JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars coaching search continues with more leaks and additional candidate interviews.
The latest report is former Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson will get a second interview by Jacksonville.
News4JAX on Tuesday sat down with John Phillips, a well-known Jacksonville-area sports and entertainment attorney and former sports agent. Phillips suspects a lot of the leaks and news headlines are coming from sports agents, and there are very few. Phillips says some may represent more than one candidate and the amount of interviews may be used as leverage to get the real man they want for the job.
“The agents are kind of the masterminds,” Phillips said. “Jimmy Sexton is well known for kind of pitting teams against each other. And he knows the whole time what his guy will accept. He can create through use of media, kind of a bidding war.”
News4JAX asked Phillips about Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, who reportedly wants Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke out and to bring in Arizona Cardinals’ Adrian Wilson as GM. Phillips says that would mean the Jaguars need to negotiate two contracts, which could be a reason this is being delayed and more names are being mentioned.
“Someone close to the team or the coach has leaked it. You don’t see Shad Khan going out and creating rumors,” Phillips said. “But oftentimes, agents do. Sometimes it’s to generate more interest. Sometimes it’s just true.”
We asked News4JAX sports reporter and anchor Jamal St. Cyr about this dynamic of the leaks and how they may be negotiating strategy for some of these coaching candidates. He brought up the case of former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who was recently hired by the Denver Broncos.
“Like the Nathaniel Hackett leak that was coming out that the Jaguars were interested in him was coming from Nathanial Hackett’s camp because they wanted the Broncos to take action and make a hire,” he said.
Meanwhile, in another twist, The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the Jaguars interviewed former Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman on Monday for an undisclosed front-office role, according to a person familiar with the process.