Jaguars Secure Their Future

We discuss the Del Rio firing, the Gene Smith extension and the team's new ownership. We also look at how all of this occurred and how it will affect the team going forward.

Del Rio Situation



As almost everyone in America now knows, the Jaguars parted ways with head coach Jack Del Rio. Del Rio's tenure was mediocre at best, and disappointing at its worst.

Our take: Del Rio was a dead man walking entering this season as none of his assistants had contracts past this year. The timing of the announcement was somewhat of a surprise as there's probably not much they can accomplish in the five remaining games with Mel Tucker.

Owner Wayne Weaver iterated that he wanted to let Del Rio go after last week's game, but the timing of the announcement had to wait to correspond with the sale of the team. This tells us that Jack's comments about offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter didn't sit well following the last two games.


Looking forward: It's doubtful that Mel Tucker will be the full-time head coach following this season as Gene Smith said they are looking for a guy with Super Bowl experience. Before you get all excited with the hopes of a Bill Cowher or John Gruden, the team still won't likely spend $8-10 million per year on a head coach so look toward the coordinator ranks.

Gene Smith Extended



In the biggest day of announcements in some time in Jacksonville, the team extended general manager Gene Smith for another three seasons. Smith is well respected among NFL executives and his scouting department is thought highly of, despite their lack of success.

Our take: Gene Smith was given this extension on the basis of stability and not much else. Although he hasn't been Matt Millen-like in his tenure as the team's GM, he hasn't done anything worthy of an extension. Smith will now get to hire his own head coach and perhaps there will be more cohesion going forward.

Looking forward: Get used to the Blaine Gabbert experience because if there's one thing we've learned about Gene Smith it's that he doesn't easily admit to mistakes. This likely means that Gabbert gets a minimum of one or two more years as starting quarterback.

Jaguars Sold To Shahid Khan



In a deal that has been in the works for over a year, Wayne Weaver is selling the team to auto parts tycoon Shahid Khan.

Our take: This is a great move for the Jaguars organization as Khan has indicated that he wants to keep the team in Jacksonville. His money may be where his mouth is that he is the exclusive bumper supplier for Toyota, which 40 percent of their vehicles are processed through Jacksonville.

Looking forward: Khan paid cash for the team and is valued at approximately $2 billion. If the Jaguars want to make a particular move, money will no longer be a deterrent.

Figure Shahid Khan as the Mikhail Prokhorov of the NFL. The Jaguars will no longer be the coupon clippers of professional football.



Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPNFlorida.com and ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering 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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