There's a lot of excitement in Jacksonville as the Jaguars continue putting pieces together around Urban Meyer. Still entrenched in interviews to figure out the best fits for his coaching staff, the looming question of who'd land the role of full-time general manager loomed. It appears that's now been answered, and the Jaguars are looking inward as opposed to outward, something that will surely please interim general manager Trent Baalke.
Baalke is expected to see his interim GM tag removed to take ownership of the role for the long term, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, with he and the Jaguars working to finalize terms on his new deal.
The 56-year-old had the inside track to landing the job, quite literally, having been promoted to interim GM following the firing of David Caldwell. Initially joining the Jaguars as director of player personnel in 2020, it's been a short road in Jacksonville to the role of full-time general manager, but a long road overall for Baalke to get to this point in his career. It's one that began as a personnel scout in 1998 with the New York Jets, from which he'd spend time with two other clubs before catching the attention of owner Shad Kahn last offseason.
His most notable stint was with the San Francisco 49ers, where he started as a western region scout (2005) before being promoted to director of player personnel, then vice president of player personnel, then general manager from 2011-2016. This provides another layer to Baalke signing on with Meyer, considering it was the former who engineered the 49ers split from head coach Jim Harbaugh, who then took the role at the University of Michigan -- the bitter rival of Ohio State University -- where Meyer is a legend who routinely beat up on Harbaugh's Wolverines before retiring from the collegiate ranks in 2018.
Some will view Meyer's decision here as one final dig at Harbaugh but, more importantly, the Jaguars view it as the right move for a franchise that desperately needs to climb out of the NFL basement.