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Khan spends on players, facilities

Justin Blackmon, Shahid Khan, Gene Smith, Mike Mularkey

From left, Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Gene Smith, first-round NFL football draft pick Justin Blackmon, owner Shahid Khan and head coach Mike Mularkey pose during a news conference, Friday, April 27, 2012, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Mack) TV OUT; MAGS OUT


New Jaguars owner Shad Khan understands that, in order to succeed in the NFL, money must be spent. And Khan is willing to spend it.

He tells Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union that nearly $140 million in 2012 cap space has been committed since Khan became the owner of the team, using a large chunk of $30 million in unused 2011 cap space that was carried over.

Khan also plans to spend money on improving the team’s facilities, from upgrading the locker room to building a much-needed practice bubble.

“I want to set an example to have the best facilities,” Khan said. “I’ve been to a lot of locker rooms and we weren’t the best and we weren’t the worse. We were in the middle.”

None of this means Khan will be reckless. “You don’t want to be a sailor on shore leave where you go blow all the money you have because if are close to something and want to find a free agent, you want to be able to have the money,” Khan said. “The issue is not about lighting money on fire, because you never get that money back. The issue is to use it as a strategic asset. You don’t want to be eating your seed corn in the winter.”

As an example of the team’s fiscal prudence, Stellino points to the notion that the Jaguars “declined to pursue” defensive end Mario Williams. The truth is that Williams, we were told back in March, would not have signed with the Jaguars. But the point remains that Khan is willing to spend, as best evidenced by the fact that he’s using cap space his predecessor, Wayne Weaver, didn’t.

And so hope continues to percolate through all corners of the NFL, with every team at 0-0 and every fan thinking their team could compete for a playoff berth and, possibly, a championship as soon as this year. Count Jacksonville among the cities where hope will reside, thanks to the team’s new owner.