Urban Meyer criticizes free-agency process he utilized aggressively this week


Urban Meyer excelled as a college football coach in large part because he excelled as a recruiter. He’s not pleased that those skills of persuasion aren’t transferable to the NFL.

On Friday, Meyer complained about a frenetic free-agency process that hinges solely on throwing money at players once the so-called legal tapering period begins at noon ET on a Monday.

Yeah, that was awful,” Meyer said, via Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. “I don’t agree with it but no one asked my opinion.”

Not, they didn’t. Meyer sought employment in the NFL, where that’s just the way it is. And so he accepted that, along with anything/everything else about the NFL that he may or may not agree with. While he has the right to complain publicly and/or privately about anything he doesn’t like about the league, few will listen to him, at least for now.

“I guess in the old days you could bring them in and meet them, have dinner with them, you find out the football intellect, find out their character,” Meyer added regarding the way things used to be, before the 52-hour period for talking only to player agents.

Actually, in the old days, the same thing happened: The best deals were done quickly, based on money. Rarely, a star player (like Reggie White and Peyton Manning) could slam the brakes on the process without the process moving on without him. In most cases, any player who agrees to visit a team before either side makes a decision sees all of his other viable options evaporate.

The process forces both sides to move quickly, and it compels player and team to recite vows before even meeting. It has led to disasters that were largely unavoidable, like when the Texans signed quarterback Brock Osweiler sight unseen.

“I don’t believe it should be that way,” Meyer said. “Not when you’re making organizational decisions. I’m not sure how that rule came about but to me that’s not good business.”

That rule that Meyer thinks isn’t good for business didn’t keep Meyer from doing business that way. The Jaguars were very active when it came to signing new players.

And, of course, Meyer has now set up the excuse he’ll use publicly and/or privately in the event that those players fail. He can say that he wouldn’t have signed those players if he had a chance bring them in and meet them, have dinner with them, find out their football intellect, find out their character.

38 responses to “Urban Meyer criticizes free-agency process he utilized aggressively this week

  1. Not a good sign, maybe he should go back to college where he can leverage being at a top program over all the lesser programs to his advantage.

  2. Welcome to the NFL Urban! You have your work cut out for you….trying to resurrect a 1 win team.

  3. “It has led to disasters that were largely unavoidable, like when the Texans signed quarterback Brock Osweiler sight unseen.”

    There was nothing preventing the Texans and Osweiler from meeting and at the time plenty of people called them out for that move. And if memory serves not only did they not meet him face-to-face a lot of key people never even spoke to him on the phone prior to his being signed.

  4. This is already shaping up to be a terrible administration for the Jags. He’s a square peg and the NFL as we all know is a round hole.

  5. Did Urban Meyer really complain about not being able to meet these free agents to see what type of character they have? Wow

  6. I guess Jags fans are at least hoping…when Urban Meyer “prematurely retires” AGAIN in 4-5 yrs,that he will leave Jacksonville a contender.

  7. If he doesn’t like FA when he has all the cap space in the world… just wait a couple years when they have to worry about the cap. And this pity party alone points to why Meyer is going to fail in the NFL.

    He’s spoiled and used to getting the top prospects to interview for him with total control over the roster with the players having zero power. In the NFL where players are going to making more than him… his authoritarian schtick isn’t going to work and the locker room is going to turn on him.

    Past that, he is used to the city and its media kissing his rear… it’s not going to go that way for him in the NFL. I see this ending as badly as Spurrier and Petrino.

  8. Maybe if you did your due diligence on the NFL you would have known ahead of time how it operates and not feel the need to complain already.

  9. Since it is the system in place he has to use it. Doesn’t mean he has to like it and can’t talk about it’s failures.

  10. In college you can recruit a player and Meyer got more than his fair share because of the media attention paid to Florida and Ohio State. In the NFL, free agency is the way to recruit a player along with having the cap space to be able to do it. Meyer like one, but doesn’t like the other? Maybe it was the under the table Alumni payments he like in college that you can do in the NFL!

  11. It’s best that FA can’t meet Urban first to assess his character so he should be happy about that.

  12. This is getting ugly very fast Urb. Welcome to the NFL! this isnt college kids anymore.

  13. Not surprising. The guy has been in a system where the talent did not get paid and traded labor for food, board, and facilities that make that labor more productive. In urban reality, only management gets paid.

  14. Nick Saban figured this out pretty quick into his first season with Miami. Word of advice Urban: don’t dismiss the next Drew Brees because you think something is up with his shoulder.

  15. I almost never root for someone to fail at their job.

    But Urb in the NFL is my exception.

  16. He’s upset that players aren’t running to get in line to play for him?

  17. Urban Meyer’s Ohio State teams lost a fair number of games to teams that they shouldn’t have lost to. Always made me think, that while he was a great recruiter, he’s not that great of a football coach. In the NFL, he’s not going to have more talent than everyone else.

  18. Uh oh somebody get a pillow because Urban might have to lay down soon from another migraine headache.

  19. The best college teams recruit the best players. The top school could conceivably sign 6 out of the top ten players nationally. The NFL is the opposite. The best teams pick last in the draft every round. You basically pick from the leftovers. Great college coaches are able to recruit. Great NFL coaches have to rely on their personnel departments. Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier succeeded in college, but not pro, but neither had a HOF QB. Jimmy Johnson is more similar to Urban Meyer. Jimmy had the number one pick the year Troy Aikman was coming out of college, and Meyer will be picking a likely HOF QB, Trevor Lawrence. In the NFL, the QB is 90% of the battle, so Urban’s success should be more like Jimmy’s. He should win, and win big with Lawrence at QB. He’s competitive and he’s looking for every advantage, so he’s just squawking so nobody takes his team seriously this year, even though he thinks he can compete for the super bowl year one. He’s acting like a poor man, even though he’s feeling rich. I hear ya Urban. But I ain’t buying.

  20. This process applies to all teams so it is a level playing field. Would be different if the rules were different for the Jaguara but they are not. That said, Meyer has been successful every where he has been and I believe he will find a way to win with the Jaguars.

  21. dejadoh says:
    March 21, 2021 at 3:37 pm
    It’s not college, Urban. The players make more money than the coaches.


    This was true at Ohio State, as well.

  22. To feel that warm thrill of confusion,
    That space cadet glow.
    I’ve got some bad news for you sunshine,
    Pink isn’t well, he stayed back at the hotel
    And they sent us along as a surrogate band
    We’re gonna find out where you fans* really stand. The Wall, (In The Flesh)
    Feel sorry for Jags fans.

    This is big boy time now junior. This is the way things work in Big Boy Town.

  23. Well urb maybe your not cut out for making organizational decisions. After all you are the guys that started i dont even know how many useless quarterbacks over joe burrow

  24. I mean he isn’t wrong. It would probably be a lot better for players and teams if more time was spent talking with them, meeting with them, seeing if there is a good mutual fit. Rather than the only conversations being with the agents and therefore just about money.

  25. Urban Meyer hates the idea of an even playing field. He’s sad because the system isn’t stacked in his favor.

  26. I agree with him, if your spending that kind of cash I want to meet them, talk, get to know who I’m hiring

  27. You can tell he is a rookie coach. This wont be a problem for him in a few years because weather you draft them or not you get a chance to know players before they even get to be free agents as they come into the league. Combine interviews working with kids at the senior bowl. Its the perks of being a veteran coach.

  28. You can tell he is a rookie coach. This wont be a problem for him in a few years because weather you draft them or not you get a chance to know players before they even get to be free agents as they come into the league. Combine interviews working with kids at the senior bowl going to pro days. Its the perks of being a veteran coach.

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