Skeptics can snicker, but the Jaguars are staying in Jacksonville

Actions speak louder than words.

That was the message from the Jacksonville Jaguars when owner Shad Khan confirmed reports last week that he has made an offer to buy historic Wembley Stadium in London.

The announcement brought up old fears that the purchase may be the first step in moving the Jaguars to London.

The London Evening Standard, which broke the story, even wrote, “Khan’s long term ambition is to move the Jaguars into Wembley Stadium on a permanent basis, but that remains some way off.’’

A USA Today columnist also speculated the Jaguars could wind up in London.

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Jaguars had better hope Lamar Jackson doesn’t become a star

The Jacksonville Jaguars, who only have two quarterbacks on their current roster, figure to have a third by the end of this weekend.

How they acquire that third quarterback will be an interesting subplot to their draft.

If they don’t draft one (or draft one in a late round on the third day) or sign one as an undrafted free agent after the draft ends, he figures to be just a camp arm.

That would be a sign they figure Cody Kessler, obtained from Cleveland for a conditional seventh-round pick, will remain the backup.

If they take one in the second or third rounds (they bypassed Lamar Jackson in the first round), he would likely beat out Kessler for the backup job behind Blake Bortles. Kessler was a third-round pick two years ago.

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NFL doesn’t consider Jaguars ready for primetime just yet, and that makes a lot of sense

It was just a coincidence that team president Mark Lamping conducted the Jacksonville Jaguars’ annual “State of the Franchise” news conference last Thursday on the same day the NFL announced the 2018 schedule.

Many Jaguars fans were upset that the team only got two primetime appearances despite reaching the AFC title game last year. They got a Sunday night home game against Pittsburgh on Nov. 18 and a Thursday night game at Tennessee on Dec. 6.

Two AFC South rivals (Houston and Tennessee) got three primetime appearances, and 10 teams got five primetime spots, including the two Super Bowl teams, Philadelphia and New England, while Minnesota, the loser of the NFC title game, got four.

Lamping’s presentation showed the NFL’s decision probably wasn’t a surprise as he talked about the challenges a small-market team faces.

He didn’t address the schedule because it hadn’t been released, but here’s a look at some of the factors that probably influenced the NFL.

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Dez’s Dallas exit was understandable but needlessly messy

The Dez Bryant divorce from the Dallas Cowboys was messier than it should have been.

In reality, it was just bidness, as they say in Dallas. He had a big contract ($12.5 million base salaries the next two years and a $16.5 million cap number this year), and not only had his production dropped off, but Bryant had tended to wear out his welcome by being a distraction with things like his sideline outbursts. The Cowboys didn’t want him at any price, even if he had agreed to a paycut.

Still, the way it was handled on both sides left a lot to be desired.

First, owner Jerry Jones was not exactly candid when he said at the scouting combine that he wanted Bryant on the team.

Meanwhile, they waited a month to cut him after the league year started, and that cut down on his options now that many teams have spent big money. But Bryant and his agents didn’t think to get a roster bonus payable at the start of the league year, which probably would have forced the Cowboys to cut him a month ago.

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Rosen is a great test of the NFL’s dreaded Groupthink

As the depositions continue in Colin Kaepernick’s collusion case against the NFL, it’s impossible to predict whether his lawyers will uncover a smoking gun to prove collusion.

But it’s obvious Kaepernick is the victim of one thing – NFL Groupthink.

The NFL is not a bastion of original thinkers who go against the grain. They tend to play it safe and reach the same conclusions, whether they obviously collude or not.

Exhibit A is Tom Brady. No GM in league thought he was worth a flyer in the first five rounds of the 2000 draft. Bobby Beathard was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and he didn’t draft Brady even though his coach in San Diego at the time, Mike Riley, lobbied him to take Brady. And Beathard was more of an out-of-the-box thinker than most NFL executives.

The best exhibit this year is UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen. He won’t fall out of the first round because he has too much raw talent, although nobody can predict how good a college quarterback will be in the NFL.

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