The Jaguars’ version of Where’s Waldo is Where’s Shad?
The Jaguars owner is a billionaire with business interests across the globe, but he is in danger of becoming another William Clay Ford, the late Lions’ owner who also happened to be in the car business and had a reputation for hiring incompetent executives.
Khan rarely gives interviews, but you have to wonder what he thinks of the way the men he entrusted his football team are running it.
The departure of Yannick Ngakoue for a second- and conditional fifth- round pick to the Vikings is another example that the Jaguars can’t keep their core together and too many of their best players want to leave.
And that was followed the next day by the cutting of Leonard Fournette, who was drafted with the fourth pick in the 2017 draft when Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson were on the board. Cutting him was another reminder of that blunder.
There was speculation the move meant the Jaguars were tanking. The real reason is that they were getting rid of another mistake. They are probably better off without Fournette, but if they decided he no longer fit in their plans, why didn’t they address the running back position in the offseason?
Jaguars mistakes are like subway trains — there’s always another one coming down the tracks soon.
Since Khan took control of the season in 2012, they’ve had one winning season.
He has picked two men to run his team. Dave Caldwell, who had never been a general manager, Tom Coughlin, who had a reputation for being a good coach but mismanaged the cap when he was in charge of the franchise as the team’s first coach.
Caldwell started out with four losing seasons and whiffed on his biggest decision – the drafting of Blake Bortles. So, Khan brought back Coughlin, who had instant success with the 2017 playoff team. He also kept Caldwell in the front office.
But then it all fell apart after the 2017 and Coughlin was fired late in the 2019 season when the NFL singled him out for leading the league in grievances filed by the players.
Instead of cleaning house, Khan put Caldwell back in charge and they had another losing season last year. And still Khan kept Caldwell and coach Doug Marrone for another season.
The Ngakoue situation is another example of Caldwell’s mismanagement. When Ngakoue made it obvious he no longer wanted to play for the Jaguars, Caldwell could have traded him before last April’s draft to get immediate picks for him.
Instead, he franchised him and his $17.8 million tag salary counted against their cap.
He could have stuck to his guns and refused to give him up unless he got a first-round pick. Instead, he caved two weeks before the season started and traded him. The trade should have been made before the draft. And he would have had the money allotted to Ngakoue to spend in other areas.
Now it is too late to make much difference this year.
Ngakoue was one of the six Pro Bowlers on the 2017 team’s defense, and they are now all gone.
One of the departed, A.J. Bouye, gave an interview on Sirius XM outlining the dysfunction of the organization.
Everybody in football knows the Jaguars need a clean sweep of the front office. There’s no point in detailing all their failures. The record speaks for itself.
Khan either doesn’t understand he needs to start over or doesn’t know how to find a good executive.
Meanwhile, the spotlight is now on Khan. The team figures to have another losing season this year. Caldwell will have the excuse of the lack of an offseason because of Covid 19 and lobby for another year.
Does Khan give it to him or start over? And if he starts over, will he avoid striking out on hiring a third executive to run the team in less than a decade?
The buck stops at his desk. He’s got to figure out how to run a successful team or the losing will continue.