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Jags Sold! What's Next?

by Eric Tellez for on 29 November 2011

The old saying is that bad news "travels in threes" but for a team in search of stability the exact opposite maybe true. Today the Jaguars released head coach Jack Del Rio, extended the contract of general manager Gene Smith for 3-more seasons, and agreed to sell the team to Illinois businessman Shahid Khan.

At first the timing of the Del Rio termination seemed odd. Why make the move now when the team's season was beyond saving and there really wasn't a replacement that could be viewed as a potential long-term successor? The reason is clear now, Khan is is taking over and wants his own head coach. As a Jags fan I wonder if this provides some sense of relief for the coach. I feel like JDR has had this firing over his head for so long he couldn't function and the quarterback chaos was a direct result of this.

Del Rio knew he was going to go out and he wanted to do it on his own terms and trying something drastic. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over-and-over again expecting a different result than keeping David Garrard was crazy. For the most part the 2011 edition of the Jags is very similar to the 2010 edition of the Jags with the big exception being quarterback.

And the contract extension for Gene Smith? Makes perfect sense. Shahid Khan is not the owner yet, that's pending approval by the other NFL owners on December 14th, and when Khan plays his hand he's going to use Smith as his ace-in-the-hole. Keeping Smith promotes continuity, a connection to the players, a connection to the current coaches, and a strong voice to aid in the transition from the Wayne Weaver ownership to his own. He's going to need Smith because those familiar with Shahid Khan's record mite get a little uncomfortable.

Last season, Khan attempted to buy the St. Louis Rams and made no secret that he wanted to relocate the team. Moving the Rams to, I don't know, LOS ANGELES would've worked for the sake of divisional alignment. If anything, it places the Rams closer to their NFC West rivals. Moving the Jags from Jacksonville to Los Angeles blows apart the AFC South and could cause yet another realignment. Amazingly enough, the team that would be the best fit in the AFC South would be the Rams if the NFC West could have the Jaguars in return.

Khan has stated that he intends to keep the team in Jacksonville and even purchase a home to be close to his team but the lore of southern California maybe too much to hold off long term. Especially if the team continues to struggle to sell tickets.

Nothings for certain at this point but this team needs to rebuild a foundation and this is the first step.

*Eric Tellez is an independent football journalist from Las Cruces, NM. Email him a to talk football anytime!

1 comment:

  1. nice blog..thanks