Jacksonville.

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Latest On Colin Kaepernick, NFL Protests

One of the centerpieces of Colin Kaepernick‘s collusion grievance against the NFL will be President Donald Trump’s tweets and comments regarding his and other players’ racial inequality-themed protests and those words’ possible influence on owners, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports. La Canfora adds Kaepernick’s case will involve the numerous times the president has attempted to exert influence on owners regarding this matter, one that the quarterback is charging has him unemployed while numerous passers of lesser pedigrees are on teams’ rosters. Arguing certain inferior players are rostered while Kaepernick isn’t may not be enough to satisfy the CBA’s “burden of proof” element, so it appears Kaepernick’s side is taking a different approach.

Trump’s tweeted about having conversations with owners about protesting players and has discussed publicly his sway over them regarding this recent movement, and La Canfora writes Kaepernick’s lawyers could argue this has created a climate in which “numerous owners have colluded” to keep the quarterback from having a chance to sign as a free agent. Trump recently tweeted about speaking with Jerry Jones in late September regarding this issue, and the Cowboys owner made comments about the team benching protesting players in early October. Jones spoke about Trump discussing the game-day manual regarding anthem protocols as well, per La Canfora.

Kaepernick became a free agent in March by opting out of his 49ers contract, but San Francisco GM John Lynch said the team would have released him had he not done so.

Here’s the latest surrounding the Kaepernick grievance and the protest discussions that came out of the league meetings this week.

  • Other owners wish Jones would refrain from making bold pronouncements like his anthem directive in an effort to preserve the goodwill fostered between them and the players this week, Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com reports, adding the owners would like the NFL to stay off Trump’s political agenda. Jones could be an outlier among owners who have expressed optimism about talks with the players on social activism, Robinson writes. The Cowboys owner did not make further remarks about this issue after the owners’ meetings. Considering Jones speaks with the media often, this issue will come up again soon.
  • Michael Bennett said an early step toward further discussions with owners about social issues would be making sure Kaepernick signs with a team. “I think before we even negotiate anything about whether we sit, whether we stand [during the national anthem], it should be a negotiation about opening up the doors for Colin Kaepernick and giving him an opportunity again,” the Seahawks defensive end said, via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. “Because I feel like through everything, that’s been lost.”
  • However, other players may not see a Kaepernick job as an automatic end to the protests. One anonymous member of the NFL players coalition, assembled this year to help with criminal justice reform in these players’ respective communities, told Ed Werder (Twitter link) a Kaepernick signing won’t just stop the protests. The same player told Werder (Twitter link) the quarterback “continues to isolate himself from [the coalition]” with this grievance.
  • The Jets player reps at this week’s owners’ meetings, Kelvin Beachum and Demario Davis, declined to answer questions about them. Davis did compose a statement, however. “I will say that the talks were very productive,” the linebacker said, via Daniel Popper of the New York Daily News. “It’s encouraging to me as an athlete to see so many athletes and owners so concerned about our country and pushing in the right direction. We have a tremendous platform in the NFL, and to whom much is given, much is required. And that’s why we simply can’t just play football.”
  • Jaguars owner Shad Khan said Trump’s failure to buy an NFL team has led to this crusade against the league. “This is a very personal issue with him,” Khan said (via Jarrett Bell of USA Today). “… He’s been elected president, where maybe a great goal he had in life to own an NFL team is not very likely. So to make it tougher, or to hurt the league, it’s very calculated.” Trump attempted to buy the Bills in 2014, but Terry Pegula wound up acquiring the franchise.

Shad Khan On Coughlin, Caldwell, HC Search

During interviews with the franchise’s first head coach, Shad Khan said Tom Coughlin did not ask for control over the Jaguars’ 53-man roster. But the owner gave it to the former Jags and Giants HC despite Coughlin not having any NFL executive experience.

For this thing to work, Tom can’t be a hood ornament,” Khan said, via Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. “For him to contribute, he has to have some authority and this is one way of giving him the authority. In all fairness, he never asked for it. The more I thought about it and reflected on it, he doesn’t want to be a pencil-pushing executive. We want his experience and his judgment to help the Jags win.”

This will mean a lesser role for GM Dave Caldwell, who will sink a notch lower on the Jags’ totem pole behind the franchise’s new executive vice president. Khan respects the way Caldwell constructed the roster while noting the 42-year-old executive could learn from the 70-year-old Coughlin.

I think Dave’s done a great job on talent, but he’s a young guy. I think he can learn lot from Tom. There might be a natural human emotion [from Caldwell] of, ‘Gee …’ but I think if you look at what’s best for the Jaguars, I think this is the structure,” Khan said, via John Oehser of Jaguars.com. “Dave gets to do the talent, and I think he’s worked hard. It’s, ‘How do we get more wins?’

Khan acknowledged the disparity between the interest in the Jaguars’ HC job in 2013 compared to the 2016-17 search that ended with interim HC Doug Marrone in the top sideline spot. While promoting the interim HC doesn’t sound as glamorous as hiring then-Seahawks DC Gus Bradley, Khan, via Oehser, pointed to the talent on the roster making a different impression this time around. The Jaguars have not won more than five games in a season since 2010 but were a trendy pick to make some noise last season.

I think the big difference was we had a huge amount of interest this time around. The most important thing was really getting it down to the short list [of candidates], and literally anybody and everybody we wanted to talk to was interested. It also confirmed that we do have the talent. Otherwise there wouldn’t be the interest. Four years ago that was the common thread – that ‘you guys are so far [from contending]’ that they [candidates] could get something more to their liking. This time around we had the talent and we had the interest.”

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