2019-05-15 17:29:041 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Former New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan. (Image Source: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
On Wednesday, the New York Jets fired general manager Mike Maccagnan and appear to be a franchise without a flight plan.
Head coach Adam Gase will take over the role on an interim basis, as the team searches for a permanent replacement.
"Mike (Maccagnan) helped to execute the strategic vision of the organization during the last four seasons and especially the past few months," CEO Christopher Johnson said in a statement. "However, I came to the decision to make a change after much thought and a careful assessment of what would be in the best long-term interests of the New York Jets."
It’s believed that Joe Douglas, an executive with the Philadelphia Eagles, is the leading candidate. It’s also being reported the club is looking into Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network for a front-office position. Douglas is connected to Gase and is a friend of Jeremiah.
There were reports that Maccagnan and Gase didn’t get along, which both denied. It’s believed that it centered, at least in part, around the signing of free agent Le’Veon Bell, who Gase apparently wasn’t on board with signing because of the money. The Jets inked the runner to a four-year, $52.2 million deal with $35 million guaranteed.
As general manager, Maccagnan drafted a pair of Pro Bowlers in defensive lineman Leonard Williams and safety Jamal Adams. He also made moves to put them in position to call Sam Darnold’s name last year. So, he’s done well with top-10 picks, however the rest of his draft picks have not panned out well.
The list of busts includes Devin Smith (2nd Rd. 2015), Lorenzo Mauldin (3rd Rd. 2015), and Christina Hackenberg (2nd Rd. 2016). They just spend a ton of money on free agent C.J. Mosely to play inside linebacker, which means 2016 first-round pick Darron Lee will be dumped or be a reserve. Also, let’s not forget that wide receivers ArDarius Stewart (3rd Rd. 2017) and Chad Hansen (4th Rd. 2017) didn’t even make it to their second season.
No one is going to argue against firing Maccagnan, but that doesn’t change the fact the timing is terrible and makes the team look disorganized.
For starters, the team just allowed Maccagnan to spend well over $100 million in guaranteed money in the offseason. Then he ran the draft with six picks, including the third overall selection. That’s a lot of responsibility for a guy who suddenly wasn’t good enough for the job. He also had input in the hiring of Gase, ironically.
The next GM will inherit Gase as the coach so anyone who wants to hire their own guy—a reasonable expectation—is probably out. Which leads to someone who has connections to Gase. While I was OK with hiring him despite his 23-25 record with Miami, he hasn’t earned the right to muscle out the GM and hand pick the successor.
Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards.
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