Gene Smith is on his way out as general manager in Jacksonville, says ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The idea of owner Shad Khan parting ways with his top football executive is no surprise. But Schefter provides two names that could be in line to replace Smith:
Arizona director of player personnel Jason Licht and San Francisco director of player personnel Tom Gamble.
According to Schefter, one of those two could be brought in and then have control over the fate of coach Mike Mularkey, who will finish his first year in the post with a 2-14 record if the Jaguars lose in Tennessee today.
Notes on the two apparent candidates:
Licht is in his second season with the Cardinals and first as director of player personnel after rejoining the team in May. He worked as a personnel executive with Arizona in 2008. From 2009-11 Licht was the director of pro personnel with the New England Patriots. He’s also spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles
Gamble worked as a defensive assistant/quality control coach in 1995 and 1996 then was a scout with the Panthers and Ravens. He went on to play roles in building playoff teams in Indianapolis and Philadelphia. He’s been with the 49ers for seven years and was promoted from director of pro personnel to director of player personnel in 2011.
I’ve heard another scenario that could be in play as well. Smith could be retained, but see a VP of football operations hired over him.
Would he be willing to stay under his contract that runs through 2014 in a role with reduced power? I can’t pretend to know.