Fire Jack Del Rio, who has the Jaguars at 3-8 in his ninth season as coach, and who had made the playoffs twice and won only one postseason game, and install the defensive coordinator Mel Tucker as the interim coach? Check.
Extend the contract of General Manager Gene Smith, who drafted the rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert, whom Del Rio benched in Sunday’s loss to the Texans? Check.
And make the stunning announcement that Weaver, the founding owner of the 17-year-old franchise, had sold it to an auto-parts mogul who was born in Pakistan and had previously tried to buy the St. Louis Rams? Done.
The Jaguars, in the most tumultuous day for the franchise since it was formed in 1995, recast their future and, at least for now, removed the possibility that they would move to Los Angeles, which hopes to lure at least one team to a new stadium that has yet to be built.
Weaver had long maintained publicly that he would not sell the team, which struggled to fill its stadium and which repeatedly avoided local television blackouts only with the help of tarps covering large swaths of seats. But on Tuesday, Weaver sold the Jaguars to , who emigrated from Pakistan as a teenager, made his fortune in an Illinois-based auto parts company called and had tried to buy the Rams last year before Stan Kroenke exercised his right to match his offer. Khan has pledged to keep the Jaguars in Jacksonville.
Forbes magazine recently listed the Jaguars as the least valuable N.F.L. team, at $725 million. The magazine reported Tuesday that Khan paid $760 million for the franchise.
Weaver said Commissioner Roger Goodell supported the sale, an indication that concerns about Khan’s financial and tax situation, raised during his pursuit of the Rams, had been resolved and that the sale would probably be approved by owners.
“This gentleman is absolutely the American story,” Weaver said of Khan, 61.
Weaver, who became emotional when discussing the deal, also sought to temper speculation that the team’s sale might mean it would soon be moving. Weaver said Khan first inquired about a minority interest in the Jaguars five years ago and came back a year ago seeking to buy the team. Weaver said his criteria for a new owner was to find someone whose passion for football in Jacksonville matched his. With the Jaguars apparently staying put, the San Diego Chargers, who are seeking a new stadium, are now the most likely team to move to Los Angeles.
“If the proposed transaction is approved in the weeks ahead, I will responsibly and enthusiastically serve the N.F.L., the Jacksonville Jaguars and their great fans, and I will be fully committed to delivering Jacksonville its first championship,” Khan said in a statement. “This is a franchise with tons of potential, playing in a community that is passionate about football and loves to win. I can’t think of a better place to be.”
Weaver said Khan, who was not at the news conference but was expected to attend Jacksonville’s Monday night game against the San Diego Chargers next week, was going to buy a home and spend time in the Jacksonville area, although he would allow the existing management team to run the team on a day-to-day basis.
“This is a team that will be in Jacksonville for many years into the future,” Weaver said.
Still, the sports landscape is dotted with owners who said they were committed to one city only to move to another, and Khan’s actions will be closely scrutinized as long as Los Angeles remains without a team.
Khan will have to make a huge decision almost immediately: hiring a new coach. Del Rio was the first N.F.L. coach to be fired this season, and while the move was expected, Weaver acknowledged that the timing was awkward because of the concurrent announcement of the team’s sale. Weaver said he spoke with Del Rio on Tuesday morning.
“I said ‘We deserve better, the community deserves better,’ ” Weaver said. “We’ve been very average over the last few years. This team is not far away from being a very competitive football team.
SUH APPEALS SUSPENSION A few weeks ago, Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said that he would worry about his reputation for being a dirty player only if his family, friends or teammates told him he was crossing the line. On Tuesday, the N.F.L. did. The league suspended Suh for two games without pay after he stomped on the arm of Green Bay guard Evan Dietrich-Smith and shoved his helmet into the ground during a loss to the Packers on Thanksgiving.
Suh was ejected, and immediately after the game he insisted that he did not intentionally step on Dietrich-Smith. But a day later, after the Lions condemned Suh’s actions, Suh issued an apology on his Facebook page.
Suh is appealing the suspension, and the N.F.L. said it would hold an expedited hearing before this weekend’s games. It will be heard by Ted Cottrell, a former assistant coach, and the former Raiders coach Art Shell. If Suh’s suspension is upheld, he will miss games against New Orleans and Minnesota.
COLTS MAKE CHANGES Indianapolis fired its defensive coordinator, Larry Coyer, and announced that quarterback would make his first N.F.L. start since 2008. The changes came after the Colts dropped to 0-11 for the first time since 1986.
Coach Jim Caldwell said the decision about Coyer was made to “improve communication and production.” The linebackers coach Mike Murphy will take over the defense. Orlovsky will replace Curtis Painter. Orlovsky has started seven games in his career, for Detroit when it went 0-16 in 2008. (AP)
TEXANS SIGN DELHOMME Jake Delhomme’s agent said his client had signed with the Houston Texans and would back up the rookie quarterback T. J. Yates. (AP)