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Byron Leftwich remains the frontrunner to land the Jaguars head coaching job, but he has not been officially offered the job yet, a person close to the situation confirmed Thursday.
One of the sticking points in negotiations, however, between the Jaguars and Leftwich is how the control of the roster will be handled. And reports have surfaced that Leftwich is not in favor of having a pre-arranged situation in which general manager Trent Baalke would remain as general manager.
Jaguars coaching search: 5 things to know about Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich
Instead, Leftwich wants the Jaguars to hire Adrian Wilson, who is the vice president of pro scouting with the Arizona Cardinals.
Could Cardinals' Wilson be coming to the Jaguars?
Mike Jurecki, who covers the Arizona Cardinals for the franchise's website, reported that the Jaguars are close to hiring Wilson, but that could not be confirmed yet by league sources.
Wilson, who played 12 years as a strong safety for Arizona and was a five-time Pro Bowl selection, is a member of the Arizona Cardinals Ring of Honor. He has worked in the Cardinals' front office since 2015 starting as a regional scout, becoming director of pro personnel for two seasons before getting promoted to Vice President of Pro Scouting in 2021.
Leftwich, 42, has never been a head coach before, starting his coaching career with the Arizona Cardinals as a quarterbacks coach under Bruce Arians in 2017. Leftwich was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2018 after Mike McCoy was fired midway through the season. Leftwich joined Arians with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as offensive coordinator in 2019 and won a Super Bowl last season with Tom Brady at quarterback.
Still, if the Jaguars don't lock up Leftwich in the next 48 hours, they could lose him to another franchise seeking to fill their head coaching vacancy. The New Orleans Saints have reportedly requested permission with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to interview Leftwich for their vacant head coaching job.
Other than the Las Vegas Raiders, the Jaguars had a two-week jump on every other team in the league in starting their coaching search during the final two weeks of the regular season after firing Urban Meyer on Dec. 16.
However, two of the Jaguars' three finalists took head coaching jobs with other franchises Wednesday. Nathaniel Hackett, who was scheduled to have a second interview with the Jaguars on Wednesday, accepted the Denver Broncos' offer to become their next head coach.
The Chicago Bears are reportedly going to hire Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus to become their next head coach. Eberflus was the first candidate the Jaguars interviewed for a second time.
A league source confirmed the Jaguars interviewed former Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio on Monday, not necessarily for the head coaching opening, but possibly as defensive coordinator under the new head coach. The Broncos fired Fangio after a 7-10 finish in 2021 and going 19-30 over the past three seasons.
Since launching their search five weeks ago, the Jaguars have interviewed former NFL head coaches Doug Pederson and Jim Caldwell, Jagua interim head coach Darrell Bevell, Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, Hackett, Eberflus and Leftwich.
This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Byron Leftwich remains frontrunner for Jaguars, may want GM change