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When it comes to the future of the Jaguars, believe nothing

Wayne Weaver AP

Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver, after months if not years of flat denials that the team is for sale, is selling the team.  Amazingly, as Weaver continues his months if not years of flat denials that the team won’t move from Jacksonville, people actually believe him.

The most important point emerging from Tuesday’s frenetic events and developments regarding the Jaguars is that no one should accept at face value Weaver’s denial that the team will move, because Weaver has shown that his denial of a sale can’t be taken at face value.

Just this month, the franchise issued a statement that “Wayne Weaver is not selling the team.”

The fact that the agreement to sell the team contains no clause requiring Shahid Khan to keep the team in Jacksonville confirms that a move remains on the table.  It would have been easy for Weaver to make it harder for Khan to move the team.  Weaver, for example, could have insisted that the agreement contain a clause requiring Khan to pay a prohibitive amount of money to Weaver if Khan were to move the team before a specific date in the future.  But since such a clause surely would have reduced the purchase price paid to Weaver, Weaver likely opted not to insist on such a commitment.

Instead, the only thing keeping the team in place will be a stadium lease that runs through 2029, which can be abandoned if the team demonstrates three consecutive years of losses or proves that the city has failed to maintain the stadium.  Though plenty of folks in Jacksonville understandably cling to those terms as ensuring that the team won’t leave for nearly two decades at the earliest, everything is negotiable.  And since Khan won’t have to make a balloon payment of $100 million or more to Weaver if Khan leaves Jacksonville before some specific date in the future, Khan and/or the folks in L.A. who want to move a team there will be able to devote all available cash to procuring a release from the remaining terms of the lease.

Given that the Jaguars face an ongoing challenge when it comes to selling tickets, it was important for Weaver to keep his efforts to sell the team under wraps, until the team was sold.  For those same reasons, Khan will have to keep any efforts to move the team under wraps, until the team is moved.

And so, just as Weaver denied that the team was for sale while he worked behind the scenes to sell it, it would be naive to assume that Khan isn’t working behind the scenes to move the team, even if he continues to deny any intention to move it.

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50 Responses to “When it comes to the future of the Jaguars, believe nothing”
  1. BlackandGoldMNBruinsFan says: Nov 30, 2011 8:59 AM

    You should reach out to Sandy McArthur (one of the old owners with Weaver) who I’m pretty sure voted against selling the team, and shares your opinion that the Jaguars would most likely leave.

  2. spellingcops says: Nov 30, 2011 9:02 AM

    It’s not THAT big of a deal. The jag’s 5 fans could simply move with the team…

  3. reasonsimadrunk says: Nov 30, 2011 9:03 AM

    Semantics. “Is not selling the team” is just slightly different than “will not sell the team” or “does not want to sell the team”, therefore he wasn’t “lying” before. Technically…

  4. mrbigass says: Nov 30, 2011 9:04 AM

    Gone to LA. Money talks and Khan walks……

  5. emma333 says: Nov 30, 2011 9:07 AM

    This whole premise is incorrect..Mr Weaver was very honest with the people of Jacksonville. He is 77 years old with no heirs to follow….He always said he needed an exit strategy…He said he WOULDN’T sell the team…..but wait for it…unless he could find someone that was committed to staying in Jacksonville….given the lease he took Mr Kahn at his word.
    Now the ball is in Mr Kahn’s court. He may or may not deceive the people of Jacksonville, but Mr Weaver did not.

  6. greatminnesotasportsmind says: Nov 30, 2011 9:09 AM

    Hello LA!!

  7. ericjshelton says: Nov 30, 2011 9:10 AM

    Wayne has not denied that the team was for sale recently. Even in his press conference he said that there has always been an exit strategy, and he was open about that. He has stated on more then one occasion locally that he would sell the team at some point, but it would be to someone that would keep it here. Stop doing stupid press like this, its unprofessional. Yes, there is a chance that Kahn could move to LA, but Wayne hasnt been hiding the fact that he wanted to sell the team.

  8. ar1888 says: Nov 30, 2011 9:11 AM

    Jag fans cant cry about me mentioning L.A in the comments of this story.

  9. benh999 says: Nov 30, 2011 9:12 AM

    You do realize Weaver and Khan are two different people right?

  10. bigvinnyinjax says: Nov 30, 2011 9:13 AM

    I have been a Jaguar fan since 18 years ago today (it’s the anniversary of Jacksonville being awarded the franchise).

    I’ve never even entertained the LA talk before. Wouldn’t even debate it with those who insisted on bringing it up. Now I see it as an inevitability.

