The Jaguars fired former coach Urban Meyer for cause early on Thursday, per a report from ESPN — meaning the organization intends to withhold the remainder of his five-year contract, estimated to be valued between $10 million and $12 million annually.
According to sources close to the situation, Jacksonville did not fire Meyer for any one incident (his firing occurred shortly after former All-Pro kicker Josh Lambo alleged he kicked him during warmups). Rather, it was a culmination of several issues that occurred both on and off the field, including before the start of the season.
A spokesman speaking on behalf of Jaguars owner Shad Khan told the Associated Press on Friday that the decision to fire Meyer was made following the Jaguars’ 20-0 shutout loss to the Titans on Sunday. Per the AP, Khan had a postgame meeting with Meyer in the locker room in which the coach had few answers as to how to fix the team’s problems.
That said, Khan wanted to wait until meetings later in the week to announce Meyer’s firing.
“It was determined to wait until the conclusion of previously scheduled appointments that week to make the announcement,” spokesman Jim Woodcock told the AP. “Those appointments included an employee staff luncheon and meeting with Jacksonville media, both to recognize the 10th anniversary of Shad’s purchase of the Jaguars, on Monday as well as NFL meetings in Dallas on Dec. 14 and 15.”
Meyer’s firing ends the Jaguars’ disastrous and embarrassing experiment, one that not only saw Meyer fail on the field (the Jaguars went 2-11 under his leadership) but also suffer embarrassing off-field controversies.
That started before the season even began when Meyer hired former Iowa strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle, who was let go at Iowa after he faced allegations of racist and abusive behavior. Doyle officially “resigned” just days after he was announced as part of Meyer’s staff. Other issues include the Tim Tebow tight end saga; offseason workout violations; a video showing him dancing with a woman in an Ohio bar; allegations he called his coaching staff losers; and allegations of kicking Lambo.
That doesn’t even include head-scratching on-field decisions, which include the botched development of No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence, benching James Robinson over a lost fumble and mistakenly claiming rookie safety Andre Cisco played in a game in which he had zero defensive snaps.
Jaguars offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will serve as interim coach following Meyer’s dismissal.