JACKSONVILLE — The Jaguars are headed in a new direction.
And Los Angeles doesn't appear to be the destination.
Owner Wayne Weaver fired longtime coach Jack Del Rio on Tuesday after a 3-8 start and agreed to sell the team to Illinois businessman Shahid Khan. Weaver named defensive coordinator Mel Tucker the interim coach and gave general manager Gene Smith a three-year contract extension, putting him in charge of the coaching search.
The moves marked the most significant changes for the franchise since its inception in 1993.
"It's the right thing at the right time and for the right reasons," Weaver said. "We deserve better; the community deserves better. We've been very average over the last few years. I take responsibility for a lot of that, making mistakes in some personnel things, but look positively ahead that this team is not far away from being a very competitive football team."
Forbes magazine reported the sale to be worth $760 million.
Weaver, 77, had been looking for an "exit strategy" for years, wanting to find someone to buy the team and keep it in Jacksonville. He had tears several times as he announced his impending departure.
Khan, 61, believes he is the right choice.
"Wayne's legacy will be lasting, and I will always be grateful for Wayne's trust and confidence in my commitment to the Jaguars, the NFL and the people of the Jacksonville community," Khan said in a statement.
Born in Pakistan, Khan left home at age 16 to attend the University of Illinois. He graduated in 1971, a year after he started working for Flex-N-Gate Corp. in Urbana, Ill. He purchased the company in 1980. Today, Flex-N-Gate is a major manufacturer of bumper systems for pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles built in North America.
Del Rio's job security had been tenuous since Weaver said the coach needed to make the playoffs to secure a 10th season in Jacksonville.
Suh out 2 games
ALLEN PARK, Mich. — The NFL suspended Lions All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh without pay for two games, punishing the second-year player for roughing up Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith after the whistle Thursday. Suh appealed, hoping his stomp doesn't keep him away from his playoff-hopeful teammates when they need him.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Suh's hearing will be with Art Shell, an appointed appeal officer who is paid by the league and the players association. The league said it will expedite the procedure to give Suh and the Lions an answer before Sunday's game at New Orleans. If Suh doesn't win, he won't play against the Saints or in the Dec. 11 home game against the Vikings.
POLAMALU IMPROVING: Steelers safety Troy Polamalu is free of concussion symptoms, and "all things are positive" for the AFC North showdown with the Bengals on Sunday, coach Mike Tomlin said. Polamalu left Sunday's game at Kansas City when his helmet struck the knee of Steve Maneri while Polamalu dived to tackle the tackle-eligible on a play in which he caught a pass.
CHANGES FOR COLTS: Coach Jim Caldwell announced that Larry Coyer had been fired as defensive coordinator and that Dan Orlovsky would replace Curtis Painter at quarterback against the Patriots on Sunday. Longtime linebackers coach Mike Murphy will replace Coyer for the Colts, 0-11 for the first time since 1986.
HOUSTON ADDS QB: The Texans signed retired quarterback Jake Delhomme, agent Rick Smith said. Delhomme, who worked out with former Buc Jeff Garcia, will back up rookie T.J. Yates, who is starting after season-ending injuries to Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart.
BEARS: The team waived injured special-teams contributor Brian Iwuh and promoted linebacker Patrick Trahan from the practice squad.
BENGALS: Linebacker Keith Rivers will miss the rest of the season because he hasn't recovered from right wrist surgery.
BROWNS: Long snapper Ryan Pontbriand, a two-time Pro Bowler, was waived two days after his second poor snap in three weeks cost Cleveland a possible win. … Starting linebacker Scott Fujita went on injured reserve, his season ended by a broken hand.
CHIEFS: Offensive tackle Jared Gaither was released two days after he committed a costly false start penalty in a loss to the Steelers.
PACKERS: Linebacker Erik Walden apologized to the organization, his teammates and fans in the wake of his recent arrest on suspicion of domestic violence.
VIKINGS: Long snapper Matt Katula signed to replace injured Cullen Loeffler.