With Urban Meyer being let go in Jacksonville and Shad Khan back in the market for a new Head Coach, the intrigue for the position should be at an all-time high. Let’s walk through this situation that the incoming Jaguars Head Coach will inherit and discuss why this is a historically great landing spot for an incoming leader.
Let’s start with the intangibles of a Head Coaching job in Jacksonville. First and foremost, as Tom Brady has mentioned plenty of times in his press conferences, it’s nice to be in great weather year round. Jacksonville, whether it is January or September, will have great weather at all times during football season. Second, living in the state of Florida allows for the person signing the contract to bring home more money than in other states due to no state income tax. Third of all, the cost of living in Florida versus, say New York/New Jersey, is astronomically different.
From a football perspective, stepping into the Jaguars building on Day 1 of the new job for the incoming head coach will be starting from a place unlike many others. Comparable to that of Steve Kerr with the Warriors back in 2014 or Aaron Boone with the Yankees back in 2018. This will not be “starting from scratch,” for the incoming coach. Rather, they will be starting at a new team that already has a franchise QB, valuable and explosive weapons on offense, and the base for a strong contending team.
Trevor Lawrence, James Robinson, Travis Etienne and DJ Chark will lead the offensive group come 2022. In the offseason, the Jaguars currently have the 3rd most cap space available after the Chargers and the Dolphins ($71M). With this cap space, they could potentially sign the likes of: Davante Adams, JC Jackson, Terron Armstead, Ryan Jansen, Chris Godwin, Brandon Scherff, etc.
They need to improve an existing roster that has a lot of holes in the trenches (OL and DL) and in their secondary, but the new coach will have the ammunition and discretion to build the team in their likeness right away. If they can add 3-4 key playmakers in free agency, they will be able to fill glaring holes in the roster and can begin to trot out a competitive team by the start of next season.
To add to this, they will have a top 3 pick in the 2022 Draft, one second-rounder, two third-rounders, and multitude of Day 3 selections available to them. Add these additional assets from the draft this season, and their core defensively and offensively will be cheap, young and talented going into 2022 and 2023.
The new HC will al have Trevor Lawrence, a potential franchise QB, going into his 2nd season for the next 4 years (5th year option). In 2022, the Jaguars will be spending only $825k of 2022 cash cap on their starting QB (T-45th in the NFL) with that charge only raising to $4.0M in 2023 (Over $5.5M less than Taysom Hill). With a cost effective and team friendly rookie deal for their franchise QB, they will be able to spend in FA to accumulate more assets to improve their roster.
If they do indeed add a handful of impact players in the 2022 offseason, the Jaguars should field a competitive team next season in a division that is middle of the pack in its team strength.
With the tangible and intangible benefits of the open Head Coaching job in Jacksonville, the assets stack up to a monumental level, leaving whoever takes the position as the future leader of the Jaguars in an excellent place for success.