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Jaguars fire GM Gene Smith after 4 seasons
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. (AP) - After four years of futility, the Jacksonville Jaguars are heading in a different direction.
Coach Mike Mularkey might not be around for the move.
Mularkey could be next.
Smith was the architect of the roster. He had been with the team since its inception in 1994, working his way up from regional scout to general manager. He has been GM since 2009, compiling a 22-42 record. Not one player he acquired made the Pro Bowl.
“Now it is time for the Jacksonville Jaguars to begin a new chapter,” Khan said in a statement. “We’re not looking back. I’ve made it clear from Day One that we pledge nothing less than to deliver the first Super Bowl championship to Jacksonville. Our fans have been remarkably loyal over the years, and they were truly outstanding this past season. We simply must do better for our fans.”
Khan said the search for a new GM will begin immediately.
Arizona director of player personnel Jason Licht, San Francisco director of player personnel Tom Gamble, and Atlanta director of player personnel David Caldwell have been mentioned as potential replacements.
“I’m determined to find the right man to lead our football operations, someone who shares my vision, understands the commitment we will demand and is qualified and ready to seize this opportunity,” Khan said.
Mularkey said he received no assurances he would be retained for a second season.
“It was a conversation about Gene’s status,” said Mularkey, the former Buffalo Bills head coach who now has lost 20 of his last 23 games. “My status was not discussed, and I won’t go into detail what was. But until I’m told otherwise, I’m the head coach of this team.”
So the Jaguars are in limbo again, much like they were late last season when Khan bought the team from Wayne Weaver for $770 million. Weaver fired coach Jack Del Rio the same day he gave Smith a three-year extension despite Smith’s numerous mistakes in the draft and in free agency.
By John R. Bolton
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