Urban Meyer once again finds himself in hot water just four weeks into the 2021 NFL season. This time, it has nothing to do with the Jaguars’ 0-4 record.
A raunchy video of Meyer dancing with a young woman at an Ohio bar surfaced over the weekend. That has apparently prompted some “closed-door meetings” in the Jacksonville front office, as former NFL scout and podcast host Michael Lombardi reports.
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Lombardi didn’t explicitly confirm that Meyer’s actions were the ones under scrutiny. However, he did reveal that a “morals clause” was among the things being discussed in these meetings.
That would seemingly point to Meyer’s actions over the weekend.
Meyer, who is married, apologized for “being a distraction” in a press conference on Monday. He also explained why he remained in Ohio after his team’s 24-21 loss to the Bengals.
Just stupid. So I explained everything that happened and owned it. Just stupid. I should not have myself in that kind of position.
I stayed to see the grandkids, and we all went to dinner that night at the restaurant. There was a big group next to our restaurant and they wanted me to come over and take pictures, and I did. They were trying to pull me out on the dance floor, screwing around and I should have left. …
I apologized again for being a distraction. A coach should not be a distraction. Of course I did (apologize to my family). That’s not me. They were upset.
However, Michael Silver reports that Meyer canceled the Jaguars’ team meeting Monday and while he did apologize to the team, he chose to address the matter with each individual position group. It appears that he has lost respect in the locker room in wake of this decision.
“It’s bad,” a player told Silver. “I don’t know how he’s gonna function.”
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Meyer has already faced a couple of scandals during his first nine months in the NFL. He defended his decision to hire assistant Chris Doyle despite accusations of racism and bullying during his time at Iowa. He and the Jaguars were also fined a combined $300K after violating the offseason practice no-contact rule.
Additionally, Meyer has faced scrutiny for his decision to sign Tim Tebow as a tight end despite being out of the league for six years and for his reluctance to name No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence Jacksonville’s starting quarterback.
Jacksonville could be looking for a way out of Meyer’s contract because of all these issues. The morals clause would give them an excuse to part ways with the coach if they believe they need a fresh start.
The full details of Meyer’s contract aren’t available, but he was seeking $12 million a year to coach the Jaguars. He may not have landed that large of a contract, but his compensation still figures to be significant since Matt Rhule, the last coach to make the jump from college to the pros, was awarded $9 million annually.
Whatever the cost, Meyer appears to be on thin ice. It’s just a matter of whether the Jaguars want to give him another chance to turn things around.
As Jaguars owner Shad Khan said in a statement, it’s on Meyer to regain the trust and respect of the team.
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