Urban Meyer, Jaguars Reportedly in 'Advanced Talks' to Finalize HC Contract

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2021

Former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer watches during the second half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game between Ohio State and Wisconsin, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

The Jacksonville Jaguars are reportedly in "advanced talks" with former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer to fill their head coaching vacancy.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the update Thursday after the sides held another meeting Wednesday:

Michael Lombardi of The Athletic later reported the two sides are in agreement, but Schefter noted the deal is "not done yet."

Things have been trending toward Meyer landing with the Jags in recent weeks.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported Jan. 3 the Jacksonville job was Meyer's "if he wants it" and noted the longtime collegiate coach, who's spent the past couple years as a football analyst for Fox Sports, had already started contacting potential hires for his staff.

After multiple meetings with Jaguars' leadership, led by owner Shad Khan, the 56-year-old Ohio native is intrigued by taking on an NFL coaching job for the first time, per Schefter.

Meyer compiled a 187-32 record (.854 winning percentage) across 17 years as a head coach at the college level with Ohio State, Florida, Utah and Bowling Green. He led the Gators to a pair of national championships (2006 and 2008) and also won a title at OSU (2014).

He retired from the Buckeyes in 2018 citing health concerns, and he told Fox Sports' Colin Cowherd in December (via Nick Kosko of 247Sports) that would be part of the decision-making process if he was trying to decide whether to make a return to coaching:

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"To say I don't think about it, it's everyday. But it'd have to be the perfect, perfect situation and it'd have to be something that I was confident that the health issues I could overcome. Or at least prevent. So, I don't know. At this point, I think I'm done but I learned a long time ago...I left a job once where I planned on being there and then you get a call from a better opportunity. So, I think I'm done but I would never say, I'm never done."

Although the Jaguars are coming off a 1-15 season, they're in line to take Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, and they'll enter the offseason with a projected $77.3 million in available cap space, the most in the league.

It's a fresh slate that Meyer can mold to create a new culture in the coming years and, if Lawrence lives up to expectations, the Jags may trend toward title contention within just a few seasons.