When it was announced back in November that Shahid Khan had executed a deal to purchase the Jaguars, it was unclear what type of owner he was. Everyone knew he was wealthy as he invested roughly $760 million into his purchase, but would he be a Wayne Weaver type of owner who took a hands off approach or more like a Jerry Jones who's involved in everything? It appears that he is more Jones than Weaver.
Despite the Jaguars front office having no interest whatsoever in trading for former Broncos and now Jets quarterback Tim Tebow, Khan nearly forced a deal to bring the quarterback back to his home town.
Here is what Khan had to say:
"Earlier this week I asked Gene Smith and his staff to explore the potential of acquiring Tim Tebow. I think we have a duty to consider all avenues of improving the Jaguars on and off the field, especially given the unique circumstances involving the player. I appreciate the high level of due diligence Gene and his staff dedicated to this matter, even as late as this evening, and I am very satisfied with the outcome. Our commitment to developing Blaine Gabbert was, and still is, central to our goal of returning the Jaguars to elite status in the NFL. We're looking ahead with zero regrets." ---
Eventually, Gene Smith and company won out (just barely) and Tim Tebow decided to choose the New York Jets where he would begin in a backup role and potentially unseat the starter, Mark Sanchez. According to our sources, this was after the Jacksonville front office assured Tebow and his handlers that he would be no more than a third-string quarterback to start and his role would likely involve playing special teams.
So no harm, no foul right?
Blaine Gabbert doesn't get every single one of his incompletions, much less interceptions greeted by boos and Mike Mularkey doesn't have to add a "Tebow package" to appease the fans and ownership.
Unfortunately, it's not as easy of a fix as a simple response of "my bad" from the owner.
What Shad Khan did when attempting to encourage (force) a trade for Tim Tebow was undercut the authority of general manager Gene Smith. Smith doesn't receive nearly the admonishment he should from his poor drafting and constructing of a team, but why have him in the position if he doesn't have the final say on personnel?
Even though the team wasn't able to acquire Tim Tebow, Blaine Gabbert now must deal with the "ghost" of Tebow and the fact the owner wanted him. Gabbert hasn't given Jaguars fans much of a reason to get behind him as a rookie and this will only make things more difficult entering his second year.
The Jaguars franchise has won one playoff game in a dozen years and change is certainly in order. In his brief tenure as Jaguars owner, Shad Khan is certainly shaking things up. He's made strong statements about free agency, then spent no money. He's made some comments which could be taken as insulting to Jaguars fans and now undermined his front office.
There's no doubt we're in a new era of Jaguars football and more accountability is very necessary. It's difficult to imagine that this type of hands-on ownership will result in on-field success.
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
Is Khan The New Jerry Jones?
Jags Illustrated Top Stories
Identity CrisisThe Jags have started the 2016 season on a rough note. 0-3 is a tough pill to swallow and many fans are calling for Gus Bradley’s job. People are even starting to question their…
Jags Illustrated3:48 AM
State of the JaguarsWith a loss to the Ravens on Sunday, the Jaguars next game against Indianapolis in London is by far the most important game they've played so far this season.
Jags IllustratedYesterday at 7:43 AM
Generally Managing the JaguarsThe Jags are 0-3 after losing to the Ravens today at Everbank. Blake Bortles was unimpressive, Gus Bradley is feeling the heat, and the defense gave up a game winning drive. …
Jags IllustratedSunday at 6:39 PM
HeartbreakerThe Jags lost in heart breaking fashion to the Baltimore Ravens. After a loss, most people look to point the finger and blame someone or something for the result. There are a…
Jags IllustratedSunday at 12:50 PM
Ravens vs Jaguars Preview - 2 Minute WarningThere is a "Point of No Return" for this current regime. An 0-3 start would all but make the Colts game in London a must win.
Jags IllustratedSunday at 4:36 AM