As decided by most of my Twitter timeline, today is possibly the biggest day in Jacksonville since they became a franchise. With the announcement of Jack Del Rio being dismissed from his head coaching duties, came the news that the owner Wayne Weaver would be selling the team.
There has been speculation for years that Wayne Weaver would sell the team. Most NFL speculated that the Jaguars would be moved to LA. However, Weaver has stated on multiple occasions that he was planning an “exit strategy” but would not sell to anyone that did not share his “vision”.
Weaver discussed that today was a bittersweet day for him. He knew it was coming since he is 77 years old & worked his entire life. While he has loved being a part of the Jaguars organization for the last 18 years, he looks forward to being able to go as he pleases & spend more time with his family.
When asked if he still planned to be around, he said only at the new owners request. But then he added that he has two house in Jacksonville, wouldn’t be leaving the area & plans to be their biggest cheerleader. Move over Jaxson De Ville.
So who is the mystery man that Weaver has put all his trust into? His name is Shahid Khan. A Pakistan native, that moved to the US to pursue his dreams. As Wayne Weaver put it, his story is the true American Dream. After attending the University of Illinois for Engineering, a degree that he paid for him self, he started working at Flex-N-Gate.
Soon enough, with the help of a small business loan & some personal funds he managed to buy Flex-N-Gate & turn it into a worldwide corporation. His company currently employs over 10,000 people at 48 manufacturing plants in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Spain and Argentina, with annual sales exceeding $3 billion.
How did Khan convince Weaver he is the one to buy the team? Well as Weaver put it, he simply put “his trust in human nature”. Weaver believes that Khan has “a true passion” for Jacksonville football. When asked about a contract to keep the team in Jacksonville Weaver stated that no such thing existed but he was not worried. He truly believes that Khan shares his vision & has no desire to move the team.
Khan will take over as the new owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars as soon as the deal is finalized on January 4th. Until then Wayne Weaver will have full control & make all decisions based on the best interest of the team. He will even start the list of potential head coaches for next season.
Weaver said that they will start to compile the list of both high & low profile coaches. They are interested in big name coaches that already have won championships, as well as newbies that are ready for their big break into a successful coach. Mel Tucker will also receive an opportunity to interview for the position.
After being asked about his decision to fire Jack Del Rio, Weaver stated that he could have done it last week but wanted to wait until the sale of the team was a done deal. He didn’t want to fire the head coach one week & sell the team the next.
He also said that he loves the Jaguars fans passion but they did not influence his final decision. Weaver added that “people must be held accountable for what they have achieved” & that is why he decided to let Del Rio go.
Another question addressed during the press conference was if today’s decisions will affect the potential blackouts toward the end of the season. With 3 home games left, Weaver said it will be up to the community. There are still a lot of tickets left but he believes if the community stands behind their team it shouldn’t be an issue.
That’s not the only thing Weaver wants the community to support… He stated during the press conference that “he still believes that Blaine Gabbert will be an outstanding quarterback. He will lead this team to a championship.”
The press conference will continue at 1:00pm with Gene Smith & Mel Tucker.