Jaguars' Recent Moves Bring More Criticism Of Ownership, Front Office
The recent departures of Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette and DE Yannick Ngakoue pose the question of whether team Owner Shahid Khan can let GM Dave Caldwell and coach Doug Marrone "oversee the process" of the "baseball or basketball style reboot" the franchise is attempting, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSPORTS.com. The team disassembling its roster "shouldn't come as any surprise," as it was "always going to be a brief window until age, cap, cash and culture (or lack thereof) conspired to tear it apart." However, Khan's loyalty to Caldwell and Marrone "has already baffled executives around the league." One NFL personnel exec said, "Those guys have nine lives, it really is amazing. [Khan] can't actually sell the status quo in 2021 with all those picks, can he? Can you sell tickets that way?" La Canfora noted Khan's results as an owner "have simply not been good, and his refusal to overhaul his leaders has resulted in the Jaguars getting less than expected value in several transactions." Additionally, the Jaguars' reputation among players and agents "is simply very poor right now." Agents have indicated that they "have players who opted to retire rather than go back" to the team (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/31). The AP's Paul Newberry writes under the header, "Jags Might Be Worst Franchise In All Of Pro Sports." Khan is the "real issue" with the Jaguars. He has "so many other pursuits" that the Jaguars "almost seem like an afterthought" (AP, 9/1).
UNCERTAINTY ABOUT TEAM'S DIRECTION: USA TODAY's Mike Jones wrote following the Jaguars' latest "mind-bending purge of talent," observers are "left questioning the direction of what once looked like a promising young franchise." The Jaguars' fortunes have "changed so drastically, and it remains unclear where their decision-makers intend to steer them." A team that less than three full years ago "found themselves minutes away from reaching their first Super Bowl" now "appears poised to contend for the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft" (USA TODAY, 9/1). In Jacksonville, Gene Frenette writes getting nothing in return for Fournette "makes no sense," even if the former first-round pick has "too often been a pain for the front office and the coaches’ backside during his three-year employment." Frenette: "Jaguars’ leadership is asking us to buy into looks like an awfully dubious plan" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 9/1).