The Jacksonville Jaguars have a chance to give a storybook ending to their head coaching search.
That would come via hiring Byron Leftwich, who was the No. 7 overall pick of the team in 2003.
His career has not gone as planned but he has since risen up the coaching ranks as offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tom Brady showed up and thrived in the offense, making Leftwich a top head coaching candidate.
Buccaneers beat writer Rick Stroud tweeted and said the Jaguars have already decided on hiring Leftwich.
Hearing there are some items left to clear up contractually but both Byron Leftwich and Jacksonville are trying to finalize an agreement to make him the Jaguars next head coach.
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) January 26, 2022
That likely got a lot of fans excited and seemed to indicate a deal was nearly done.
But then ESPN’s Adam Schefter swooped in to shut down the rumors.
Jaguars continue talking with Bucs OC Byron Leftwich and Colts DC Matt Eberflus, amongst others, but are not close to a deal with anyone at this time, per sources. Jags still haven’t decided which way they’ll go. Organization still going through the process and figuring out.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 26, 2022
Schefter notes Leftwich and Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus as favorites, but says nothing is close to being done.
So who should fans believe?
Leftwich Is Still A Top Favorite
Even if Schefter is correct, there is an obvious connection of Leftwich to the Jaguars.
Stroud’s report should mean he is hearing something from the offensive coordinator’s camp to believe he will land the job in Jacksonville.
This should all be resolved soon as teams are conducting second interviews, ready to hire their top candidate.
Waiting too long could mean another team comes in and makes a better offer.
The Jaguars have been ahead of the competition because they fired Urban Meyer during the season.
That gave the organization extra time to sit back and determine their favorites for the position.
Retaining GM Trent Baalke meant they may miss out on certain candidates who are more interested in a full fresh start.
Leftwich, however, has Jaguars ties and seems like the perfect fit to coach Trevor Lawrence.
There is usually some sort of truth to NFL rumors and that could mean Stroud’s report is revealed to be true sooner than later.NEXT: Jaguars Interviewing A Former NFL Head Coach Thursday