    Whatever half-truths Weaver told in the past 18 years, he was true to his word to never move the team. Now that the decision is out of his hands all bets are off.

    Sadly I’m already thinking about what team I’ll support when they move. And that breaks my heart.

  11. dcfan4life says: Nov 30, 2011 9:13 AM

    An LA based franchise should be in the top 5 in net worth within 5 years in the NFL. The Jaguars are bottom 5. Simple decision and if possible will be done.

  12. aljack88 says: Nov 30, 2011 9:13 AM

    Looks like another “Irsay / Modell” moment?

  13. swellbuilt says: Nov 30, 2011 9:14 AM

    It’s plain to see you have an agenda. Weaver has stated before that he would the sell the team at some point. He turned down 800 Million from another potential buyer who clearly had the intention to move the team. He went with Khan for 760 Million because they shared the same vision. Do you just handpick want you want to write a story?

  14. captainwisdom8888 says: Nov 30, 2011 9:14 AM

    Jags fans dont exist

  15. wrossi81 says: Nov 30, 2011 9:15 AM

    So once the Jaguars move to LA, is there a divisional realignment? Chiefs to AFC South, Jags to AFC West?

  16. mwcarolina says: Nov 30, 2011 9:15 AM

    i really hope this team does NOT move to LA as it would likely cause re-alignment

  17. wfrman says: Nov 30, 2011 9:17 AM

    Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!

  18. humbleminded85 says: Nov 30, 2011 9:17 AM

    Still wondering what the league and Paul Tagliabue was thinking when they decided that Jville was a better place than Baltimore for a franchise. Fandom can’t really be measured but the fine folks of Jville are not in the same league as the diehard Ravens in my opinion and I think the numbers would strongly back that opinion up.

  19. vinski1 says: Nov 30, 2011 9:20 AM

    Anything to perpetuate the negativity surrounding the Jaguars and Jacksonville.. Its incredible how lazy the reporting has become by the likes of King and Patrick, but its even more amazing how mean spirited the writers on this site are. It seems everyone here won’t be happy until the Jaguars have moved. Here’s to 100 years of misery for all of you..

  20. cakemixa says: Nov 30, 2011 9:21 AM

    You sound like a lawyer…

  21. clintonportisheadd says: Nov 30, 2011 9:23 AM

    Beautiful analysis Mr. F. The only thing missing was the inclusion of folks like Wilf who play the same game with the locals.

  22. knucklebucket says: Nov 30, 2011 9:26 AM

    Get ready for the LA Jaguars.

  23. kyleortonsarm says: Nov 30, 2011 9:26 AM

    I bet all 11 Jags fans are very nervous about all this.

  24. edgarpoe2 says: Nov 30, 2011 9:27 AM

    In the words of James T. Kirk:

    KHAN!!! KHAN!!!

  25. peytonwantsaflag says: Nov 30, 2011 9:27 AM

    If a city (LA) and the league wants this bad enough that contract means d ck.

  26. kaakwha says: Nov 30, 2011 9:32 AM

    Jacksonville should never have been awarded a franchise in the first place!

  27. musicman495 says: Nov 30, 2011 9:32 AM

    Khan and his business are based in Illinois. I say he is moving them to Joliet, where Elwood Blues will become coach.

  28. egetto says: Nov 30, 2011 9:33 AM

    That doesn’t sound like an apology for spreading false rumors the past 3 years…… the Jags will stay put and prove everyone associated with this site wrong for another 3 years.

  29. purpleman527 says: Nov 30, 2011 9:36 AM

    If Jacksonville goes to L.A., the AFC west will remain the same. Can’t see the league breaking that division up.

    My bet would be the LA Jags in the NFC West, with the Rams going to the AFC south.

  30. robigd says: Nov 30, 2011 9:37 AM

    For all of you people jumping to conclusions, Khan would be tied up in litigation for 4+ years if he wanted to move the team before the lease expires. Anybody think LA won’t have a team by then?

  31. nfl fan says: Nov 30, 2011 9:46 AM

    It’s Jacksonville, who cares?

    Just look at the lack of fan support for Miami and Tampa to determine what to expect.

  32. niubears says: Nov 30, 2011 9:47 AM

    They won’t be able to get out of the lease. Read Jason Coles article on yahoo. Get it thought your minds that this team isn’t leaving anytime soon.

  33. rwhyayen says: Nov 30, 2011 9:47 AM

    Just like how Clay Bennett said that he would make every effort to keep the Sonics in Seattle. Good luck, Jags fans, but it doesn’t look good.

