Tom Coughlin, the Jacksonville Jaguars first-ever head coach, has been fired as Executive Vice-President of Football Operations, the team announced Wednesday night.
The news comes after it was announced on Monday through the NFLPA that 25 percent of all grievances filed by players have come from the Jaguars and that one player, in particular, had been fined $700,000 in 2018 for not rehabbing an injury that was deemed “mandatory” during the voluntary offseason program.
A joint arbitrator determined the Jaguars could not fine the player, who turned out to be Dante Fowler, who confirmed it was him through his Twitter account this week. Until the news from the Jaguars, in a statement issued by team owner Shad Khan, the franchise had remained silent about the off-the-field news.
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Coughlin’s second run with the Jaguars, as he served as the team’s first head coach, has been tumultuous since he began his new role with the organization in 2017.
While he and general manager David Caldwell brought in players through free agency and the NFL Draft to help the Jaguars reach the AFC Championship game at the end of the season, his moves internally with players have been a sticking point, including Fowler, Jalen Ramsey, and Leonard Fournette.
"“Within the past hour I informed Tom Coughlin that he was being relieved of his duties as Executive Vice President of Football Operations of the Jacksonville Jaguars, effective this evening. I determined earlier this fall that making this move at the conclusion of the 2019 season would be in everyone’s best interests but, in recent days, I reconsidered and decided to make this change immediately. I thank Tom for his efforts, not only over the past three years but for all he did from our very first season, 25 years ago, to put the Jacksonville Jaguars on the map. General Manager Dave Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone will each report directly to me on an interim basis. My expectations, and those of our fans, for our final two games and the 2020 season are high.”"
Whether it means both Caldwell and Marrone have been retained for the 2020 season is not known. There as growing speculation from local and national media that all three members of management could be replaced after a season that has seen the team fall to a 5-9 record and has missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season.