Jaguars press pause on hiring executive vice president of football operations

FILE - Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan is shown on the field before an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. If a 40-point drubbing at New England didnt get Jacksonville owner Shad Khans full attention, then whats being planned for the team's season finale just might. Frustrated fans are revolting against the Jaguars and have Khan in their crosshairs. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough, File) (Gary Mccullough, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville’s plans to hire an executive vice president of football operations has been put on hold owner Shad Khan said on Tuesday.

Khan said in a statement that he was “pausing” the decision to hire an EVP for the front office, a position last held by Tom Coughlin. Khan said during the introductory press conference of coach Doug Pederson on Feb. 5 that he had requested permission from the league to add that position.

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That changed this week after Khan said he was pleased with the changes brought in by Pederson, and that he was going to let the coach and general manager Trent Baalke plot out a path forward for the franchise. Baalke and Pederson are among the Jaguars’ contingent at the NFL scouting combine this week in Indianapolis.

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“I am pausing on the consideration of introducing an executive vice president of football. In just over three weeks, Doug Pederson has instilled a structured and disciplined approach that is clearly making a different in our culture and mindset,” Khan said in a statement.

“I feel we’re best served at this time by allowing Doug, Trent and their assistants to take ownership of our path forward. We will continue to explore the addition of personnel to other areas of our football operations to provide everyone the best chance to win.”

The change of position by Khan is likely seen by fans as a win for Baalke.

The embattled general manager was retained by Khan after a rough 2021 season that saw the Jaguars finish 3-14, fire coach Urban Meyer and struggle with a lack of playmakers. Fair or not, Baalke drew significant ire of the fanbase for helping construct arguably the worst roster in the NFL.

There were reports that Jacksonville wanted Rick Spielman, Minnesota’s former general manager, in the EVP role. It’s unknown at this time if the Jaguars still have an interest in Spielman for some role within the organization. Khan said last month that he intended to bolster the front office to give Baalke additional help.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.