The Jets never seem to disappoint in the way of making headlines. On May 15, in what was supposed to be a very rare “quiet time” in the NFL offseason, the Jets fired General Manager Mike Maccagnan in a surprising move. As rumors of front office turmoil swirled during the draft, that smoke had died down over the past few weeks when Christopher Johnson shocked the world with this move. Was it Adam Gase making a power play? Did Johnson really take more of a hands-on approach leading him to see things in Maccagnan he didn’t like? Did Maccagnan’s indecisiveness and the ever-growing list of “Almost Jets” ultimately doom him?
The questions surrounding the move were endless, particularly its timing. Why wait until after the draft and free agency and not make him accompany Bowles out the door in January? Ultimately, it’s never the wrong time to make the right decision. Mike Maccagnan was not a good GM. In his four years, he assembled teams that went a combined 24-40 and missed more often than he hit on draft picks.
So, let’s take a closer look at the man most heavily rumored to replace him: Eagles Vice President of Player Personnel, Joe Douglas.
Douglas is a University of Richmond graduate, where he played offensive tackle and started 45 consecutive games. Following his graduation, he became a volunteer assistant coach with Richmond before getting his start in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens in their scouting department in 2000. He served for sixteen years with Baltimore, holding various positions within the scouting department, before becoming the national scout in 2012.
In 2015, the Chicago Bears hired Douglas as their Director of College Scouting. That lone year was also Adam Gase’s only year in Chicago as Offensive Coordinator, leading to their rumored pre-existing relationship and a big reason why he is the favorite to land the Jets’ job.
Following his one year in Chicago, Douglas was hired as the Eagles’ VP of Player Personnel where he was responsible for setting the Eagles’ draft board and an integral part in drafting Carson Wentz and turning the Eagles into a perennial contender and SBLII Champions.
Douglas’ best asset may be his experience working with quality executives like Ozzie Newsome (Baltimore) and Howie Roseman (Philadelphia). He has worked under two of the most respected executives in the league for almost two decades and has seen and been part of building teams the right way. He comes in very high regard in league circles and is considered by many to be one of the top next GM candidates.
Poor timing or not, if the Jets can swing trading Mike Maccagnan for Joe Douglas, it will be a definitive upgrade and absolutely the right move.