2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Jaguars fire GM Gene Smith after 4 seasons

By MARK LONG - AP Sports Writer
    2012-12-31 08:06

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The Jacksonville Jaguars fired general manager Gene Smith on Monday after four disappointing seasons, including the worst year in franchise history.

Coach Mike Mularkey could be next.

Owner Shad Khan is waiting to decide Mularkey's fate until he hires a new general manager, which could happen this week.

Mularkey failed to make the Jaguars (2-14) better in his first season, setting a team record for losses and dropping eight games by 16 or more points.

Smith was the architect of the roster. He had been with the team since its inception in 1994, working his way up from regional scout to general manager. He became GM since 2009, compiling a 22-42 record while failing to acquire a single player who made the Pro Bowl.

``Now it is time for the Jacksonville Jaguars to begin a new chapter,'' Khan said in a statement. ``We're not looking back. I've made it clear from Day One that we pledge nothing less than to deliver the first Super Bowl championship to Jacksonville. Our fans have been remarkably loyal over the years, and they were truly outstanding this past season. We simply must do better for our fans.''

Khan said the search for a new GM will begin immediately.

Arizona director of player personnel Jason Licht, San Francisco director of player personnel Tom Gamble and Atlanta director of player personnel David Caldwell have been mentioned as potential replacements.

``I'm determined to find the right man to lead our football operations, someone who shares my vision, understands the commitment we will demand and is qualified and ready to seize this opportunity,'' Khan said.

Smith's most glaring mistakes came in the draft, where he whiffed on offensive tackle Eben Britton (39th overall pick in 2009), defensive tackle Tyson Alualu (10th pick in 2010) and quarterback Blaine Gabbert (10th pick in 2011). Smith traded up to select Gabbert even though several teams with quarterback needs passed on the former Missouri starter.

He also drafted a punter in the third round in April, a move that was mocked locally and nationally.

Equally alarming for Khan had to be Smith's penchant for overpaying in free agency and signing relatively inexpensive guys who failed to produce.

He gave aging receiver Torry Holt a three-year deal that guaranteed him $4 million in 2009. Holt caught 51 passes, but didn't score and was released after one season.

Defensive end Aaron Kampman got a four-year, $25 million deal the following year. Kampman's balky knee was the main reason he was on the market. It also was a big part of why he played just 11 games in Jacksonville.

In 2011, following the NFL lockout, Smith spent big on positions that were not glamour spots - signing linebacker Paul Posluszny (6 years, $42 million), linebacker Clint Session (5 years, $30 million) and safety Dawan Landry (5 years, $27.5 million). Session is out of the league after three concussions in 2011.

Smith really opened the wallet this past offseason, signing receiver Laurent Robinson to a five-year, $32.5 million contract that included $14 million guaranteed and giving cornerback Aaron Ross a three-year, $15.3 million deal.

Both looked like reaches at the time and seem even less impressive nine months later.

Robinson was a one-year wonder in Dallas, scoring 11 touchdowns in 2011, after being cut by St. Louis and the Cowboys. The Jaguars could have signed him off the street either time, but instead waited until his big season to become interested. He lost his starting job to Cecil Shorts III and ended up on injured reserve following his fourth concussion. He finished with 24 receptions for 252 yards and no scores.

Ross, meanwhile, was a backup with the Giants who got thrown into the starting lineup because of injuries. He won a Super Bowl last season, but his coverage issues were disguised by the league's best pass rush. He struggled at times in Jacksonville and ended up playing behind rookie Mike Harris down the stretch.

Smith did hit on some players - including left tackle Eugene Monroe (eighth pick in 2009), cornerback Derek Cox (73rd pick in 2009) and receivers Cecil Shorts (114th pick in 2011) and Justin Blackmon (fifth pick in 2012) - but none of those starters have become stars. And Smith gave up a second-round pick to get Cox and a fourth-rounder to trade up and get Blackmon.

Other questionable moves include giving receiver Mike Thomas a contract extension after two-plus seasons and signing tight end Marcedes Lewis to a five-year, $35 million contract after a breakout season. And Smith's policy of bringing in only those with strong character never paid dividends.

Smith's most controversial act came in April, when he chose punter Bryan Anger in the third round (70th pick). Anger was terrific as a rookie, but adding him never seemed like the best call for a team that needed talent and depth at so many other positions.

Smith defended the pick by saying he would ``rather take a starter over a backup.'' Terry McDonough, the team's personnel director, challenged reporters to compare Anger to other third-rounders in four years and see who has been more productive.

Eight months later, quarterback Russell Wilson (75th pick) has Seattle in the playoffs.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Mike PounceyJul 23 12:33p

Miami Dolphins C Mike Pouncey (hip) could miss the first eight weeks of the season because of the hip surgery he had this offseason, according to a source. He [ More ]

Evan RodriguezJul 23 12:23p

Buffalo Bills FB Evan Rodriguez (cramps) and TE Chris Gragg (cramps) were hospitalized because of complications from cramps and were getting hydrated, according to head coach Doug Marrone. Rodriguez [ More ]

Dustin HopkinsJul 23 12:20p

Buffalo Bills PK Dustin Hopkins will have to try to make the roster as a kickoff specialist, according to head coach Doug Marrone.