  34. jagmania65 says: Nov 30, 2011 9:48 AM

    humbleminded85 says:
    Nov 30, 2011 9:17 AM
    Still wondering what the league and Paul Tagliabue was thinking when they decided that Jville was a better place than Baltimore for a franchise.

    ———————————————-
    I am always amazed by the revisionist history that Baltimorons trot out when talking about how Baltimore “deserved” a team instead of Jacksonville…

    Robert Irsay moved the Colts to Indianapolis after Maryland residents voted at referendum against building a new stadium to replace the decrepit Memorial Stadium. Irsay didn’t “steal” your team – you kicked them out. It was only after the Colts moved was that referendum item voted back out, and the wheels began to turn to replace the Colts in Baltimore.

    In 1993, when the NFL approved expanding the league by 2 teams, the finalists were Charlotte, Baltimore, Jacksonville, and St Louis. But when it came time to announce the cities, only one city was announced – Charlotte. That is because both Baltimore and St Louis did not get their proposal packages completed and to Paul Tagliabue on time. Wayne Weaver was livid because Jacksonville had their package in on time, and Baltimore and St Louis were going to be given a month’s extension. A month passed, and still neither Baltimore nor St Louis could get their packages to the NFL. So Tagliabue awarded the franchise to the one remaining city that did what the NFL required. So Baltimore “deserved” a team?

  35. zoxitic says: Nov 30, 2011 9:48 AM

    Couple of quick comments.

    1. If you’re using the KHAN! jokes, you are very late to the party. That one has been beaten to a pulp more than the tards who say….just sayin.

    2. Weaver has always been vocal that at some point he would sell the team. He also said, he would be sure it would be to someone he is confident will not move them out of Jacksonville. No deception there. Khan may eventually move the team, but he will do so by breaking his word to Weaver and to Jacksonville.

    3. I hope LA doesnt get any team. Not the Chargers, not the Bills, not the Raiders, not the Vikings or any other team. LA has proven more than once that they do not support football, no matter what they say.

    4. I would never root for a city to lose their team whether it’s mine or someone elses and people that do I believe are the bottom of the barrel including people who run this site.

    5. Jacksonville, the city, the fans, the team, the management, the ownership, will redeem itself.

  36. joe6606 says: Nov 30, 2011 9:55 AM

    Jax is a weird situation. To say no one goes to the games is just not accurate.

    Look at the stats, more people attended games in Jax than in Chicago last year, and almost more than in Pittsburgh.

    The problem obviously is that Chicago & Pitts could double the capacity of their stadiums, and still fill them, whereas Jax can’t fill its.

  37. spharrgcs says: Nov 30, 2011 10:04 AM

    This team needs to relocate to LA. Or England. On PTI yesterday Peter King said – “Don’t be surprised if they are one day called the London Shaguars. “

  38. kqole25 says: Nov 30, 2011 10:05 AM

    Please, please, please…..

    NO MORE JAGUAR ARTICLES!!!!!

  39. swagjag says: Nov 30, 2011 10:16 AM

    I sincerely question what the motivation would be for moving the team. Money? When you get to the multi-billion dollar mark, does money really motivate you that much? Don’t get me wrong. I am not naive enough to think it isn’t possible. But I also think of what the Jags could be like with an owner who is willing and able to throw some serious money into the team and possibly upgrading the stadium experience as Goodell has mentioned all teams should be looking into. The Jaguars fanbase is also very aware that if selling tickets continues to be an issue, their worst nightmare can in fact come true. Khan’s early actions will be the best barometer of his intentions.

    Even with this juicy new window of opportunity for the jackals that insist LA is a viable option for the NFL (despite historic evidence to the contrary), Jacksonville still isn’t one of the top three franchises that should be worried about such a fate. We’re just the easiest target thanks to knee-jerk journalists regurgitating the same old stories regardless of the facts.

  40. North American Bowl says: Nov 30, 2011 10:21 AM

    London or Los Angeles?

    I say London.

  41. jaxpat says: Nov 30, 2011 10:51 AM

    So will Khan buy the 9000 tickets left for the monday night game? Or is this city cool with having MNF blacked out. Stay classy Jville! I live here too. what a disgrace of football alleigance. Go Pats!

  42. killxswitch says: Nov 30, 2011 10:52 AM

    I don’t think Khan will move the team to LA. The group building the stadium in LA wants a portion of ownership in the team. I could see a 3 way deal though where the Rams move back to LA and the Jags move to STL. Khan is from Illinois and previously tried to buy the Rams.

  43. skullraider says: Nov 30, 2011 10:52 AM

    Straight up that would be a bad move. L.A. Is Raiders and Rams town!!! No other team will be accepted.

