As Peyton Manning’s arrival in Denver kick-started the "Tim Tebow to Jacksonville" rumor-mobile, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk decided to join in the "fun" by writing this post, which can politely be referred to as "speculative" (the impolite description includes some references to restrooms and/or waste management facilities).
Florio’s suggestion that the Jaguars should be first in line for Tebow’s services is misguided at best and contains references to the myths the media loves to perpetrate about Tebow in Jacksonville: he’d sell more tickets, tarp references, etc. To fans of other teams, this post simply reads just like all the others about the same tired subject, but to Jaguars fans, there is a more important bit of speculation that can be found in the fifth paragraph:
"If G.M. Gene Smith doesn’t like it, he can leave. (He may be leaving anyway after the draft, but that’s a rumor to be mongered later.) This is now owner Shad Khan’s show."
Uh…what?? Way to bury the lede, guys.
That’s right…Florio is insinuating that the Jaguars may be prepared to relieve Gene Smith of his general manager duties following the NFL draft. Let’s put the kybosh on this right now.
Gene Smith JUST signed a three-year contract extension. Word was that Shad Khan had personally signed off on Wayne Weaver extending Smith prior to the sale of the team; this wasn’t an attempt by Weaver to pay Gene Smith before watching him be kicked to the curb.
Smith had the majority say in hiring the new coaching staff in place. Mike Mularkey was Shad Khan’s guy as well, but first and foremost he’s Gene Smith’s guy. Why would any sane businessman let his general manager hire an entire coaching staff only to throw that GM to the wolves just a few months later?
Free agency has already started, and who’s been making all the decisions thus far? Gene Smith. Allowing a lame duck general manager to sign free agents seems irresponsible at best.
Finally, the most ridiculous part of the quote: "he may be leaving anyway AFTER THE DRAFT". How stupid does one have to be to believe the Jaguars would hold onto Smith through the draft and let him use the most valuable currency with which the team can obtain players on guys the new personnel management team may not even like?! It simply doesn’t make a lick of sense.
This "rumor" sounds like something that was whispered in Florio’s ear by a grumpy team employee who didn’t get promoted or a disgruntled former player who had hoped to be re-signed this offseason. This doesn’t sound like something any smart businessman would even consider doing, and by all accounts Shad Khan is just that: a smart businessman.
I’d say to take this "rumor" with a grain of salt, but salt is a little big for this one. Take it with a paramecium.