Digital Content Editor
Doug Pederson was introduced as the new head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday, and so too was a new plan for the structure of the front office in Duval.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan said Saturday during Pederson’s introductory news conference that the team has notified the NFL it plans to hire an executive vice president of football operations and will also add someone to the staff to work under general manager Trent Baalke.
Khan’s front-office construction plans come following reports earlier in the week via NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero and NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport that former Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman had been in discussions with the club for a high-level position in the front office.
“One of the reasons we had the search was not only looking for the head coaching candidate but really to learn about other organizations,” Khan said, via ESPN’s Michael DiRocco. “That’s a by-product of the coaching search. So some of the practices, some of the structure that works, we got great insight into it. Strengthening the football operations, more staff, that’s part of our goal. We’ve had too flat an organization and we want to add brainpower and more people to strengthen that.”
Adding brainpower would certainly seem to bode well for a franchise mired in a stretch of four consecutive last-place finishes and just one playoff appearance over the last 14 seasons.
That one postseason ticket was punched when Tom Coughlin was the team’s EVP of football operations, so it’s not a new concept for the Jaguars as they look to revisit their glory year, when they advanced to the AFC Championship Game.
Khan eventually fired Coughlin, who became known more for player fines and grievances than success produced on the field, in December of 2019. General manager Dave Caldwell was fired in November of 2020 and head coach Doug Marrone followed soon thereafter. Then came the ill-fated hire of Urban Meyer, who lasted less than a full year this past season and during his time was very much the face of the organization.
Following Meyer’s dismissal, a long search began that ended with Pederson.
At one point, various reports leaned to Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich being hired, but that didn’t come to fruition and some reports suggested it was due to Baalke being retained.
Though Baalke remaining with the team was surprising to some, Khan backed his GM on Saturday and denied that any candidates were deterred by Baalke being part of the team’s power structure.
“The candidates — I mean, we had discussions on how we’re structured, open, candid discussions, and there was no one — and Trent was there,” Khan said, via FanNation’s John Shipley. “Just like I think the harmony between the head coach and general manager, I think is very, very important. So these are open, adult discussions. So there was no one who said, OK, I don’t want to be part of it. I think everyone continued the process.”
It was a wild and wooly 2021 season for the Jaguars and the road to hiring Pederson was a bit rocky, too, but the aforementioned process is being changed a bit as another new dawn is upon Duval.
Rich McKay, chairman of the NFL’s Competition Committee, said Sunday there is no question proposed changes to overtime will be brought up, NFL Network’s Judy Battista reported.
Ali Marpet is coming off the best season of his career. He plans for it to be his last. The Buccaneers guard announced via Instagram on Sunday that he is retiring from the NFL. The 28-year-old Marpet was a Pro Bowler in 2021, his seventh season.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Saints created nearly $34 million in cap space by restructuring three marquee contracts: wide receiver Michael Thomas, offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk and guard Andrus Peat.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr seems to be enjoying the new era in Las Vegas featuring head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler.
Former San Diego Chargers running back and Auburn University legend Lionel “Little Train” James passed away after a lengthy illness Friday at the age of 59, the school announced.
Matt Nagy is returning to the Kansas City Chiefs. The former Bears head coach was hired Friday as the Chiefs senior assistant/quarterbacks coach.
Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said he spoke with Kyler Murray on Thursday night, noting that the speculation regarding the team’s relationship with the QB is inconsistent with his conversations.
The Carolina Panthers agreed to a three-year contract with pending free-agent tight end Ian Thomas on Friday, plus other news and notes from the NFL.
Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle proved to be a dynamic force during his rookie season. New assistant Wes Welker compared Waddle’s two set to two veteran stars.
Buffalo Bills special team ace Siran Neal says he and his teammates have moved on from the kickoff issue that occurred with 13 seconds left in January’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Following Instagram cleanses and reports of immaturity and a lack of leadership, quarterback Kyler Murray and the Cardinals are on the same page and the goal in Glendale is moving forward, NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported Thursday.
Tony Jefferson closed out the 2021 season with the Baltimore Ravens. He’ll begin the 2022 league year with them, too. The Ravens announced Thursday they have re-signed the veteran safety.
See all the Action
Replay every game all season.
© 2022 NFL Enterprises LLC. NFL and the NFL shield design are registered trademarks of the National Football League.The team names, logos and uniform designs are registered trademarks of the teams indicated. All other NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League. NFL footage © NFL Productions LLC.
Digital Content Editor