Jaguars rumor: Former Texans GM Rick Smith could join team’s front office

Former general manager Rick Smith of the Houston Texans in 2016. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Former general manager Rick Smith of the Houston Texans in 2016. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars chose to keep general manager Trent Baalke during and after their head-coaching search even though his presence might’ve had a negative impact on the process. But that doesn’t mean the Jags’ front office will remain unchanged and former Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith could land in Jacksonville in some capacity.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports recently talked about the lack of diversity in top executive positions across the NFL and says that he “wouldn’t be shocked” to see Smith join the Jags’ front office in some capacity. La Canfora notes that Smith is universally respected around the league and might be on the Jaguars’ radar for a “possible position”.

"Shad Khan said he will be assessing the team’s front office setup and more staff will be added. I wouldn’t be shocked if that ended up including longtime former Texans general manager Rick Smith in some capacity. Smith is universally respected within the game and at the NFL league office, he has decades of experience, and in recent years was considered for a top position with Washington and elsewhere. He understands the way the game works, he has the right networks and insights, and sources said he is on the Jaguars’ radar for a possible position."

La Canfora believes that Smith has the experience and football acumen to oversee the Jaguars’ entire football operation just like Tom Coughlin did when he joined the organization as the executive vice president of football operations in 2017, the year Jacksonville made was one bad call away from playing in Super Bowl 52.

Smith was the Texans’ general manager from 2006 to 20017 and was also their executive vice president of football operations from 2012 to 2017. He left the team with then-head coach Bill O’Brien reportedly forcing the team’s ownership to choose between keeping him or Smith. Before his stint in Houston, he was the Denver Broncos of pro personnel, so he definitely has the resume to have a top executive role in Jacksonville.

The Jaguars could be making changes to their front office soon.

During head coach Doug Pederson’s introductory press conference, owner Shad Khan said the team had filed a request to add an executive vice president position to the operation. It’s uncertain how long it takes the league to process this kind of inquiry but it looks like the Jaguars will indeed be making changes to how their front office is structured.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator was a favorite to become the Jaguars’ next head coach but Trent Baalke reportedly became a hurdle clear due to his poor reputation around the NFL. Not long after, talks about former Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman getting a top executive position in Jacksonville surfaced, so the idea of adding an EVP to the organization isn’t totally new.

Khan made it clear that he thinks Baalke can help the team but he’s also made it be known that the team will modify the way it operates. Whether it’s Spielman or Smith, changes to the Jaguars’ front office seem to be looming.

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