In a brief but forceful interview with reporters from jaguars.com and "The Florida Times-Union" on Thursday, Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver delivered an emotional message to the team's fans: "I'm not selling the team. The team is not moving to (Los Angeles)," Weaver said.
Weaver was reacting to a report in Wednesday's "Philadelphia Daily News" that claimed Weaver was in the process of selling the Jaguars to New Jersey food king C. Dean Metropoulos. The report speculated that Metropoulos would move the team to Los Angeles.
What was the impetus to the story?
"I have no clue," Weaver said, but he included the possibility that Metropoulos' name may have surfaced as the result of the Jaguars' intention a year-and-a-half ago to sell minority interest in the team for the purpose of paying down the team's debt.
"I'm frustrated. People take things out of context," Weaver said, his voice choked with emotion. "This team is not going to California. This team is the Jacksonville Jaguars. I don't know how I can do anything more to reaffirm my commitment. I want our fans to get as excited as I am.
"Everybody wants me to speculate on the future. I'm not going to speculate on the future. At some point, maybe, I would sell the team, but not now. Whatever happens in the future, I can assure you of one thing: The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to be the Jacksonville Jaguars."
Might Weaver sell minority interest in the team to help pay down the debt?
"That's always an option, but if I ever do that, it'll be with someone who shares the same passion for winning football and to be part of the Jacksonville ownership," Weaver said. "Until there's a solution to the L.A. market, you're going to have speculation. I can tell you the Jaguars aren't one of the teams lining up to go to L.A."
In other news on Thursday, the Jaguars were investigating a report that wide receiver Matt Jones had been arrested in Arkansas.
"We'll comment on it once we have all of the facts," Weaver said.