  44. nationalmediacansuckit says: Nov 30, 2011 11:07 AM

    Jax attendance 62, 173 same as Chicago, Minn, Detroit and Pittsburgh. Which is better attendance than Tampa, Miami, Arizona, Oakland, Cincinatti and St Louis.

    The one caveat is offense the Jaguar offense is so atrocious than all of these team and we have the same or better attendance than all above teams. Look people, you can continue to believe the doom and gloom you read and hear about Jax , but they know nor do they care. They are still writing storylines from a 2009 season.

    Where is the Raiders storyline about 83 blackouts since moving back to Oaland in 1995? Where is the Tampa storyline that they are putting 40K in the stands and having sold a game in 2 seasons. How about the Cardinals are yet again not selling out yet again just old times. Chargers, Miami, St Louis, Cincinatti with 49K per game. They are not discussed, b/c much easier to follow suite instead of being different.

  45. catman72 says: Nov 30, 2011 11:24 AM

    So 2 (3 if you count the Chargers) NFL teams have failed to thrive in LA and the Dodgers are bankrupt, but moving another team out there sounds like a good idea?

  46. Christian says: Nov 30, 2011 12:50 PM

    Hello, LA(rry).

  47. gabbertisthefuture11 says: Nov 30, 2011 3:52 PM

    And i quote, “I wanna be the first to bring a super bowl to Jacksonville-
    Shalid Khan

    Yep, he is definitely moving the team.

  48. fmwarner says: Nov 30, 2011 7:26 PM

    zoxitic says: Nov 30, 2011 9:48 AM

    4. I would never root for a city to lose their team whether it’s mine or someone elses and people that do I believe are the bottom of the barrel including people who run this site.
    ==================================

    No one is rooting for your team to leave. That’s not what this is about. This is about OBVIOUS signs that this is probably happening, and the astonishing choice by Jags fans to stick fingers in their ears and go “lalalalala I can’t hear you”. I understand you don’t want your team to leave. But that doesn’t make reporters and fans of other teams idiots for pointing out that it’s likely.

  49. stlouis81 says: Dec 4, 2011 1:05 AM

    No one is rooting for your team to leave. That’s not what this is about. This is about OBVIOUS signs that this is probably happening, and the astonishing choice by Jags fans to stick fingers in their ears and go “lalalalala I can’t hear you”. I understand you don’t want your team to leave. But that doesn’t make reporters and fans of other teams idiots for pointing out that it’s likely.

    =================================

    I’m not a Jaguar fan or even from Jacksonville and even I can tell that you and several people on this site are rooting for them to lose their team. What’s really astounding is that none of you even do your research on Jaguars or the city of Jacksonville and yet, you all shoot off your mouths like you’re experts on the subject.

    Here’s some things that I looked up:

    1. They have one of the largest stadiums in the NFL in one of the smallest markets in said league without the tarps at 76,000. With the tarps on, it’s 67,000 – which is the average size for an NFL team.

    2. Outside of 2009, the lowest season average I could find was just above 62,000 per game. I wish the Rams could claim this :(

    3. They have so many college teams around them, yet they STILL support a team that has been just average last decade. Again, I wish the other fans here in St. Louis would support our team through tough times like Jax fans do – and we have a Super Bowl win!

    4. I keep hearing a few go: “They have no history”. They don’t have a Super Bowl win, but how the hell does getting the biggest upset in playoff history in ’96, getting to the AFC championship twice, having the league’s best record in ’99, beating the Steelers twice at home in ’07 (one in the playoffs) come off as having no history? That’s more history than the Texans, who have ZERO playoff appearances (maybe one this year).

    Are they struggling to sell tickets? Yeah, they are, but then again, they are a losing squad. If anything, this proves that their fanbase has loyal fans if they are willing to actually go and see them. Miami has been buying their tickets back to get their game televised and they STILL can’t give those tickets away.

  50. egetto says: Dec 5, 2011 11:34 AM

    @stlouis – appreciate the rational thinking and fact finding, but it won’t work….I’ve tried. This site will continue with the Jags moving agenda and the mindless sheep that follow it will continue with the same stale negative posts.

    Dont worry – Going to be great energy tonight (probably 65K or so for a 3-8 team) Lots of renewed enthusiasm with a new owner who is committed to bringing a superbowl to jax. Its very simple – its a young team, its losing, which hurts attendance, but the roster is young and talented and the arrow is pointing up – add in a new owner who will infuse cash (free agents) will only grow the strong fan base here.

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