Jags GM Smith Turns Down Contract Extension with Team

Reports say that Jaguars general manager Gene Smith has turned down a contract extension with the club.

“A contract was extended to me and I declined it,” Smith said during an interview with the newspaper “I did not think I deserved an extension based on the conditions. Our scouts and other employees weren’t being extended. I didn’t think I deserved it. However, I do appreciate that (Jaguars owner) Wayne (Weaver) offered me one.”

Smith became the team’s general manager after the 2008 season. After two and a half seasons, the Jaguars have gone 17-23 under Smith’s tenure, including 2-6 this season, the last year of his current contract.

The Jaguars currently have the league’s highest amount of cap space available, which can be used on extensions and/or carried over into 2012, a league year they’re already projected to have over $18 million in cap space available. The Jaguars have the NFL’s fourth-youngest active roster, and presumably have their franchise quarterback — 2011 10th overall pick Blaine Gabbert, who turned 22 last month — in the building.

If Weaver decides to look for a new head coach — which is almost a given at this point — and general manager after the season, the team being in a good position from cap/cash and the quarterback perspectives makes this a desirable position.

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