As first reported by Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times Union and later confirmed by the Jags organization, Bradley will not enter the 2016 campaign in a lame-duck situation. Mark Long of the Associated Press pointed out all of Bradley's assistants got extensions as well.
In three seasons at the helm, Bradley has compiled a record of 12-36, including a 5-11 mark in 2015.
According to John Oehser of Jaguars.com, general manager Dave Caldwell believes that extending Bradley is a big move in terms of helping the team develop into a winner next season and beyond:
For an organization that we believe is ready to make its move, extending Gus through the 2017 season provides our club with much-needed stability in every respect. It solidifies Gus' good standing with our current players, provides certainty for free agents who may be considering the Jaguars and helps to deliver the continuity throughout our coaching staff that we think is critical for us to turn the corner.
It also gives us the best opportunity to win in 2016. I appreciate [Jaguars owner] Shad [Khan] supporting this approach as we enter a pivotal season with high expectations at every level of the organization.
Despite the added year, CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco believes the 2016 season will make or break Bradley's status with the Jags regardless:
Gus Bradley’s one-year extension doesn’t matter. He will go if he doesn’t make the playoffs anyway. Almost like a donation if he doesn’t— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) January 22, 2016
Having not reached the playoffs since 2007, it is indeed difficult to envision the franchise sticking with Bradley through another losing season.
There is no question Jacksonville made some big strides in 2015 despite only winning five games, however, as Blake Bortles developed into a potential star quarterback, while Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns became one of the NFL's top receiving duos.
The Jaguars defense ranked 31st in points allowed, though, which is surprising for a Bradley-coached team since he served as the Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator for four seasons.
If Bradley can help the Jags improve on the defensive side of the ball in 2016, then they have a chance to make some noise in the wide-open AFC South 2016.
But should things stay the same, Bradley's contract extension is unlikely to mean much.
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