JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars have hired Atlanta director of player personnel and Buffalo native David Caldwell as general manager, charging him with turning around one of the league’s worst teams.
The St. Francis High School product’s first move will be deciding the fate of coach Mike Mularkey.
Owner Shad Khan tabbed the 38-year-old Caldwell on Tuesday, a day after a third interview. FoxSports.com first reported that the Jaguars had reached an agreement with Caldwell. A formal news conference is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
“We got our man,” Khan said in a statement. “I have a lot of faith in David Caldwell and I can assure our fans that the best days for the Jacksonville Jaguars are in front of us.”
Added Caldwell, who chose the Jaguars over the New York Jets: “I am thrilled to accept the offer to become the next general manager of the Jacksonville Jaguars. There are no bad GM opportunities in the NFL, but to work on behalf of a dynamic owner in a rabid football city like Jacksonville is truly special. This is where I wanted to be and I could not be happier. I can’t wait to get to Jacksonville and get started.”
Caldwell’s first task will be to make a decision on Mularkey, who went 2-14 in his first season in Jacksonville and has lost 20 of his last 23 games as a head coach.
Khan gave Mularkey’s assistants permission to search for other jobs last week, an indication that he doesn’t expect to retain Mularkey or his staff.
Then again, Caldwell and Mularkey have a relationship stemming from their four years together in Atlanta.
Caldwell was part of an Atlanta front office that drafted quarterback Matt Ryan, linebackers Curtis Lofton and Sean Witherspoon, offensive tackle Sam Baker, safety William Moore, receiver Julio Jones and running back Jacquizz Rodgers.
He doesn’t inherit as much talent in Jacksonville, but the Jaguars have the No. 2 pick in April’s draft.
Around the league
• Jets coach Rex Ryan confirmed offensive coordinator Tony Sparano and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh have been fired.
• Arizona has chosen to stay in-house with the promotion of Steve Keim, 40, to general manager as the search for a new head coach goes on.
• The Cowboys fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan after his injury-depleted unit struggled in a pair of season-ending losses that extended Dallas’ postseason drought to three seasons.
• Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III is having surgery today on a torn ligament in his right knee – and to see if there’s a second ligament that also needs to be repaired.