Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan fired executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin, two days after the NFL Players Association sent out a warning letter because of excessive fines and player grievances.
In a statement released Wednesday, Khan said he initially decided to fire Coughlin once the regular season ended. The NFLPA's letter apparently played a role in accelerating his decision.
"Within the past hour I informed Tom Coughlin that he was being relieved of his duties as executive vice president of football operations of the Jacksonville Jaguars, effective this evening," Khan said. "I determined earlier this fall that making this move at the conclusion of the 2019 season would be in everyone's best interests but, in recent days, I reconsidered and decided to make this change immediately.
"I thank Tom for his efforts, not only over the past three years but for all he did from our very first season, 25 years ago, to put the Jacksonville Jaguars on the map. General manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Doug Marrone will each report directly to me on an interim basis. My expectations, and those of our fans, for our final two games and the 2020 season are high."
Khan hired Coughlin, who was fired by the New York Giants following the 2015 campaign, in January 2017. In his first season with the team, Coughlin helped build a roster that won the AFC South and reached the AFC Championship Game.
Two years later, the Jaguars have declined under Coughlin, posting 10 total wins in the past two seasons. There's also internal turmoil between management, coaches and players, ultimately leading star cornerback Jalen Ramsey to be traded to the Los Angeles Rams.
The apparent final straw for Khan was the letter sent by the NFLPA on Monday. In the letter that was sent to every NFL player, the union ripped the Jaguars organization for its off-season violations, including fining former Jacksonville defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. more than $700,000 for missing voluntary off-season medical appointments.
The letter also warned players about possibly signing with Jacksonville in the future, saying that over 25 percent of grievances filed by NFL players have been against the Jaguars and "you as players may want to consider this when you have a chance to select your next club."
The Jaguars (5-9) close their season at Atlanta and at home against the Indianapolis Colts.