Jacksonville Jaguars

Jags owner Shad Khan speaks with sports media about the upcoming season, answers burning questions

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — “Never doubt Jacksonville” was one of the statements Jaguars owner Shad Khan repeated less than 20 hours after celebrating an agreement between the team and the city on a $1.4 billion stadium renovation project.


On Wednesday, Khan, Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan, Jaguars President Mark Lamping and Jacksonville Lead Negotiator Mike Weinstein spoke to the media about the deal.

For more on our coverage including our one-on-one with Shad Khan and The Mayor: Jaguars owner and Jacksonville Mayor speak on $1.4B stadium deal

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Later in the day, Khan spoke only to local sports media off-camera to talk about the football side of things.

Here are some of the notable topics:

  1. Too early to tell for 2027: One of the biggest questions fans want to know is where the Jags will play during the 2027 season when the stadium shuts down for the renovations. Rumors have been swirling around for months that the team would call Daytona, The Swamp or Orlando’s Camping World Stadium home for a season or two. Daytona was eventually ruled out, so Khan was asked if he preferred to go to Orlando or Gainesville. The Jags owner seemed to have one thing in mind: Proximity. He said he wants to do what’s best for the fans, saying in part, “I want it to be close enough for the fans.” Both options are within 2 hours from Downtown Jacksonville with the University of Florida being the closer option at 90 minutes away while Camping World Stadium is at 2 hours.
  2. The fall of last season was “an organizational failure:” I think everyone can agree the end of the season came sooner than expected. Playoff tickets were on sale in mid-December. The team believed they were going to see back-to-back playoff appearances. Fans were booking hotels for Super Wild Card Weekend. Then, the December Disaster stuck. Khan said the ending still stings to this day. He was asked where he pinpoints the blame beyond the handful of injuries to hit late in the season, and he said, “It’s organizational failure that happened. When we talked to players Trevor [Lawrence], Josh Allen, all these players I talked to – it’s like, ‘How could this happen?’ ... For me, it’s really a cause for self-reflection and then will something good come out of it because we can’t have that this year.”
  3. “I was comfortable committing a long time ago:” Almost a week after Trevor put pen to paper on his record-breaking contract extension, Shad Khan is giving us his insight on what sold him on the face of the franchise. “I was comfortable with committing a long time ago, and I told him. But, it’s not my decision. These are things I want to impose. I want the coaches to believe that. I want the GM and the personal people to believe that and really be vested in that, and I’m telling you this cause it’s a done deal. But I kept my hand from any of these people until they told me why they were sold on Trevor,” Khan said. “From Doug Pederson, coaching staff all the way up, quarterbacks coach who had worked with some of the best quarterbacks, Trent obviously, I listen to all that stuff that reinforced some of it. But I’m telling you from the very first time - I mean this was COVID. I met him on Zoom ... he was steadfast. He told me the very first time he only had one goal in life: Whoever drafts him he would like to finish his career there.”
  4. “Can’t have this addiction to free agents:” Shad has been shelling out a lot of cash on upgrading this roster, and now it seems like we have hit the limit. He wants the coaches to change their mindset and priorities and now look at these young players on this team to develop them for the future. “Our solution is to not sign free agents every year. We don’t have the ability to do that. I think when it comes to the number of picks we have, the trades we have done, value-wise we have done over the last few years, we have been judicious with the draft. You have a bunch of these kids we are drafting, plus we have the top 5 of the undrafted players. Top 5 in the top 25 undrafted, and they came here by choice for many different reasons. The bottom line is young talent has to be developed ... that is where we are going to have our future players. Can’t have this addiction to free agents,” Khan explained.
  5. “Yeah, I have an opinion:” One of the top stories from last season was who was calling the plays. Doug Pederson handed over the reins to Press Taylor early on and rode with it until the very last whistle of the final game. It stunned the fan base. We questioned it all season long, and we now brought the question to Shad. “Those are things, you know, it’s like the question about Trevor: I have an opinion, but I don’t want to tell people. Look, we need to do it and then if things don’t work out, and they look at me to say, ‘We didn’t do it because [of you.]’ So much has been written about it. Heck, the frickin NY Times had an article on it, and I remember the last sentence of that article. Doug, he is in power, let him decide.” The last sentence by the way was: “With everything Doug Pederson has riding this season, it would be wise to have his hand on the wheel.”

Read: ‘We have scored a touchdown:’ $1.4B Stadium of the Future deal approved by council

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