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Jaguars G.M. Gene Smith turned down contract extension

Gene Smith AP

We mentioned in late September that Jaguars G.M. Gene Smith was not under contract for next season, which was surprising and made us wonder what changes could be coming in Jacksonville.

Smith finally confirmed the story Wednesday and added that he turned down a contract extension.

“A contract was extended to me and I declined it,” Smith told Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union. “I did not think I deserved an extension based on the conditions. Our scouts and other employees weren’t being extended. I didn’t think I deserved it. However, I do appreciate that Wayne [Weaver] offered me one.”

Wow. It’s rare to see anyone turn down guaranteed money, especially in a position as tenuous as general manager. Smith’s decision not to extend himself beyond the rest of the team’s employees is both noble and confident. He must have felt secure he’d get a new contract eventually.

“What Gene [Smith] said is true, and I respect his position,” Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver said.

Smith stressed that he wants to keep working in Jacksonville.  He knows that’s not a guarantee after the team’s 2-6 start.

“I feel like I work for one of the best organizations. I’ve invested a good part of my life here, but I also realize transition is a way of life in the NFL,” Smith said.

We admire Smith’s decision to turn down a new deal and suspect he’ll survive even if coach Jack Del Rio is let go.

Still, we can’t can’t help but wonder if Smith has made it easier for Weaver to completely clean house at the end of the year.

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26 Responses to “Jaguars G.M. Gene Smith turned down contract extension”
  1. redbullenergydrink says: Nov 2, 2011 10:22 PM

    I wish I could just turn down millions of dollars like him.

  2. sports_dude says: Nov 2, 2011 10:27 PM

    You don’t find too many people like that these days.

  3. johnnyjagfan says: Nov 2, 2011 10:43 PM

    You probably can since you’re humpin’ for Red Bull.

  4. ar1888 says: Nov 2, 2011 10:44 PM

    Maybe he doesnt want to live in L.A.

  5. ishallcomment says: Nov 2, 2011 10:55 PM

    how is Del Rio still the HC?

  6. nooittall says: Nov 2, 2011 11:03 PM

    Gene Smith is the classiest, most stand up guy in the NFL. A genuine breath of fresh air considering the overabundance of scumbags that infest this league. One would hope that these self-serving, ego-centric, over-paid and underqualified phonies would sit up and take notice of how a real man behaves, but that is way too much to ask.

  7. negativeman89 says: Nov 2, 2011 11:22 PM

    Of course it’s quite possible that Gene Smith simply wants out of Jacksonville. He’s very highly thought of in NFL circles as a drafter, personnel manager, and person. Sounds like the owner is not allowing him to keep his own people, so heck… he might simply be looking for greener pastures elsewhere.

    I hope he finds them. Miami or Denver?

  8. charliewade says: Nov 2, 2011 11:54 PM

    Or the Jags simply low-balled him and he didn’t bite.

    Easy way for everyone to save face, but to get him to leave town.

  9. gmatguy says: Nov 3, 2011 12:00 AM

    Of course he refused a contract extension because of his performance…I don’t buy it. He should get just a $1 salary if he is so concerned. I worked for an NFL team in football operations and that is not the way it works. GMs usually kiss the owners feet when changes come (just look at Ireland with the Dolphins last year when Sparano was about to be fired). Thus, I dont believe it. He will be fired.

  10. realfootballfan says: Nov 3, 2011 12:02 AM

    Don’t worry, after that terrible Blaine Gabbert pick that should have never been made when you saw on coach’s film that he’s scared to get hit, you probably won’t be getting a second offer.

    At least he saved Wayne Weaver from himself this time as opposed to his ridiculous contract that he gave Jack Del Rio after their fluke 2007 season, which he’s still living down because he’s held on to the bum since then just to not pay such a loser not to work.

  11. damnskins703 says: Nov 3, 2011 12:26 AM

    Jags just move to LA already and get it over with

  12. rajbais says: Nov 3, 2011 12:33 AM

    When did struggling give you the privilege of having a contract extension????

  13. silkyjohnson937 says: Nov 3, 2011 12:39 AM

    Classy move by Smith, with that being said wtf was Weaver thinking? What has Smith done to deserve an extension? I’m thinking Weaver may not be the brightest owner, but with the way alot of these owners operate it makes me wonder how in the heck these owners made enough good moves in life to earn the chance to own an nfl franchise.

  14. maddenisfordorks says: Nov 3, 2011 12:50 AM

    I love the Jags –

    But holy crap I haven’t seen a functional offense there (sans 2007) since 1999.

    It CANT BE THAT HARD.

