ORLANDO — Having assumed ownership of the Jaguars, Shad Khan was a spectator two years ago during free agency and bought what then-general manager Gene Smith was selling.


The Jaguars signed receiver Laurent Robinson, quarterback Chad Henne and cornerback Aaron Ross and re-signed defensive linemen Jeremy Mincey and C.J. Mosley to multiyear contracts worth a combined $80.25 million.

“We were two players away from making the playoffs so we spent in free agency, and we know what happened,” Khan recalled Tuesday at the NFL’s annual meeting.

The Jaguars went 2-14.

Smith was axed.

Robinson, Ross and Mosley were cut after the 2012 season.

Mincey was waived late in the 2013 season.

Only Henne remains with the organization.

Reminding reporters of that offseason was Khan’s way of discussing the progress he hopes the Jaguars have made this month while adding seven players for a reasonable rate and keeping the draft as their primary focus.

“Certainly, I’ve learned my lesson,” he said. “If you look at the teams that are successful, they’re going to be built through the draft, and some missing pieces will be filled in with free agency. That is the formula for success.”

The Jaguars have 11 picks in this year’s draft, and general manager Dave Caldwell hopes to add more via trades. At the root of the Jaguars’ problems this decade has been woeful drafting — only 18 players under contract were drafted by the team, including eight from last year. That — and the unsuccessful 2012 free agent spending spree — contributed to six straight non-winning years.

“This rebuilding over and over again is brutal for the fans. It’s brutal if you have anything to do with it,” Khan said.

The win-loss record has been brutal. The Jaguars are 6-26 in Khan’s two years as owner.

But he remains confident the franchise is on the right path with Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley.

“It’s important to have the right chemistry on any team, whether it’s pro football or auto parts,” Khan said. “If you don’t have that, you obviously have a much harder road ahead. That’s Step One. I definitely think we have a great group of people who really enjoy each other. There isn’t one person who has an answer to every question or problem.”

Said Bradley: “We have great conversations, and we challenge each other. There are teams that may be dysfunctional, and it’s tough to win that way. Shad is a guy that likes a lot of information, and that’s an environment Dave and I are comfortable in and to do that. Your ego can’t be too large. That’s the type of culture we have — limited egos that allows for everybody to express their opinion, and once it’s all said and done, one guy [Caldwell] makes the decision.”

The next biggest decision for the Jaguars will come on May 8 with the third overall pick.

Khan is on the same page as Caldwell and Bradley when it comes to when drafting a quarterback.

The Jaguars need one.

“A quarterback is by far the No. 1 [element],” Khan said.

And the Jaguars aren’t going to reach for a passer.

Caldwell said it’s rare for a quarterback who isn’t a fifth-year senior to be ready to start right away.

Bradley said the re-signing of Henne will allow the Jaguars to not only let a newly-drafted passer learn while watching but also lessen the immediate expectations. “Why add to that when it could create anxiety and take them away from competing to the best of their abilities?” he said.

And Khan said San Francisco (second-round pick Colin Kaepernick) and Seattle (third-round pick Russell Wilson) have teams that hit on passers while being patient.

“There is story after story,” Khan said. “They have a great team and say, ‘OK, maybe there is a missing piece.’ And that’s why they worked on.”

Off the field, the Jaguars continue to work on the stadium project that is scheduled to be completed in July and also enhance their brand through a second trip to London (Nov. 9 against Dallas). The seating options for the new sections were rolled out by the Jaguars earlier this month.

“Right now, we’re tracking basically the way we were last year,” Khan said. “I’m very aware our results on the field haven’t been good so there are people who are cautious.”

Abroad, Khan said an NFL survey has the Jaguars ranked No. 9 in international recognition, up from No. 31 last year.

“We’ve had visibility,” Khan said. “It’s very, very important for the Jaguars, and it’s very important for Jacksonville to get that international awareness and get the story of what a great area it is and the opportunities, the young people, the cost of living and what a competitive environment it would be businesses to locate there.”