The New York Jets made a stunning decision today to fire both General Manager Mike Maccagnan and his number two, Brian Heimerdinger while simultaneously naming new Head Coach Adam Gase as Interim GM.
To be clear, Maccagnan was bad at his job and should have been fired along with Todd Bowles after week 17. If you follow this site or Twitter, you know there isn’t enough space to fit the necessary links to articles, podcasts and tweets questioning why he was kept, questioning his ability in the job and pondering why he wasn’t receiving more heat from the media.
Ultimately, the Jets are better off as an organization without him as their GM. Maccagnan will leave with a 24-40 record, zero playoff appearances and the lowest winning percentage of any GM in franchise history who was employed more than two years. The Jets were one of the worst drafting teams in the NFL during his tenure and whiffed on multiple big free agent contracts.
All that being said, the timing of this move is shocking. Maccagnan led the Head Coach search to hire Adam Gase. He led the Jets free agency approach and he led their war room draft weekend (hey, now it makes more sense why when ESPN cut to it on day three he was sitting completely alone and there were a stream of stories that weekend about a riff in the organization). It took Gase about 3 months to push out the top two “football guys” in the organization and now likely be integral to the process of finding a new GM (Joe Douglas of the Eagles is rumored to be the frontrunner). The Jets are going to catch rightful heat for the timing because this has circus like elements to it and that criticism is not going away until they win some more football games.
As for the strife, now that firings have happened. Here are a few tidbits this blogger has heard (many of which have been shared elsewhere by others). I am not reporting any of this because of I am not a reporter. They are rumors from sources around the team in some capacity, nothing less and nothing more.
- There was a major disagreement over signing Le’Veon Bell with Gase wanting no part of the move.
- There was a major disagreement over not signing a center in free agency, namely Matt Paradis.
- Many in the Jets organization desperately wanted to trade back from the third overall pick and were not aligned with the day three pick approach.
- Both Maccagnan and Heimerdinger struggled in the Head Coach interview process and did not come off well at all in most sessions, appearing completely over their head.
- Gase cannot stand for compromise or debate on anything
Maccagnan was able to avoid the amount of criticism he deserved by effectively managing the media around him for a long time. He hired somebody who was better at it than him and was quickly pushed out of his role.
The Jets now need to hope that Gase, and his 23-25 career record, is capable of leading the organization in the interim. There are plenty of question marks around him as well but he has won his first internal power struggle. Let’s hope the Jets are not right back here with him in the next 18-24 months, for the sake of Sam Darnold (and all our sanity).
A final word because this writer (and site) received plenty of undue criticism for being rightly critical of Maccagnan…this was never personal, it just somebody who covers football, critiquing somebody in the sport of football and not being a homer with their analysis. I am content that we didn’t push out positive opinions of transactions that we thought were bad just because “our” team made them. Plenty of people wasted alotta energy defending a ton of really stupid moves…perhaps they will be hesitant in presuming a team who hasn’t made the playoffs in 8 years isn’t about criticism.