    I consider Gene to be a good GM, so I hope this works out and he can keep building what he is building.

  15. descendency says: Nov 3, 2011 1:35 AM

    He probably turned it down because he felt he could get more money elsewhere. Jacksonville isn’t exactly rolling in the money right now.

    And he probably was trying to protect his scouts and fellow office people. Gene Smith is widely respected as classy.

  16. tatum064 says: Nov 3, 2011 1:43 AM

    I think he’ll be taking the high road …out right over to Miami. If Ross was smart , he’d snap him up and leave the “glamour” pick to another franchise. Time might be right for Smith to lure Jeff Fisher, then they could build that team to last.

    A lot of times the candle that burns twice as bright (insert Gruden) burns half as long.

  17. seattlesuperchronic says: Nov 3, 2011 2:31 AM

    Respectable man, not used to hearing about good character.

  18. goatcheez says: Nov 3, 2011 3:53 AM

    One of the hardest working guys in the league actually. Went from a Scout to a GM in the same organization. That’s rare. He found some steals in Terrence Knighton, Derek Cox (check everyones stats choose before him in the 2009 draft), Mike Thomas, Rashad Jennings, Tyson Alualu now looks like a smart pick over people pressured him to take Tebow there. He’s had some bricks too don’t get me wrong, just like any GM has. But the guy knows what he’s doing. It’s more or less the coaching staff and lack of talent at the WR position (which could be solved by more creative coaching and teaching them how to actually run a route) holding that team back. Also the rookie QB never helps if he’s not NFL ready (Gabbert isn’t, youngest player in the league I believe)

  19. linvillegorge says: Nov 3, 2011 4:00 AM

    I don’t see this as being so noble. The guy wants to get the hell out of there. That’s tough to do if you’re signing a contract extension. He knows it’s tough to build a competitive team when you have an owner cheap skating.

  20. nationalmediacansuckit says: Nov 3, 2011 5:09 AM

    Turning down an extension b/c your peeps werent offered one. That is a very noble thing to do. Gotta give credit. I do believe Weaver has assured him he will be back though. He has revamped this defense from ranked 32 all last season to 7th this season. Defense is playing lights out. If he will spend this off season focused on offense, primarily WR, then this team will be very competive next year. Jury still out on Gene Smith as of right now.

  21. ramjam28 says: Nov 3, 2011 5:15 AM

    Its rare you hear of such humbleness in the nfl, last instance i recall was Randy Moss refusing to eat out in Minnesota buffets because he wasnt playing well..

  22. leopold332002 says: Nov 3, 2011 6:01 AM

    ar1888 says:Nov 2, 2011 10:44 PM

    Maybe he doesnt want to live in L.A.
    ———————————————-
    Hey dipstick, how many times you are going to say the same damn thing every time it’s Jaguars related articles. I don’t know who you root for as an nfl team but you must have an agenda to post the same idiotic things over and over again. Do us a favor and read our lease which i posted just for you thing come back with an orginal and creative thought if you’re capiable of doing it.

    http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/122902/jag_11340226.shtml

  23. borisbulldog says: Nov 3, 2011 6:20 AM

    Gene Smith is from Monroeville, OH, nuff said!

  24. seytonmanning says: Nov 3, 2011 6:57 AM

    He really would have been better off not saying anything since the rumour is more money and freedom is being offered by other teams.the question is how long will he wait till after he leaves until he announces he’s signed with a team that pretty much has already signed him.I’m not blaming him for the choice I just think it better he said nothing.people talk dude lots of people already know what’s going on.

  25. skoobyfl says: Nov 3, 2011 7:23 AM

    Good for him, I hope he has enough to live comfortable forever.

  26. macjacmccoy says: Nov 3, 2011 5:20 PM

    Hes probably trying to get him to sign for nothing. Weaver is as cheap as they come. Last year my Grand Father was his limo driver when he came to town for the Eagles Jaguars preseason game. He picked him up at the airport. Drove him where every he wanted and waited for him to come out. Then was told once the game started he had to stand in a certain spot on the sidelines and not move for the entire game until it was time to go. My Grand Pop is 70+ years old so thats hard for him but he still did it . Once the day was over my grandpop took him back to the airport and Weaver stiffed him. Didnt even give him a $1 tip. He asked him to go above and beyond what a driver is usually asked to do and gives him nothing for his trouble.

    Weaver is cheap bastard. Which makes it perfect that the franchise he owns is the jaguars. He deserves to be the owner of one of the worst franchises with one of the worst fan bases in pro sports. Nobody that cheep or greedy deserves to make money off of the average football fan and Im happy Jacksonville isnt letting him.

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