Vernon DavisJul 23 12:13p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis has reported to camp Wednesday, July 23, according to an Instagram post from 49ers S C.J. Spillman.

Jason BabinJul 23 12:03p

New York Jets signed DE Jason Babin (Jaguars) to a two-year contract, with the second year being a team option. He's expected to serve as a situational pass rusher.

Reggie WayneJul 23 11:13a

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (knee) said he has been medically cleared to practice. He's expected to be limited, though, especially in the near future.

Kraig UrbikJul 23 10:53a

Buffalo Bills OG Chris Hairston continued to receive first-team repetitions at right guard in the red zone drills Wednesday, July 23. OG Kraig Urbik struggled with first-team the previous day.

Jamaal CharlesJul 23 09:53a

Updating previous reports, Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles will not report to training camp Wednesday, July 23, barring a major contract breakthrough.

Vick BallardJul 23 09:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Vick Ballard (knee) reported to camp and has passed his physical.

Rob GronkowskiJul 23 08:53a

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) has been cleared for contact and will not be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, according to head coach Bill Belichick.

Evan RodriguezJul 23 08:43a

Buffalo Bills TE Chris Gragg (cramps), FB Evan Rodriguez (cramps) and CB Brandon E. Smith (leg) were out of practice Wednesday, July 23. OT Seantrel Henderson (hip) returned to action.

Rashad JenningsJul 23 08:23a

New York Giants RBs Rashad Jennings, David Wilson and Andre Williams could be used in a three-man rotation this season to keep Jennings fresh.

Caleb McSurdyJul 23 02:53a

The St. Louis Rams waived four players Tuesday, July 22, as they cut loose OL Abasi Salimu, WR Diontae Spencer, LB Caleb McSurdy, and LB Tavarius Wilson.

Carl NicksJul 23 02:43a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Bobby Rainey, G Carl Nicks and DE Da'Quan Bowers may be fighting for roster spots once training camp begins due to other competition for their [ More ]

Chris CulliverJul 23 01:13a

San Francisco 49ers CB Chris Culliver (knee) has been cleared to take part in practice when training camp opens this week. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament to [ More ]

Ben TateJul 23 01:13a

Cleveland Browns RBs Ben Tate and Terrance West will compete for the starting tailback job during training camp and the preseason, and it's a battle head coach Mike Pettine [ More ]

Joel BitonioJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns OG Joel Bitonio (ankle) lined up with the first-team offense during organized team activities (OTAs), and he held the spot until he suffered a sprained ankle June [ More ]

Paul McQuistanJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns OLs Garrett Gilkey, Paul McQuistan and Jason Pinkston are fighting for position in the pecking order at right guard, and one of them might even push OG [ More ]

Craig RobertsonJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns LBs Christian Kirksey and Craig Robertson will compete for an inside linebacker job during training camp, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Joe HadenJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns CBs Justin Gilbert and Buster Skrine will compete for the starting cornerback job opposite CB Joe Haden in training camp. 'We weren't going to hand Justin that [ More ]

Gary BarnidgeJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge and Jim Dray will battle for the No. 2 tight end spot during training camp and the preseason.

Eli ManningJul 23 12:23a

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) has shown no ill effects during camp from ankle surgery that sidelined him for earlier offseason activities.

Tom CoughlinJul 22 11:53p

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was not happy that several players were forced to leave practice with dehydration issues Tuesday, July 22. 'It pisses me off,' Coughlin [ More ]

Brandon LloydJul 22 11:23p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson is the frontrunner for the No. 3 WR job, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, but he added that neither Johnson nor WR [ More ]

Darren SprolesJul 22 11:13p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Darren Sproles' ability to win one-on-one matchups in space is what head coach Chip Kelly plans to exploit this season. Kelly said opposing defenses played a [ More ]

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 11:03p

Buffalo Bills QB Thaddeus Lewis and WR Tori Gurley had miscommunications on three occasions Tuesday, July 22, resulting in two incomplete passes and an interception. Joe Buscaglia of WGR [ More ]

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 10:53p

Buffalo Bills QB Thaddeus Lewis and QB Jeff Tuel are in an open competition for the backup quarterback job, head coach Doug Marrone said Tuesday, July 22.

Brian MoormanJul 22 10:43p

Buffalo Bills P Brian Moorman was more effective than P Jake Dombrowski on punts in terms of both average hang time and average distance Tuesday, July 22.

Titus YoungJul 22 09:53p

Updating a previous story, free-agent WR Titus Young (Lions) was charged with felony battery with serious bodily injury from an alleged July 8 incident inside a Los Angeles-area hospital. [ More ]

Ryan MathewsJul 22 09:43p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews' rookie contract will expire after the 2014 season, which means this could be his final year with the organization, in the opinion of [ More ]

Mario WilliamsJul 22 09:43p

Buffalo Bills DE Mario Williams, DT Marcell Dareus and DT Kyle D. Williams were all rotated out of the lineup at times during team drills Tuesday, July 22. LB [ More ]

Nigel BradhamJul 22 09:23p

Buffalo Bills LB Nigel Bradham was one of eight players to record sacks during team drills Tuesday, July 22. The team's pass rush has been consistent since camp began, [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group