Former Jags Exec Could Return as GM
Jaguars general manager Gene Smith is entering the final year of his deal. Although lauded at every opportunity by the official team website, the job Smith has done since taking over his post has been mediocre at best.
Although all three of his first-round draft picks look like they can turn into elite players, none are close at this point. Eugene Monroe was supposed to ascend toward Top Five status at left tackle- that hasn't happened. Tyson Alualu was a surprise pick and although he's a solid football player, he's currently playing hurt and his production is down. As for quarterback Blaine Gabbert, he shows signs of becoming great, but it's simply too soon to tell.
What seems pretty evident by now is that trading a second-round pick to acquire cornerback Derek Cox was a mistake. Terrance Knighton has been a great pick, so has wide receiver Mike Thomas but neither is an impact player. Jarett Dillard and Zach Miller can't seem to stay healthy and aside from Alualu, the entire 2010 draft class has provided hardly any production.
To put it simply, Smith hasn't proven himself enough as a general manager to warrant a new contract.
Sources tell JagNation that Wayne Weaver was overheard talking with Rick Reiprish, currently the New Orleans Saints director of college scouting about a possible return to Jacksonville. Reiprish worked in the Jaguars front office during the mid to late 90's and helped architect the franchise's most successful teams.
Stay tuned for more on Reiprish as this story is sure to heat up as the season progresses.
No, Bill Cowher will Not be the Next Jaguars Head Coach
Making the rounds around the local airwaves is the rumor that former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher has purchased a home in the Jacksonville area. Whereas we have no idea whether he currently owns real estate in north Florida, Cowher does have houses in Ohio and Raleigh, North Carolina.
That doesn't mean he's going to be the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers and probably not the Jacksonville Jaguars either.
It's not that Cowher is a sub-par coach in any way or that Wayne Weaver wouldn't be lucky to have him, but the small market Jaguars will likely not be spending the upwards of $10+ million it would take to secure Cowher's services. Rumor mill has it that if and when Cowher returns to the coaching ranks, his dream destination would be the New York Giants, a job currently occupied by Tom Coughlin.
Are the Jaguars Really Moving to L.A.?
Every two or three months when something happens regarding the new Los Angeles NFL Stadium construction, the Jaguars get mentioned as a possible candidate for Los Angeles.
ESPN Los Angeles columnist Arash Markazi addressed a Jaguars to L.A. question in his latest mailbag.-
Well, first of all, Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver said he has no plans to sell the team or move the team. All the other teams that are rumored to move have owners that would either sell the team or move the team if they don't get a new stadium. Jacksonville is always brought up presumably because it's, well, Jacksonville. The Jaguars' lease to play at EverBank Field runs through the 2029 season, and if the Jaguars wanted to leave before then, they would be required to prove they had lost money in three consecutive seasons or convince a local judge that the city was failing to properly maintain the stadium. The odds of any NFL team losing money in any year, let alone three consecutive years, or a judge allowing the local NFL team to leave town are remote. Of course, leases can usually be broken for a negotiated price, but it seems the penalty would be too steep considering the other candidates available.
If and when Wayne Weaver does sell the franchise, all bets will be off but he is reportedly in talks with potential buyers who are interested in keeping the team in Jacksonville.
In our opinion, San Diego seems to be the franchise most likely to relocate as they have stadium issues and could hold on to a large percentage of their fanbase. If anyone wants to point to blackouts as a reason the Jaguars may move, they'd have to look initially to our friends to the west, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPNFlorida.com and ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and the host of "The Sports Crunch" on the Aquarius 7 Broadcasting Network (national), and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie
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