5 options to replace Jags GM Trent Baalke with if fired

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·8 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Kansas City Chiefs
    Kansas City Chiefs
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Trent Baalke
    American football executive
  • John Dorsey
    American football player and executive

The Jacksonville Jaguars fired coach Urban Meyer over a week ago, ending his NFL tenure with the team just 13 games in. A big reason for that was because of the treatment of his players and staff members in addition to other off-the-field incidents throughout the season.

With Meyer out of the picture, now all eyes are on general manager Trent Baalke, who remains with the team but has played a key part in a poorly constructed roster, too. Additionally, it seems like the right move for the Jags is to conduct a full reset, and not take a half-measure approach as they’ve done in the past.

So, in other words, it wouldn’t be shocking if the Jags hire a new general manager in the next few weeks. Here are some names they should consider to get the team on the right path.

Chiefs assistant general manager -- Mike Borgonzi

Dec 22, 2019; Chicago, Illinois, USA; A detailed view of a Kansas City Chiefs helmet against the Chicago Bears during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Borgonzi was a name that gained steam last season, but with him remaining with Kansas City, he received a promotion this offseason and was named assistant general manager under Brett Veach. Simply put, that means it won’t be long before he’s named a general manager and is leading his own front office as the Chiefs’ organization has been a hot spot to find front-office leaders.

Borgonzi has been with the Chiefs since 2009, starting his career as a college scouting administrator with them and climbing his way up from there. He’s worked under Veach, John Dorsey, and Scott Pioli in the process, all of whom are very respected in the scouting community.

Looking at the Chiefs’ history with Borgonzi, the bottom line is that they’ve acquired a franchise quarterback in Patrick Mahomes and have provided weapons for him like Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, both of whom were selected outside of the top-2 rounds. Additionally, the Chiefs have shown the willingness to make veteran trades to help themselves in areas of need as seen with defensive end Frank Clark and offensive tackle Orlando Brown.

That should stand out on Borgonzi’s résumé if interviewed by the Jags as they will need a more aggressive style than Baalke’s. And while Borgonzi would be a first-time general manager, learning from Veach, Dorsey, and Pioli in the past should aid him in terms of getting off to a fast start.

Kansas City Chiefs executive director of player personnel -- Ryan Poles

Oct 10, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; A general view of the Super Bowl logo on the player tunnel before the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Just like Borgonzi, Ryan Poles has been with the Chiefs for 12 years, which means he must be doing something right as the team has had three general manager changes in that time. Additionally, Poles’ name has been pretty popular the last few offseasons, and ESPN’s Field Yates even has called him “one of the smartest young personnel minds around.”

Poles has a largely collegiate scouting background with the Chiefs, serving as their scouting assistant during his first four years with the team. Afterward, he received promotions to become their college scouting coordinator (2010-2016), director of college scouting (2016-2018), assistant director of player personnel (2018-2021), and executive director of player personnel (2021-present).

Throughout his time in Kansas City, Poles (and Borgonzi) have seen the team select notables like Justin Houston, Rodney Hudson, Eric Fisher, Marcus Peters, and Chris Jones, in addition to the names we’ve already mentioned like Mahomes, Kelce, and Hill. He seems to have come close to landing a job last season after interviewing twice with the Carolina Panthers, so maybe 2022 will be his year.

Colts assistant general manager -- Ed Dodds

Dec 13, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Detailed view of an Indianapolis Colts helmet against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

When Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard took his present job, he snagged Ed Dodds from the Seattle Seahawks front office and made him his vice president of player personnel. The reason for that was because Ballard had a great deal of respect for Dodds and his scouting ability, and knew he would make a good lieutenant.

Fast-forward to present day, and Dodds is now the assistant general manager whose input seems to be greatly valued by Ballard. While under Ballard and Dodds, the Colts organization has drafted names like Quenton Nelson, Darius Leonard, and Jonathan Taylor, to name a few. They’ve also made notable trades to bolster the roster like the acquisitions of defensive lineman DeForest Buckner and quarterback Carson Wentz.

Dodds is a candidate who seems more than fine with waiting on the right opportunity to present itself, and Lawrence could give him that feeling. However, there may be some things that could turn the Jags away from him, like the fact that he’s been described as an intense, no-nonsense type of guy. Understandably, with the Jags’ recent history with Meyer (who was hard on his staff) and Tom Coughlin, that could scare them away. But that’s not to say that Dodds would bring the same energy because this approach can definitely be taken in a healthy way.

At the end of the day, Dodds’ scouting ability and experience under both the Seahawks and Colts makes him more than qualified to be the Jags next general manager. But he’s likely a candidate who’d need to like what the owner is selling since he has a good thing going in Indy that he doesn’t necessarily have to leave.

Ravens Director of Player Personnel -- Joe Hortiz

Apr 26, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens safety Matt Elam (center) is introduced to the media with (from left to right) national scout Joe Hortiz , head coach John Harbaugh , general manager Ozzie Newsome and director of college scouting Eric DeCosta at the Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY SportsContinuing with the theme of finding someone with the scouting background to turn the Jags around, there aren’t many candidates fans will find with more experience than Baltimore Ravens Director of Player Personnel Joe Hortiz. He’s been with the Ravens since 1998 when he joined them as a personnel assistant, which means he was with the organization through all of Ozzie Newsome’s run as general manager and was there before Newsome was named general manager, too.

Throughout his journey with the Ravens, Hortiz has held many titles ranging from regional to national scout, eventually becoming the director of college scouting before earning his present title. All along the way, he’s witnessed the Ravens win two Super Bowl titles in 2001 and 2013.

Dating back to his days as a national scout, Hortiz has been a part of a front office that has brought in names like Haloti Ngata, Joe Flacco, Jimmy Smith, Lamar Jackson, Orlando Brown, Mark Andrews, and many others. For that reason, it feels like his impact could be felt immediately for a roster as talent deprived as the Jags’. The job of building a foundation around Lawrence couldn’t go to a more qualified person.

Patriots Consultant -- Eliot Wolf

FILE – In this April 28, 2016, file photo, Green Bay Packers’ Eliot Wolf, director of football operations, makes a phone call inside the war room during the 2016 NFL Football draft at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. New Browns general manager John Dorsey has added former Green Bay executive Eliot Wolf and Alonzo Highsmith to his revamped front office. Wolf interviewed on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, with Dorsey, who came to Cleveland last month after Browns owner Jimmy Haslam fired vice president Sashi Brown. (Evan Siegle/The Green Bay Press-Gazette via AP, File)

With the Jags having a great deal of respect for Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization, Eliot Wolf, who has been a front office consultant for them the last two seasons, is a name to watch. Team building is literally in his blood as he is the son of Ron Wolf, a Hall-of-Fame general manager.

Most of Wolf’s experience came with the Green Bay Packers (mostly on the pro personnel side) as he held several roles with the team from 2004-17. Now, he’s with a front office that’s building a new-look Patriots team set to make the playoffs after an aggressive 2021 free-agency push. This season, they signed notables Mattew Judon and Hunter Henry, to name a few (something the Jags needed).

Wolf also has experience as an assistant general manager with the Cleveland Browns (2018-19), so he is trending towards running his own front office. However, a key factor with him that the Jags will need to consider is how much experience he’s had with college scouting.

1

1