Jacksonville Jaguars Claim Top Spot for Dysfunctional NFL Franchises

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One would think that Jacksonville, Florida would be a prime relocation destination for a family or business person. Beautiful beaches are minutes away. There is an abundance of golf courses and desirable weather year-round. There’s also a booming economy with no state sales-tax. And the Jacksonville Jaguars provide a professional football team in the area.

However, the dysfunction from the front office of the Jacksonville Jaguars has made the Bold City undesirable for premier football players. Year after year, the gaffes from the front office leave fans screaming. Over the last couple of years, the frustration of the front office’s decisions has trickled down to the players. Gifted players continue to high-tail it out of town.

Jacksonville Jaguars Claim Top Spot for Dysfunctional NFL Franchises

A Losing Culture

Is the culture in Jacksonville that bad? The answer is simple and it’s a resounding yes. So much so, that after winning a recent grievance against the Jaguars, the NFLPA (National Football Players Association) warned their free agents to “strongly consider” before signing with the team. That’s more than a slap on the wrist. It’s a slap to the face of a franchise.

After the 2017 season the Jaguars were the talk of the NFL as a team on the rise. Today they are a laughing stock both locally and nationally. And yet there was not a complete change in the front office by owner Shad Khan. Despite countless missteps in free agency and the draft, general manager Dave Caldwell somehow remains with the team. The Jags are a team on the brink of a rebuild. But Caldwell should not be trusted to lead the organization through that process. Khan must step in, but he won’t.

Defensive Exodus

The 2017 defense was mentioned in the same breath as some of the great defenses of the past. The unit even had a nickname, Sacksonville. The defense was the identity of the Jaguars. However, currently the only starter left from this unit is defensive end Calais Campbell. Even his immediate future is in limbo. Hard for a fan to swallow this reality.

Some wanted out of town and forced trades to get away from the situation. Another decided to retire months before the season began. While others were released because of the misappropriation of funds by the front office, causing them to be salary cap casualties. Either way, the vaunted defense of 2017 has morphed into a junior varsity unit that set dubious records of downhearted play in 2019. Including five straight losses by 17 or more points.

Bad Contracts, Bad Reactions

It’s no wonder that cornerback Jalen Ramsey wanted out of town. The same can be said about the current situation with defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and his desire to get paid. Two talented players from the 2016 draft class who are either already gone or are looking for a new team. Instead what happened was the opposite.

But, instead of trying to keep Ramsey, the Jaguars front office first signed ex-quarterback Blake Bortles to an extension prior to the 2018 season. Last year, they signed linebacker Myles Jack to an extension. Additionally, they overpaid free-agent quarterback Nick Foles last March. And Ramsey and Ngakoue took notice.

The front office paid the wrong guys. It’s that simple.

Last Word

Yet again the Jaguars enter the off-season with multiple glaring holes, most of which were created by the front office. With no sense of urgency for the 2020 season, the fans in Jacksonville remain in disbelief. The magical run of 2017 was a fallacy. Sure, ex-VP of Football Operations Tom Coughlin caused the chaos with the NFLPA. But the dysfunction of the franchise can’t all be on him. The lack of accountability and follow through from the owner has set the franchise back even further. Now they sit atop the league as the most dysfunctional franchise.

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