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Dante Fowler’s misdemeanor charges could bring NFL discipline

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Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire

The July arrest of Jaguars defensive lineman Dante Fowler will not be going away anytime soon, and trouble with the NFL could be on the horizon, too.

NFL.com reported first on Monday, that the State Attorneys office in Pinellas County has decided to move forward with three misdemeanor charges stemming from Fowler’s July 18th arrest in St. Petersburg. Fowler was formally charged August 10th with battery, criminal mischief and petit theft stemming from an altercation.

Witnesses to that altercation say that Fowler became physical with a man who had yelled at him for recklessly speeding through an apartment complex parking lot. It’s then alleged that Fowler not only punched the individual, but stomped his glasses and then threw the man’s groceries, including wine bottles into a nearby retention pond.

Fowler spoke briefly about the incident in general terms at the beginning of training camp, apologizing for causing embarrassment to Jaguar organization. He said at that time that he had the backing of new football operations boss, Tom Coughlin and coach Doug Marrone.

The real question becomes not only the legal trouble, but will the NFL now possibly suspend Fowler down the road, now that it appears there is clear evidence he punched someone and has been charged.

There has been a recent firestorm of controversy around the league and commissioner Roger Goodell suspending the Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott earlier this month for six games, despite him not even being criminally charged in a domestic violence allegation from early 2016. Elliott is appealing the suspension.

The point for Fowler is that even if he reaches for example, a no contest plea deal and were to avoid jail time, he could still be in line for at least a game suspension or maybe more. Again, the NFL has at times been inconsistent with what they choose to pursue, even where there has not criminal conviction.

Fowler’s court date in Clearwater is currently set for Monday September 11th, the day after the Jaguars open with the Houston Texans.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Report- Jaguars to hire former Giants coach McAdoo as QB coach

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Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars are trying to fix things offensively and especially, at the quarterback position. And, to that end, they have apparently settled on another hire, involving another former NFL head coach to lead their QB room.

ESPN Giants reporter Jordan Raanan reported Tuesday night the Jacksonville is hiring former New York Giants head coach, Ben McAdoo, to be their quarterback coach:

McAdoo had been under consideration by head coach, Doug Marrone, for the offensive coordinator vacancy that occurred when the team dismissed John DeFilippo after just one season.

Eventually, Marrone decided upon another former NFC East coach, Jay Gruden, from the Redskins, as the offensive coordinator hire. Gruden, the younger brother of Jon Gruden, is known as an innovator in the passing game.

However, the Jags, including GM Dave Caldwell, were obviously impressed with Macado’s previous work with the Giants and Eli Manning. McAdoo began as an offensive coordinator in New York in 2014 – 15. He was then given the head coaching job, basically at the uriging of the two-time Super Bowl champion QB Manning to take over in 2016.

The Giants finished 11 – 5 McAdoo’s first year as the head coach and made the playoffs. However, the relationship with Eli Manning quickly soured and the team fell apart going 2 – 10 in its first 12 games with McAdoo actually benching Manning late in the 2017 season. McAdoo was fired the week after that benching and has been out of the NFL the last two seasons.

McAdoo will replace QB coach Scott Milanovich, who took over as head coach of the CFL Edmonton Eskimos for later this summer.

The Jaguars still have to resolve their quarterback situation, as they have high price free agent signing Nick Foles, who did not perform well in his first season in Jacksonville.  And then, they have fan favorite rookie 6th round pick Gardner Minshew, who did play well at times in relief of the injured Foles and when Marrone benched Foles for the final four games of the year.

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Jaguars president Lamping continued to defend two London games

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Sep 17, 2017; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan watches his team during the second half of a football game against the Tennessee Titans at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

With a fan base that is unsure whether or not Jaguars owner Shad Khan really wants to move half his team’s schedule, if not the team entirely to London, team president Mark Lamping took to the national radio airwaves Thursday morning trying to defend this week’s announcement that they will be playing a second home game in the U.K. this fall.

Lamping was a guest on “Sirius XM NFL Radio” morning show with co-host Bob Papa and Charlie Weis and tried to make clear that playing a second home game in London starting this year, is in the best interest of keeping pro football in North Florida:

Lamping told the hosts that Khan is “taking all the actions he believes are necessary to ensure the future of the NFL in Northeast Florida,” during the conversation. He went on to discuss Khan’s commitment to land development around TIAA Bank Field and how playing this second home game in London will be able to help with revenue.

Still, it’s totally understandable that Jaguars fans who hear those comments and say, “your words are empty and your actions of moving a second game to London’s Wembley Stadium mean everything.”

And, they would not be wrong to say or think that.

A franchise wanting to stay committed and strong in the market/region where they are, isn’t looking to take 1/4 of the regular season home schedule and play games five time zones away.

The point Lamping was trying to make is the same that Khan did earlier in the week: that the Jaguars make easily $500,00 and maybe north of $1 million more money by selling their home games to the NFL to put on abroad vs. playing in a half empty stadium in Jacksonville,.

The real bottom line with respect to attendance/revenue is: the Jaguars have only had one winning season in eight years under Khan’s ownership. In fact, they’ve lost at least 10 games (including the last two years) in those 7 other seasons, and the losing has caused fan apathy, which therefore results in a lack of revenue.

And, most Jaguar fans were unhappy, or just met with that apathy, Khan’s decision last December to not go ahead and wipe the slate clean from coach Doug Marrone and GM Dave Caldwell, who were part of those last two years. This especially, after firing VP of football,, Tom Coughlin, late in the 2019 season.

The belief from many fans, who post online or call Jacksonville sports radio, etc., is that there’s going to be more of the same of losing in 2020. And then, the owner threatening to move more games every year to London, while still being based in Jacksonville.

For now, the NFL is willing to allow Khan to play more games in the U.K., while being based in Jacksonville.

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