The Jaguars are indeed relocating, but just for one home game per year starting in 2013. Owner Shad Khan and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed the news at a press conference held in Jacksonville on Tuesday afternoon.
It's a four-year deal that will have the Jaguars playing one of their home games each season in London's Wembley Stadium. The opponents are unknown at this point, but they are unlikely to be division foes.
The NFL has played five regular-season games in London. The St. Louis Rams and New England Patriots are scheduled to play there this season on Oct. 28.
"The Jacksonville Jaguars will be a bold and ambitious NFL franchise," Khan said via a live stream of the press conference. "This is a priceless opportunity to share the business, tourism and lifestyle story of Jacksonville with international audiences."
Goodell said he has full confidence in the Jaguars as an organization, and appreciates the leadership the franchise is showing in expanding the NFL internationally.
"It was important to find a franchise that would wrap its arms around playing in London," he said."This is a win-win situation."
How does the city of Jacksonville feel about it? The Jaguars have been among the worst teams in the league in attendance over the past decade, but the city's mayor, Alvin Brown, released this statement to the Jacksonville Daily Record:
“We are excited for the Jacksonville Jaguars and the NFL in their pursuit to expand the game globally. We support these efforts and look forward to working with the Jaguars to ensure success in this venture. This will also serve as a major building block to expose the city of Jacksonville as a destination on all global fronts. We intend to use the Jacksonville name, in conjunction with the Jaguars, to help expand our opportunities for business investment and create larger economic success for our great city.”
It's a bold move by Khan. Former owner Wayne Weaver avoided this option with the fear that fans would perceive it as a step towards moving the team out of the city.
At least initially, the players have had a mostly positive reaction to the news. Veterans CB Rashean Mathis, DT Terrance Knighton and DE Jeremy Mincey were among the players who spoke out in favor of the news on Tuesday.
"I think it will be a great experience," Mincey told the team's official website. "I think it will bring a lot of hype to our team and a lot of hype to our city. I'm sure the British will pick up on what we're doing out there."
For more news and analysis of the Jaguars, follow Daniel Lewis @CBSSportsNFLJAC