Typo Costs Vance His Job

Posted Jan 10, 2012

New Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan made a major personnel change Monday, dismissing Paul Vance as the team's senior vice president of football operations and general counsel.


Vance had been with the organization since its inception, and since 2001, had been in charge of contract negotiations.

The move may have had something to do with a salary dispute that affects several fired assistants. The team could be on the hook for more than $3 million in salary because of what seems to be a typo in their contracts. ESPN first reported the dispute.

A person familiar with the contracts said the assistants signed extensions in 2010 that the club believed to be two-year deals that would expire at the end of the 2011 season. However, the contracts state they ''shall terminate on the later of January 31, 2012 or the day after the Jaguars' last football game of the 2012 season and playoffs ... ''

The person spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of potentially pending legal action.

If the affected coaches remain unemployed, the person said, they would want to be compensated for the 2012 season.

''I can see it both ways,'' the person said. ''Everyone knew they were in the final year of their contracts. On the other hand, the contract is the contract. So I don't know whose fault it is.''

Coaches first started talking about the contract wording early last week, telling each other to check their contracts because the Jaguars ''may be liable here,'' the person familiar with the contracts said.

The dispute remains between the Jaguars and the coaches. But it could end up being filed as a grievance with the league office.

Despite the dispute, Khan said Vance will be available as a consultant.

Khan promoted Sashi Brown to senior vice president and general counsel. Brown had served as assistant general counsel since 2005.

It's unclear whether Khan will make more changes.

Vance had been the franchise's general counsel since 1994. He was promoted to senior VP of football operations in 2001 and credited with helping the team solve salary-cap problems that plagued former coach Tom Coughlin's final few years.

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