To Jacksonville fans, the biggest questions are his commitment to keeping the team in their city and to turning around a franchise that’s struggling in the standings. He made it clear that he’s passionate about both.
“This is a partnership, really, with the fans,” Khan said. “I am committed obviously to the rebirth, the reinvigoration, doing whatever it takes to put a winner on the field to make Wayne and the other Jacksonvillians proud.”
He will be in Jacksonville this weekend to start meeting with fans and sponsors. He and Weaver also will discuss the process of hiring a new coach; Weaver fired Jack Del Rio on Nov. 29, the same day he announced the deal with Khan.
The Jaguars were chosen as an expansion team in 1993 and began playing in 1995. They were a win away from the Super Bowl in their second season, and have made the playoffs five times since, as recently as 2007. They also have hosted a Super Bowl.
“It’s been a great 18 years,” Weaver said. “But it was the right time. … I really feel great about handing over the stewardship to Shahid and to finishing the job of bringing a championship to Jacksonville. … I’m leaving it in good hands.”
In other news from Wednesday’s meetings:
_ The league renewed its television deals with CBS, Fox and NBC for nine years through the 2022 season. The average rights fees from the three networks will increase by an average of 7 percent annually, a person familiar with the details said. That will take the total revenue from them from the current $1.93 billion per year to $3.1 billion by 2022. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the figures were not made public.
“The thing that I’m most proud of through these deals is that we’ll continue to be on free television, working with our networks to expand the interest in our game and bring more football to more fans,” Goodell said.
_ The league is putting together an investment fund that will pool money from the owners.
“The aim of that is to invest in various technology companies that we think are doing great things that will make our world better, but also the experience in the NFL,” Goodell said. “They may or may not be NFL partners. They may be people who provide technology in our stadiums, as an example, on our fields, part of media. So we will look at those different technologies. We will have a committee that will be making those decisions, and we’re very excited about it.”
_ The league is putting more money into a program that helps build and renovate stadiums because they are becoming more complex and more expensive.
“We had to adjust our policy to participate in these projects and to support these projects, both at the club level and the league level,” Goodell said.
_ Goodell also addressed the league’s willingness to suspend players for on-field actions, as evidenced by the two-game penalty against Detroit’s Ndamukong Suh for stomping on a player and a one-game punishment against Pittsburgh’s James Harrison for a concussion-causing hit on Cleveland’s Colt McCoy.
“I think we’ve been very clear about our commitment to player health and safety, and to what happens on the field,” Goodell said. “The rules apply to 32 teams and every player. If it becomes necessary to discipline, we have a discipline schedule that is approved with the NFLPA. It does hold out that suspensions, particularly for the offendant, are likely to occur. We want people to conform with the rules. It’s in the best interest for all players, and we will not relent on that.”