Urban Meyer‘s viral video caught Shad Khan‘s attention. In a statement on Tuesday, the Jaguars owner termed the head coach’s behavior as “inexcusable” (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero).
“I have addressed this matter with Urban. Specifics of our conversation will be held in confidence. What I will say is his conduct last weekend was inexcusable. I appreciate Urban’s remorse, which I believe is sincere. Now, he must regain our trust and respect,” Khan said. “That will require a personal commitment from Urban to everyone who supports, represents or plays for our team. I am confident he will deliver.”
Meyer apologized to the team on Monday morning, days after their latest loss. His Jaguars are now 0-4 as they prepare for the Titans on Sunday.
“I just apologized to the team and staff for being a distraction,” Meyer said (via ESPN.com). “Just stupid, and so I explained everything that happened and owned it. Just stupid. Should not have myself in that kind of position.”
A loss to the Titans would extend the Jaguars’ losing streak to 19 games.
The Jaguars became the team to lureUrban Meyer to the NFL. Their situation — two first-round picks and a projected league-high in cap space — helped lead to the former national championship-winning head coach making the college-to-pro jump.
Meyer, 56, described the Jags’ draft capital and cap situation as “huge” in convincing him to try his hand in the NFL. He will be the sixth head coach in franchise history and second to come directly out of the college ranks, following Tom Coughlin in 1995.
“I think Shad [Khan] and the organization is positioned, and it’s not by accident,” Meyer said Friday. “Shad got very involved in the entire roster, etc. And I think it’s primed. l think it’s primed to put together a good team. People that know me, I’m not going to jump into a situation where I don’t believe we can win. I won’t do that. I think everything is here.”
Jacksonville defeated Indianapolis in Week 1 but lost 15 straight games to secure the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft. The team’s roster has numerous holes, but quarterback will become the franchise’s chief priority. Trevor Lawrence has long expected to be the first name called in the 2021 draft. Meyer has been high on the Clemson superstar, but he also invoked Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields — whom Buckeyes HC successor Ryan Day coached — and BYU passer Zach Wilson when asked about the top pick.
While the Jaguars have employed a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback (Mark Brunell) and used three first-round picks on passers (Byron Leftwich, Blaine Gabbert, Blake Bortles), the franchise’s highest-profile signal-caller will almost certainly arrive in April. Meyer’s comments make it extremely unlikely the Jaguars will do anything else with the pick than select a passer.
“You see Trevor, you see Justin, you see Zach, this is going to be, as Shad said, this is a monumental moment for this franchise,” Meyer said. “… Who we pick at that quarterback spot, that’s going to be one of the most important decisions I’ve made in my lifetime, along with the partnership of our owner and our general manager. And the ones that are out there, my initial study, because I have been studying a lot, I like to use the term elite, I see some elite quarterbacks out there right now.”
“The issue of roster control is more technical or symbolic,” Khan said. “My whole aspect, and this started really about 15 months ago, is that we need to be a coach-centric team and organization, where the head coach has to lead the kinds of players he wants, the kind of team we need to be. And the general manager and myself, we have to support that vision.”
The Jaguars’ next GM will have a tremendous opportunity to help rebuild the franchise. However, owner Shad Khan says that he will continue to have final say over the roster, draft, and all personnel matters.
“I kept the roster control and…the general manager candidates, I’ve been talking to them, that for the immediate future I’m going to keep the roster control,” Khan said (via Michael Lombardi of The Athletic). “And I want the coach to know that also. What’s evaded the history of the Jags, really, has been a franchise quarterback. We have the ability now to make a choice, and it’s going to define the franchise moving forward.”
Khan may keep control, but he’s not expected to be an all-out babysitter of his next GM. So far, their candidate pool includes former Browns general manager Ray Farmer, Saints assistant GM Terry Fontenot, former Giants GM Jerry Reese, ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, and former Texans general manager Rick Smith. For the latest on the Jags and other GM-less teams, check out our 2021 NFL GM Search Tracker.
“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.
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.”
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.”
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.
September 20th, 2019 at 9:23am CST by Zachary Links
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.
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.
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.”