The Jaguars fired embattled executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin on Wednesday, ending a two-year tenure marked by a sharp decline in on-field performance and accusations of player mismanagement.
Earlier this week, the NFL Players’ Association won an arbitration grievance against Jacksonville after Coughlin fined players not receiving offseason medical treatment at team facilities — a clear violation of collective bargaining agreement rules. As a result, the Jaguars were forced to pay players back, and Coughlin received criticism for alienating his team through unnecessary punishment.
The grievance case, which drew anti-Jacksonville comments from former players, added to a long list of problems during Coughlin’s reign. The Jaguars went from reaching the 2017 AFC championship game and boasting perhaps the best young defense in the league to consecutive losing seasons and numerous star departures. Defensive mainstays Jalen Ramsey and Dante Fowler left for the Rams via separate trades, likely contributing to the unit’s recent downturn.
MORE: NFL playoff picture
Minutes after Wednesday’s dismissal was announced, Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette tweeted an often-used blinking gif in cryptic fashion. Fournette was one of the players to win a grievance against the team.
RB Leonard Fournette confirms he won a grievance against Jaguars to get a $99K fine rescinded. Tom Coughlin fined Fournette for his actions (sitting on the bench while inactive) during the 2018 season finale
— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) December 18, 2019
Ramsey also weighed in — to an extent.
Jacksonville owner Shad Khan said he had planned to fire Coughlin at the end of the campaign, but that his mindset changed this week.
General manager Dave Caldwell and coach Doug Marrone will remain on staff for now, Khan said.
More Khan: “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.” https://t.co/7NcsCamAFR
— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) December 19, 2019