Less than a month after allowing him to make the Jets’ selections at the 2019 NFL Draft, general manager Mike Maccagnan is out. Now the once-quiet May-June stretch of New York’s offseason will now be occupied with a job search predicated on finding the latest architect of the club’s oft-delayed revival.
But is it a job the league’s hottest power brokers will want?
Whomever takes over will inherit a rising team with a young franchise quarterback in place and a defense loaded with potential. He’ll also take the reins for a team that hasn’t made it to the postseason since 2010 and has won just 14 total games over the past three years. The Jets are also relying on a new head coach who just delivered back-to-back losing seasons with an AFC East rival — and that coach, Adam Gase, is currently the interim general manager, a taste of power from which Gase may be unwilling to part.
The Jets have to fill their top human resources position in hopes of building a roster that can finally dethrone the Patriots and return to the salad days of, uh, Rex Ryan. Is it a job anyone but the hungriest front office climbers should want?
Point: The Jets don’t have much to offer a creative GM candidate
A caveat: any general manager position in the NFL is a good, resume-headlining job. But compared to the other openings that could fly open like a saloon door in the next two years, the Jets’ is a graveyard of opportunity. Whomever takes the reins is handcuffed to the big decisions made by the regime the preceded him.
You’re stuck with Gase as head coach (and aforementioned interim roster builder), he of the 23-25 record at Miami, for at least two years before you can justifiably fire him. You’re stuck with Sam Darnold, who has tremendous potential but also everlasting red flags that followed him from USC to the NFL. Those concerns contributed to a 17:15 TD:INT ratio and the league’s third-worst quarterback rating — behind Blake Bortles and higher than only Joshes Allen and Rosen — in his rookie campaign.
You’re stuck with Maccagnan’s major offseason signing, Le’Veon Bell, for at least two expensive years. He could be the safety valve that clears Darnold’s path to becoming a franchise quarterback. Or he could continue the overlooked decline that saw his yards per carry drop from 4.9 to 4.0 between the 2016 and 2017 seasons. You’re also locked in to C.J. Mosley, whose five year, $85 million contract briefly reset the inside linebacker market. Both are moves that reportedly ruffled Gase’s feathers.