After firing, questions about Urban Meyer’s multi-million dollar contract remain

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The fallout from the firing of Urban Meyer is bringing a lot of questions about how much money the team will still have to pay Meyer and a lot of fan frustration with Shad Khan.

Khan just celebrated 10 years as the team’s owner and this is the latest piece of bad news over the last decade.

News4JAX checked in with a sports lawyer and the hosts at 1010XL sports radio to talk about Meyer, Khan and how the team moves forward.

RELATED: Timeline of Urban Meyer’s short tenure in Jacksonville

For months Jaguars fans have been calling shows at 1010XL about Meyer’s Ohio bar incident, unrest with some players, the news about allegedly kicking Josh Lambo in the leg and then Khan’s firing Urban Meyer.

Khan’s latest blunder was the talk Thursday on XL Primetime.

Leon Searcy, a former Jaguars player and radio host, said Khan should be embarrassed.

“He brought this on himself,” Searcy said. “General managers, coaches, records. The splash that was supposed to be Urban Meyer that blew up in his face.”

The hosts say fans have every reason to be out of patience with the team’s owner, particularly after he bet millions on Meyer being the team’s future and it didn’t even last a full season.

Now there are questions about how this separating of ways went down. One aspect of Meyer’s firing that’s already drawing attention is the nature of his contract. The terms of his multi-year contract were never made public but they are believed to have involved several million dollars, much of which the team is expected to have to pay to Meyer.

News4JAX spoke with Sports and Entertainment lawyer John Phillips.

Phillips suspects the Jaguars’ legal counsel has been looking at his contract for months and advising Khan on how to fire Meyer. He also suspected the Jaguars could very well have been in touch with NFL officials about this firing.

“Not only could you have the league involved, you could have the player’s association involved. And the player’s association and league could team up in this incident and say we need to team up in this. Ultimately what happened is between the owner and the coach,” said Phillips.

Phillips said it’s very possible Meyer had what’s sometimes called a “morals clause” in his contract which allows teams to sever contracts if a coach invites negative press or somehow does something deemed to violate the clause.

Meyer has had several high-profile off-the-field incidents since taking the helm.

They include the now-viral video of him with a woman in an Ohio bar and then most recent allegations by former kicker Josh Lambo that he verbally chastised him and kicked him in the leg following several missed field goals this season.

But Phillips added it’s possible Meyer ended up not having a morals clause because he was so sought after by Khan in the off-season that his lawyers had strong bargaining power when the contract was first developed.

As far as the off-field infractions, Phillips suspects Jaguars lawyers were building a case.

“The question is what has the Jaguars legal done to document it. I’m sure they have. The fact that Jaguars legal released a statement on Josh Lambo tells you that they’ve been aware that there’s been problems. Shad Khan’s own statement says he’d been hoping that things would go back to normal,” he said.


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Specializes in Clay County issues, general assignment reporting and stories off the beaten path and anchors weekend evening newscasts.