During the introductory press conference for new Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer, owner Shad Khan stated that the team would ideally have a new general manager by a week or so. Today, the team announced the hire, officially removing the “interim” tag off of Trent Baalke, naming him the team’s new general manager moving forward.
“Trent Baalke has had success at virtually every level of football, notably so as a general manager who shrewdly and quickly built an NFL conference championship organization and team,” said Jacksonville Jaguars Owner Shad Khan.
“That experience inspired us to recruit Trent to Jacksonville a year ago to serve as our director of player personnel and is one of many reasons why we are naming Trent as the new general manager of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Trent thoroughly knows the NFL and the dynamics of today’s game, has an exceptional eye for talent and I know will have excellent chemistry with Head Coach Urban Meyer as they begin their mission to bring a consistent winner to our fans in Jacksonville.”
Earlier this week, it was reported that Baalke would be named the general manager of the Jaguars, pairing him up with Meyer as the team looks to rebuild its roster after a near-clean sweep during and following the 2020 season. Baalke served as the team’s director of player personnel last season and took over as interim GM after Dave Caldwell was fired in November.
“I would like to thank Shad Khan for the opportunity to continue with the Jacksonville Jaguars as the team’s general manager,” said Baalke. “I look forward to getting to work with Coach Meyer and giving Jaguars fans everywhere the winner they deserve. I am confident that our shared vision will lead our team to success in 2021 and beyond.”
Baalke, 56, last held the title of general manager with the San Francisco 49ers from 2011-16. Prior to earning a GM role, Baalke was a director of player personnel and a team scout for several years since 1998, starting his career with the New York Jets in 1998.
While there has been plenty of understandable criticism already regarding the hire of Baalke, Khan has stated in the past that the Jaguars will be a coach-centric team, meaning that the players acquired and coaches brought on will essentially be an extension of Meyer’s philosophy.
“My whole aspect—and this started really about 15 months ago—that we need to be a coach-centric team and organization, where the head coach really has to lead the kind of players he wants, the kind of team we need to be,” Khan said last week. “And the general manager, myself, we have to support that mission.”
Certainly, Baalke will have plenty of say when it comes to building the Jaguars’ roster, however, it is Meyer’s show, at least for now.