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#pounditTuesday, June 28, 2022

Articles tagged: Jacksonville Jaguars

Doug Pederson has telling comment about succeeding Urban Meyer

Doug Pederson smiling

Mar 1, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Pederson during the NFL Combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Pederson can tell he has a lot of work to do with his new team. That is true not just in terms of building a winning team, but fixing the culture.

Pederson on Friday alluded to former coach Urban Meyer when he said there had to be “healing” with the players due to what he cited as a “lack of trust.”

“I do believe there has to be some kind of healing with the situation and everything that transpired last year because it’s just there’s a lack of trust that was broken, I think,” Pederson said, via Bobby Kownack of NFL.com. “For me, it’s about gaining the trust back and they have to see it through me. They have to see the transparency, the honesty. I’ve always said I’m going to be open with them and I want them to be open with me.”

Pederson has been around for a while, so one would figure he knows a dysfunctional locker room when he sees it. The fact that Pederson is willing to say this publicly suggests things really were as toxic as they sounded under Meyer in 2021. In fact, it’s a mess the organization as a whole is still trying to put behind it.

While there were a lot of stories about Meyer, comments made by those in the building best outline what went wrong while he was there. Pederson is probably being smart by not beating around the bush and simply calling it like it is.

Josh Lambo suing Jaguars over Urban Meyer’s treatment of him

Josh Lambo in pads

Aug 17, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars place kicker Josh Lambo (4) enters the field during training camp at Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Lambo has filed a lawsuit against the Jacksonville Jaguars over the way he was treated by Urban Meyer and the organization.

Lambo’s attorneys filed a lawsuit in the 4th Judicial Circuit Court in Duval County on Tuesday, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The former kicker is seeking $3.5 million in lost wages due to him being cut by the Jags, plus damages for emotional distress.

Lambo signed a 4-year contract with the Jags in 2019. However, he was cut by the Jags in September after going 0-for-3 on field goals to begin the season and 5-for-7 on extra point attempts.

In December, Lambo went pubic with an allegation about Meyer’s mistreatment of him. Lambo claimed that the former Jaguars head coach kicked him before a preseason game and told him to making his “f—ing kicks.” Lambo says he told Meyer not to f—ing kick him again. The incident came after Lambo missed field goals in the team’s first two preseason games.

The lawsuit claims that Meyer created a hostile workplace and violated the law by striking him. Lambo also claims that the Jags violated a whistleblower law by cutting him after the kicker approached the team’s legal counsel about what happened.

The team insists they gave Lambo the opportunity to speak with them, but he says he has no recollection of such an offer.

Meyer has also disputed the way Lambo described the incident between them.

In addition to seeking his pay for 2021, Lambo wants “compensation for any special damages sustained as emotional stress and reputational harm and litigation fees,” according to the Times. The lawsuit also seeks any documentation related to the workplace environment under Meyer.

Lambo, 31, kicked in four games in 2020 and three games in 2021. The Steelers picked up Lambo in November before releasing him a week later. Lambo led the league in field goal percentage (97.1 percent) in 2019. Meyer was fired by the Jags after just 13 games last season, which was his first ever in the NFL.

Report: Urban Meyer, Jaguars still have major issue to resolve

Urban Meyer in a jacket

Joseph Maiorana-USA Today Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars fired Urban Meyer with four games remaining in the 2021 season, but they still have business to tend to with their former head coach.

Meyer had somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million remaining on his contract at the time he was dismissed by the Jaguars. Team owner Shad Khan has made it clear that Meyer was fired with cause in Khan’s eyes, but Meyer’s legal team disagrees. Several months later, the contract dispute has yet to be resolved.

A source told USA Today’s Jarrett Bell on Tuesday that Meyer and the Jaguars still have not reached a settlement. Khan made his stance clear with his latest comments reflecting on the failed Meyer experiment.

“I think when you know someone is not truthful, how can you be around someone, OK? We had Doug Marrone here four years. We had Gus Bradley here four years. I have nothing but the utmost respect and friendship with them,” Khan told USA Today. “That’s why they got the time, because it wasn’t a matter about respect or truth. It was a matter of wins and losses over four years. This is much bigger than that.”

There were reports that Meyer had conflicts with players and assistant coaches. There was then the incident where he allegedly kicked a former player during warmups of a preseason game, though Meyer has vehemently denied that. Meyer was also seen getting cozy with a young women in a viral video that surfaced after he chose not to travel back to Jacksonville with the team after a loss.

