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Could the Jacksonville Jaguars exit their head coaching search with a vacancy at general manager? That is what one veteran NFL reporter floated on Friday afternoon as the Jaguars' inaction on the head coaching front continues.

During an appearance on Pro Football Talk Live, Peter King of NBC Sports reported that he has heard from the Jaguars' building that embattled general manager Trent Baalke has indicated that he would be open to stepping aside if he is the central issue with the team's so-far disjointed coaching search.

"Mike, you know, what I have heard inside the Jaguars is Baalke has basically said internally, "If I am the problem I will step aside." And, you know, we will see if that indeed is the case," King said. "I don't -- that certainly isn't looming." 

It is key that King notes that any possible resigning of sorts from Baalke isn't looming. The Jaguars are stuck in the middle of what has been a month-long search for Urban Meyer's replacement to this point, with Baalke playing a central role in the Jaguars' search for a head coach.

Two of the Jaguars' three presumed preferred candidates -- Nathaniel Hackett and Matt Eberflus -- have taken jobs with the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears over the last 48 hours. The only other coach the Jaguars have given a second interview to this point is Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, though the last several days have been filled with conflicting reports on whether the Jaguars and Leftwich are close to an agreement. 

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One potential sticking point in the Jaguars' process is of course Baalke, the long-time scout and front office executive whose reputation throughout the league has cast a shadow on the Jaguars' search.

Owner Shad Khan opted to keep Baalke on for the search over the last month as the Jaguars have interviewed nearly 10 candidates, but Baalke's presence and role with the team has always been seen as a potential obstacle for the Jaguars, who finished 3-14 under Baalke's leadership in 2021.

"Just my guess, my gut feeling, is that when the Jaguars come out of this, they will have a new coach and a new general manager," King said. 

It is unclear if that new coach is Leftwich or someone else, but it is telling that neither Leftwich or the Jaguars have seemingly made any public moves to indicate that an eventual pairing won't happen. At this point, the Jaguars have yet to schedule a second interview with any other candidates, while Leftwich has yet to announce he will return to Tampa Bay after not getting the Bears job.

Baalke has spent the last two years with the Jaguars, first serving as Director of Pro Personnel under former general manager Dave Caldwell in 2020 before being named interim general manager following Caldwell's November firing in 2020. Baalke was eventually made full-time general manager under Khan following the hiring of Meyer as head coach, though Khan did interview external candidates.

This year, however, the Jaguars have yet to conduct a general manager search, with Baalke instead playing a central role in the team's search. Whether that changes is to be determined, but King has revealed the first potential clue of Baalke perhaps not making it out of the process as general manager.