Even if they’re genuinely interested in him, Urban Meyer is using the Chargers as leverage against the Jaguars.
As Urban Meyer has surfaced as a candidate for NFL head coaching jobs, the Jacksonville Jaguars have felt inevitable right up to his reportedly telling people that’s where he expects to land. But the Los Angeles Chargers are reported to have some interest too, and on the heels of Meyer meeting with the Jaguars Friday the plot has thickened a little.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Meyer has told associates he has a “strong possibility” to coach the Chargers. The veracity of that sentiment is being questioned, per La Canfora, but Meyer was a guest of the team at some games at their old home stadium in Carson, California. That apparently qualifies as ties to owner Dean Spanos in this context.
The biggest issue with the Chargers and Meyer would seem to be the control Meyer would demand. General manager Tom Telesco is not going anywhere, even as he hires his third head coach. The Jaguars, on the other hand, don’t currently have a general manager as owner Shad Khan takes the lead in their coaching search. Khan and Meyer have reportedly been in contact for weeks.
The Chargers are being used by Urban Meyer
A report from Pro Football Talk that Meyer wants $12 million per year was sort of refuted by NFL Media. It’s not really a question of whether he’s worth it or not. But if Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule is worth $9 million a year (as has been reported), Meyer can reasonably ask for more based on a better on-field record at a higher level of college football.
Rather than skirt the Rooney Rule, and any other rules of pure due diligence in their coaching search, the Jaguars interviewed candidates besides Meyer over the course of the past week. That was certainly a bruise to his ego, so he’s making sure it’s out there another team is interested. Make no mistake, the Chargers are being used in a leverage play. Hopefully they know it, and even if they ultimately give Meyer everything he wants the Jaguars also realize the game that’s being played.