The dispute could take some time to resolve. Meyer obviously is not going to leave millions of dollars on the table without a fight. Khan is not going to pay the money unless he is forced to. If there is no settlement, a third party will have to make a ruling at some point.

Report: Jaguars divided on what to do with No. 1 overall pick

Aidan Hutchinson without a helmet

Michigan Wolverines defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97) warms up before the game against the Michigan State Spartans, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have been on the clock in the 2022 NFL Draft for more than three months now, but it sounds like they have yet to reach a consensus on which player to take with the first overall pick.

This year’s draft is loaded with elite pass-rushers, and most analysts predict the Jaguars will take one of those players with the No. 1 pick. The question is which one, and that is a question that apparently has not been answered just days before the start of the draft. According to Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network, Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke wants to take former Georgia defensive end Travon Walker. However, team owner Shad Khan prefers former Michigan star Aidan Hutchinson.

A recent report claimed the Jaguars are zeroing in on Walker with their pick. If Khan strongly disagrees, he will obviously have the final say. Of course, it is never good business to overrule the football people you have hired and placed your trust in.

Hutchinson had 14 sacks, two forced fumbles and 62 total tackles last season. He is a matchup nightmare, but the same can be said for Walker. Walker’s numbers — six sacks and 37 tackles — were not as impressive, but he ran a 4.51 in the 40-yard dash and has the type of freak athleticism that NFL teams covet.

You could make the argument that the Jaguars can flip a coin and still come away with an impact player, but it is never quite that simple.

Jaguars GM has surprising claim about No. 1 pick

Trent Baalke at a press conference

Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke during Friday afternoon’s press conference at TIAA Bank Field. After his arrival in Jacksonville, Florida Friday morning, April 30, 2021, Jacksonville Jaguars first-round draft pick Trevor Lawrence along with team owner Shad Khan, head coach Urban Meyer and the Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke held a press conference in the afternoon inside TIAA Bank Field. They were also joined by the Jaguars 25th pick in the first round of the draft and former Clemson teammate of Lawrence, running back Travis Etienne. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]
Jki 043021 Trevorlawrencea

The Jacksonville Jaguars are preparing to pick first overall in the NFL Draft. According to general manager Trent Baalke, that is where they will be even if they would have been interested in trading down.

Baalke said Friday that the Jaguars have not received any calls from teams looking to move up to the No. 1 spot, and the team is preparing to make the pick.

This might not be a great year to have the pick if a team is looking to trade down. A lot of huge pre-draft deals involve teams looking to move up to land a potential franchise quarterback, but this year’s QB class is not viewed as an exceptionally strong one.

Supposedly, the Jaguars are already leaning in one direction as they prepare to make the selection. There appears to be little doubt at this point that they’re not going to move down even if they want to.

NFL teams annoyed with 1 WR for resetting market

NFL field logo

Feb 6, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; The NFL shield logo is seen at midfield before the Pro Bowl football game at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The market for NFL wide receivers has been scorching hot this offseason. That is a great thing for players, but it has forced some teams to make very difficult decisions with their most talented players. Are the Jacksonville Jaguars to blame?

One NFL executive and one assistant coach told Jeff Howe of The Athletic this week that the contract Christian Kirk signed with the Jaguars is the one that really reset the wide receiver market. Kirk, who never eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving mark in his four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, signed a four-year, $72 million deal with Jacksonville that includes $37 million guaranteed.

“It’s (Christian) Kirk’s fault,” an assistant coach told Howe. “What happened to Kirk is 100 percent the issue. Players of more worth than Christian Kirk are going to be demanding a lot more money, and you’re going to have to do it.”

The $18 million average annual salary for Kirk placed him among the 10 highest-paid receivers in football at the time he signed the deal. He was then surpassed by Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, and Stefon Diggs, who were undoubtedly licking their chops when the Jaguars gave Kirk all that money. Kirk has never made a Pro Bowl and has just 17 touchdown catches in four seasons.

“How much Kirk got really vaulted the money,” an executive said. “That was huge for (Adams and Hill) to get those historic deals. It put more pressure on those clubs to make sure they meet those needs.”

Kirk is just 25, so perhaps the best is yet to come for him. Still, you can understand why his deal gave far better players so much leverage.

Several more top receivers are seeking new contracts this offseason. All can make the argument that they deserve far more than Kirk. They should thank the Jaguars.

Urban Meyer says 1 rumor about him was ‘so silly’

Urban Meyer in a jacket

There were a lot of unflattering reports about Urban Meyer during his brief tenure with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The former coach has denied most of them, and he says he found one in particular to be quite laughable.

