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Tom Coughlin Fired as Jaguars' Executive Vice President After NFLPA Drama

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2019

Jacksonville Jaguars executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin walks off the field before the start of an NFL football game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press

The Jacksonville Jaguars announced the firing of executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin on Wednesday.

"Within the past hour I informed Tom Coughlin that he was being relieved of his duties as Executive Vice President of Football Operations of the Jacksonville Jaguars, effective this evening," owner Shad Khan said in a statement. "I determined earlier this fall that making this move at the conclusion of the 2019 season would be in everyone's best interests but, in recent days, I reconsidered and decided to make this change immediately.

"I thank Tom for his efforts, not only over the past three years but for all he did from our very first season, 25 years ago, to put the Jacksonville Jaguars on the map. General Manager Dave Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone will each report directly to me on an interim basis. My expectations, and those of our fans, for our final two games and the 2020 season are high."

Coughlin released a statement thanking the organization:

Chris Mortensen @mortreport

https://t.co/etgoefEnov

"The only thing I would say is there is plenty of football left in Tom Coughlin," agent Sandy Montag told ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Khan alluding to "recent days" likely refers to the NFLPA winning a grievance against the Jaguars for illegally fining players for missing non-mandatory offseason activities.

Dante Fowler Jr. was fined more than $700,000 for missing offseason training sessions deemed mandatory by the club; those fines were overturned by an independent arbitrator.

"It should be noted that Jaguars players continue to be at odds with Jaguars management over their rights under the CBA far more than players on other clubs," the NFLPA said. "In the last two years, more than 25% of the grievances filed by players in the entire league have been filed against the Jaguars.

"You as players may want to consider this when you have a chance to select your next club."

Coughlin, 73, was brought back to the Jaguars to run their football operations before the 2017 season after his resignation as head coach of the New York Giants. The team made a surprise appearance in the 2018 AFC Championship Game but has otherwise been unsuccessful, and Coughlin's relationship with players has been strained at best.

Former Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who forced a trade to the Los Angeles Rams during the 2019 season after falling out with management, tweeted "Tried to tell y'all" after the NFLPA statement was released.

It's unclear whether general manager Dave Caldwell or head coach Doug Marrone will continue on in their current roles after this season, though Coughlin's firing makes it clear Khan believes he was the root of the issue.