Jaguars GM Trent Baalke will likely have ample time to implement vision

Trent Baalke, General Manager of the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Trent Baalke, General Manager of the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

The Tennessee Titans recently raised eyebrows around the NFL when they cut ties with general manager Jon Robinson despite the fact that he consistently did a good job of replenishing their roster. Meanwhile, Trent Baalke hasn’t had nearly as much success leading the Jacksonville Jaguars’ front office but that doesn’t mean he might be in danger of losing his job.

Jason La Canfora of The Washington Post reported some days ago that Baalke might be part of a front-office restructuring and his job as a general manager could potentially be hanging by a thread.

"I also continue to hear a Jaguars front-office shake-up is forthcoming, with Trent Baalke perhaps sticking around in another role but with his future as a general manager very much in the balance. Coach Doug Pederson could come away with more power in Jacksonville."

Baalke is in his second year as the Jaguars’ general manager. He was originally hired as the director of player personnel back in 2020 and was given the job he currently has on an interim basis when David Caldwell was given the boot. After a search to fill the void left by Caldwell, Baalke became the general manager full-time.

Over the last two years, Baalke has added several important pieces to the roster, such as running back Travis Etienne, wide receiver Christian Kirk, and right guard Brandon Scherff. On the other hand, Jacksonville is still waiting for most of its 2022 draft class to contribute. Similarly, he gave paid a premium for wide receiver Zay Jones, defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi, and tight end Evan Engram but none of them have performed at a level consistent with their salary.

All things considered, Baalke has had positives during his tenure as a general manager in Jacksonville he’s also had his fair share of misses, which begs the question, is he really in danger of losing his job?

The Jaguars could take a wait-and-see approach with Trent Baalke

Caldwell wasn’t able to consistently infuse the Jags’ roster with talent. Yet, he kept his job for eight years. Before him, Gene Smith was given four years to make things work, so it’s hard to see owner Shad Khan pulling the plug on Trent Baalke.

John Shipley of Sports Illustrated recently suggested the Jaguars and Khan evaluate whether they could do better than Baalke, and he’s right. Robinson outperform his AFC South counterpart and still lost his job.

However, history tells us that Khan won’t make sudden decisions even if they make sense. He had the chance to move on from Baalke after he canned Urban Meyer but he chose to retain him and even called him the right man for the job. This doesn’t mean Baalke will be given as much time as Caldwell to deliver results but there’s a good chance he’ll remain in place beyond 2023.

Baalke could try to convince Khan that Meyer’s presence had a negative impact on the Jags’ decision-making last year, and will need another year or even a couple to fully implement his vision.

Short of getting caught on video dancing inappropriately, Baalke may retain his job beyond this season. This writer wasn’t a fan of his when the Jags were looking for Caldwell’s replacement but he ended up getting the job, so he might as well be given one more year to show he can indeed right the ship. Any more time could set Jacksonville significantly, and if they don’t make a leap in 2023, they should strongly consider making a switch at general manager.

Related Story. 3 thoughts on GM Trent Baalke's tenure with the Jags. light