A few years ago, it looked like the Jacksonville Jaguars were on their way up. They had an insanely good defense, a new bruiser of a running back in Leonard Fournette, and there was still hope for the future of Blake Bortles. Fast forward a few years, and that stellar defense has been dismantled, Blake Bortles is mercifully gone, and Fournette cut.
With the moves the franchise has made (cutting Fournette, trading Yannick Ngakoue, etc.) and the ones it failed to make (i.e., drafting a quarterback), it is not hard to figure out what the Jags are doing.
They are tanking for Trevor Lawrence. But there is speculation that they could land more than the Clemson quarterback if they tank– maybe the Clemson head coach, as well?
His name has come up in NFL head coaching searches in the past. But he has never been a serious candidate. However, it is not something he has ruled out. He said as much in an interview with a local paper three years ago:
I’m very happy where I am, and I’m very happy coaching college football. The great thing about college players is a chance to really build young men, on and off the field. But the NFL is great. I love the NFL. I would never say never. But right now, I’m a college coach.
He didn’t slam the door shut, which means the thought will be open for discussion whenever people talk about future NFL head coaches. Former NFL general manager Mike Tannebaum recently talked about a scenario where Sweeney could head to Jacksonville:
As crazy as the idea may sound, it has merit. On the one hand, the Jaguars are a mess. Sweeney would have his hands full trying to turn around that organization. But with ten picks in the 2021 Draft (four in the first two rounds), he could get the rebuild off to a good start next season.
With Trevor Lawrence as his franchise quarterback, at least his offense will be in good hands.
The only way Swinney should even consider the idea is if the Jacksonville Jaguars do a great job of tanking, and they do have the No. 1 pick in the draft next year. That way, he knows he can get a franchise quarterback. But when he weighs the pros and cons, he’ll realize the idea is ludicrous.
Clemson loves him. The people in that part of the country love him. With what he has built the program into, the best recruits in the nation come to him. Then there’s his paycheck (currently $9.3 million a year ). No NFL team is going to match that for a first-year NFL coach.
Also, with things going so well for him in the college ranks right now, why on Earth would he leave?
It’s a nice thought for fans of the Jaguars and a plausible enough scenario to make for intriguing speculation. But it isn’t going to happen.