State of the Franchise: Khan excited – with a caveat

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JACKSONVILLE – Shad Khan has an understandable approach to the coming days.

With the NFL 2017 league year beginning Thursday at 4 p.m., and with the Jaguars having participated in free agency with varying success in recent seasons, Khan said he is excited about what's to come.

But that excitement isn't of the giddy, naïve variety.

"I think the only caveat I would have is hopefully they will deliver," Khan said Wednesday following the 2017 State of the Franchise presentation at EverBank Field. 

"After a few years, that's the expectation. They will fight for Jacksonville and win for the Jaguars."

The Jaguars in recent seasons have been major players in free agency, which annually begins at the start of the league year. They signed such players as defensive end Jared Odrick, tight end Julius Thomas, cornerback Davon House and linebacker Dan Skuta in 2015 and defensive tackle Malik Jackson, running back Chris Ivory and cornerback Prince Amukamara in 2016.

Jackson played at a high level this past season. Odrick was released two weeks ago, House was released Monday and Thomas reportedly will be traded to the Miami Dolphins when the league year begins Thursday.

Khan said while he is aware of the Jaguars' 2017 free-agency strategy he hasn't been involved in the phone calls and negotiations. Teams have been able to negotiate with agents of free agents from other teams since Thursday at 4 p.m.

Teams may not officially reach deals or announced agreements until Thursday at 4 p.m.

"I went over the big plan, what we want to do and what the limits are," Khan said. "I saw the big plan, and obviously I'm highly supportive of it. … I think whoever can help us, we'd like to get. We have a huge amount of flexibility on our salary cap.

"If the players are going to come in and help us win, we have the ability and desire to do that. We've done that over the last couple of years."

Khan on Wednesday also:

*Said he will bid to hold the NFL Draft in Jacksonville, something he believes is a possibility with the construction of the Daily's Place complex that is scheduled to be completed by Memorial Day 2017. "We're going to bid. I think we want to bid. I am of the opinion that the draft should be in places that are not Super Bowl-eligible. The NFL has great assets and the draft is one of those. If the city isn't going to be bidding on the Super Bowl now or in the future, that's where it ought to go. The wealth of the NFL is shared equally. If you look at the flex field and the amphitheater, it's going to be a great thing." …

*Discussed his expectations for 2017: "My expectation is that most of my life, I'm going to roll up my sleeves and do it myself. Unfortunately, I can't do that with football. I think we put everything in place and (I am) really, really excited with [Executive Vice President of Football Operations] Tom [Coughlin] and [Head Coach] Doug [Marrone] and [General Manager] Dave [Caldwell] to really have more football IQ in the building, so to speak. We want to add more brain power from that viewpoint, which can figure out, evaluate the players, the schemes to help us win. What I can do is keep trying and adding more resources until we have a breakthrough." …

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