Respected NFL voice makes bold prediction regarding Jaguars GM Trent Baalke future

• Pete Prisco has held no punches when predicting Trent Baalke's future with the Jaguars beyond 2024.

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson, VP of player health and performance Jeff Ferguson and
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson, VP of player health and performance Jeff Ferguson and / Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY
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CBS Sports analyst Pete Prisco hasn't minced words when discussing Trent Baalke and the inadequate job he's done building as the general manager for the Jacksonville Jaguars. And after hearing Baalke's most recent press conference, there's no doubt in his mind either he or head coach Doug Pederson will be shown the door next year.

Prisco wasn't particularly impressed with the general manager's latest exchange with the media, which he called a "vintage Trent Baalke press conference." Here are some of Prisco's thoughts on the subject matter.

"He basically blamed the coaches, defended Luke Fortner when everybody in the world knows that he's not very good in the middle of that line," Prisco said during a recent appearance on 1010 XL. "[He] said that Josh Allen's not going anywhere but hasn't talked to his representatives yet."

"Disputed the fact that there's a rift and separation between coach and general manager. Everybody knows there is. Also, when I mentioned the possibility of retirement, that wasn't something I made up out of thin air. He's mentioned it, though he also disputed that. So there were a lot of things that he said."

Prisco then said it was odd that head coach Doug Pederson didn't attend the presser even though he was around the building, "why wasn't there a show of solidarity between the two of them, and he's by himself? That's just it was weird." This leads him to believe that his relationship with Baalke isn't that great. When asked what he thinks will happen next, Prisco believes the organization could select the nuclear option if they don't steer the ship in the right direction in 2024.

"If they don't win next year, one of them will be definitely gone, maybe both of them. I just don't understand how he could sit there and say they're not a physical team when he put that team together. When you say that and you drafted a team, are indicting the coaching staff when you say that? Sure sounds like it. So it was a lot of finger-pointing without finger-pointing," Prisco said.

Prisco continued, "You know what I mean? I think there was it was a lot of that, 'I'm not to blame, we just have to get an identity.' Who's that? When you say you need an identity, who is that blame going to? It's gonna smack dab right on Doug Peterson."

Following the end of the 2023 season, Prisco said there were rumblings about Baalke potentially stepping away. The general manager refuted the comments when he met with the local media. He also said that his relationship with Doug Pederson was going great. Yet, he failed to take accountability for his role in the team's inability to make the playoffs. Here's Prisco's appearance on 1010 XL in case you want to listen to it.

Both Jaguars HC Doug Pederson Trent Baalke should be on the hot seat in 2024

All things considered, Trent Baalke's stint with the Jaguars hasn't been atrocious but he's also left much to be desired. He should get credit for the 2021 draft even if you leave aside Trevor Lawrence. Similarly, he brought in several key contributors in 2022's free agency. However, the general manager needed to continue to load up on talent last year to keep the Jaguars competitive but instead took a conservative approach, expecting several players to make a leap. When they didn't, the plan fell apart.

Fast forward to 2024, and the Jaguars must address a handful of glaring holes to fill, mainly in the trenches. As Prisco noted, Baalke should be kicked to the curb if he fails to replenish the roster. On the other hand, Pederson should not be free of blame. The team, in particularly the defense, often looked unprepared and uninspired in the second half of 2023. That falls on him and the coaching staff.

On the bright side, Pederson knows things had to change, so he fired defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell and replaced him with Ryan Nielsen, who's well-regarded across the NFL. That said, he kept offensive coordinator Press Taylor, and his decision will be under scrutiny next season.

The bottom line is that Trent Baalke and Doug Pederson should be under pressure to deliver. If they don't, they should both be dismissed. It will be interesting to see whether the prospect of potentially losing their job will push them to work in unison. It certainly beats the alternative.

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