Jacksonville’s game of musical chairs continues.
The Jaguars’ coaching search is going about as well as you’d expect: While Byron Leftwich was the reported frontrunner in mid-January, the team is still in flux when it comes to its next boss, interviewing nine candidates with several already accepting jobs elsewhere.
Now, it appears that Doug Pederson may be the clubhouse leader to be their next coach — if certain front-office shuffles come to pass.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports that there may be more changes to the Jaguars front office — but not in regards to Trent Baalke, the incumbent general manager who seems to be steering away candidates. Instead, Jacksonville is angling to hire former Vikings GM Rick Spielman for a high-ranking front office role, reportedly team president.
Baalke would remain in place as GM, reporting to Spielman.
From @gmfb: The #Jaguars continue to work toward adding former #Vikings GM Rick Spielman to their front office. Sources tell us at @nflnetwork progress has been made, though nothing is done yet. Doug Pederson remains in the mix for the HC job. pic.twitter.com/g43SCSLzTZ
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) February 3, 2022
My understanding is Spielman is not interviewing for a GM position. So Baalke potentially stays. Know that probably won’t appease you but it would appease candidates who are concerned about Baalke.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) February 1, 2022
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A potential Spielman hire would be very good news for Pederson: Garafolo reports that had Spielman been retained in Minnesota, the former Eagles coach would have been high on the list of candidates there.
Instead, Spielman was fired and replaced with Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, and the Vikings will reportedly hire Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell as head coach following the Super Bowl.
The Jaguars have interviewed Pederson, Leftwich, Jim Caldwell, Nathaniel Hackett, Kellen Moore, Todd Bowles, Bill O’Brien and Matt Eberflus for their head-coaching role, but some candidates reportedly are apprehensive about working with Baalke, most notably Leftwich.
The former Jaguars quarterback and current Buccaneers OC wanted Cardinals VP of pro personnel Adrian Wilson as the team’s new GM. Baalke, though, seemingly isn’t going anywhere.