A piece that was published in The Athletic last month claimed Meyer was so unprepared with the Jaguars that he had never heard of certain star players, including three-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald. Meyer mocked the report during an appearance on “The Tim May Podcast” this week.

“Someone told me that,” Meyer said, via Bryan DeArdo of CBS Sports. “I’ve heard silly things in my life. You shouldn’t even address things like that, it’s so silly.”

Meyer supposedly indicated to his staff that he was unfamiliar with Donald when he asked them, “Who’s this 99 guy on the Rams?” The quote sounded like it would have been sarcasm. It is impossible to believe that anyone who knows anything about the NFL — let alone an NFL coach — would have no idea who Donald is.

Meyer was run out of Jacksonville in a hurry. He said he believes the team’s losing record was the main reason for that, though he did generate plenty of negative headlines.

Photo: Joseph Maiorana-USA Today Sports

Jaguars’ Travis Etienne has funny response to Urban Meyer question

Travis Etienne at a press conference

Travis Etienne was viewed by many as a Rookie of the Year candidate after the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted him in the first round last year, but he never played after suffering a foot injury during the preseason. Missing your entire first NFL season is tough, but Etienne admits there was one silver lining.

Etienne was asked by a reporter on Tuesday if there was any part of him that was glad he was not involved in the Jaguars’ drama-filled season. The former Clemson star gave a very honest response.

“Definitely, that’s just the human element of it,” Etienne admitted. “Just seeing the results … if there was any year to miss, I missed a great one.”

The Jaguars went 3-14 last season, making them the worst team in the NFL by record. There is no telling what type of impact Etienne would have had on Jacksonville’s offense. What we do know is that he got to keep a safe distance while one negative storyline after the next surfaced in Jacksonville.

The Urban Meyer experiment could not have gone worse for the Jaguars. No player wants to miss games due to injury, but at least Etienne got to steer clear of the mayhem.

Photo: Bob Self/Florida Times-Union via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Jaguars know which player they will take with No. 1 pick?

Trent Baalke at a press conference

The Jacksonville Jaguars will be on the clock with the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft for another two weeks, but it sounds like they have their eye on a specific player.

There has been a lot of talk this week about the Jaguars being high on former Georgia defensive end Travon Walker. Fansided’s Matt Lombardo says that talk is real and that rival executives believe Walker is the Jaguars’ guy.

This year’s draft is loaded with elite pass-rushers. You could make the argument that Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson is the best of the bunch, but Walker’s physical traits are off the charts.

While Walker only had six sacks last season, he ran a 4.51 in the 40-yard dash. That is blazing fast for a 6-foot-5, 272-pound lineman. That type of skill set can become a nightmare for NFL quarterbacks.

The Jaguars probably can’t go wrong with Hutchinson or Walker. With the NFL becoming more of a passing league by the year, elite pass-rushers are more important than ever. That is one of the reasons a scout recently made a bold prediction about this year’s draft.

Photo: Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke during Friday afternoon’s press conference at TIAA Bank Field. After his arrival in Jacksonville, Florida Friday morning, April 30, 2021, Jacksonville Jaguars first-round draft pick Trevor Lawrence along with team owner Shad Khan, head coach Urban Meyer and the Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke held a press conference in the afternoon inside TIAA Bank Field. They were also joined by the Jaguars 25th pick in the first round of the draft and former Clemson teammate of Lawrence, running back Travis Etienne. Bob Self/Florida Times-Union

Key Jaguars player announces his retirement

Shad Khan on the field

The Jacksonville Jaguars are losing a key member of their offensive line, as longtime starting center Brandon Linder is retiring.

Linder announced his retirement in an Instagram post on Monday morning. He thanked his teammates, Jaguars fans and the organization. Linder also said he is grateful to fulfill his goal of playing his entire NFL career in Jacksonville.

Linder started 88 games for the Jaguars during his eight-year career. Jacksonville drafted him in the third round in 2014. The 30-year-old battled numerous injuries over the years and was limited to just nine games last season due to ankle and MCL injuries.

The Jaguars have tried to make protecting Trevor Lawrence a priority. They signed Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff to a three-year, $49.5 million deal. They also brought back backup center Tyler Shatley on a two-year, $4.8 million deal.

There was talk earlier in the offseason that the Jaguars could release Linder in order to save nearly $10 million million against the salary cap. He likely informed them at that point that he planned to retire, anyway.

Photo: Oct 17, 2021; London, England, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan (Shahid Khan) watches from the sidelines during an NFL International Series game against the Miami Dolphins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports