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Jacksonville Jaguars fire GM Dave Caldwell

NFL: MAR 06 Scouting Combine Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars have fired longtime general manager Dave Caldwell.

Shad Khan released a statement shortly after today’s loss to the Cleveland Browns:

I’ve met with Dave Caldwell to express my appreciation for his service to the Jacksonville Jaguars as our general manager. Dave was exceptionally committed and determined to bring a winner to Jacksonville, but unfortunately his efforts were not rewarded with the results our fans deserve and our organization expects. Our football operation needs new leadership, and we will have it with a new general manager in 2021

This was Caldwell’s eighth season in Jacksonville. He originally joined the Jaguars in 2013, after spending five seasons with the Atlanta Falcons as the director of college scouting (2008-2011) and then the director of player personnel (2012). Prior to that, he spent several seasons with the Indianapolis Colts as an area scout, and first entered the league as a scouting assistant with the Carolina Panthers in 1996-1997.

The Jaguars really struggled in Caldwell’s tenure. In the regular season, the team won just 37 games, while losing 86 games. Of course, Caldwell wasn’t solely responsible for all personnel decisions during his entire time in Jacksonville, however. Tom Coughlin had final say over football decisions during his tenure as executive vice president of football operations from 2017-2019.

In 2017, with both Coughlin and Caldwell in the front office, Jacksonville did enjoy its most successful season in the Caldwell era. The Jaguars won two playoff games and made a run to the AFC Championship game, eventually coming up just minutes away from the franchise’s first ever Super Bowl appearance. Following that year, though, the Jaguars have faltered and failed to win more than six games in a season.

Out of the nine first-round draft selections Caldwell made (or helped make) as general manager of the Jaguars, only four of those players are still with the franchise — including 2020 rookies CJ Henderson and K’Lavon Chaisson. The other two are Josh Allen (2019) and Taven Bryan (2018).

Jacksonville will get an early start on looking for a replacement option at general manager to try to turn this dormant franchise around. With an abundance of picks in 2021 NFL Draft — including two first-round picks and two second-round picks — and the most cap space in the entire NFL, it could actually be an attractive job.

Trent Baalke, who was serving as director of player personnel, will now serve as interim general manager for the remainder of the season. Meanwhile, Khan informed head coach Doug Marrone that he and his staff will remain with the team through the rest of the 2020 season (at least).