In a conference call with reporters, Jets CEO Christopher Johnson acknowledged how the timing of the decision to fire GM Mike Maccagnan looks: “There’s never a good time to make a decision like this, honestly. But it’s a process. … It’s a decision that evolved. Maybe I was slow at that decision.” (Ralph Vacchiano)
Johnson said the relationship between Maccagnan and HC Adam Gase was good, but he thought it could be better: “I think there was very good synergy, but it was not everything that I was hoping for. I made the decision I want to find a better fit for this building.” (Vacchiano)
Johnson wants the next general manager to be more of a “strategic thinker” and some who can “collaborate with the building.” (Vacchiano)
Johnson told reporters he needed to take time to analyze Maccagnan’s performance after the season, which is why he waited: “It was only through diving deep into the organization…that I understood how this organization was lacking in certain ways. This isn’t a decision I could have made at the end of the season. I could with (former HC) Todd (Bowles). I couldn’t with Mike” (Mehta)
Johnson added: “There’s more to a job of being a GM than just adding great players. … This is more than Mike. This is more than Adam.” (Vacchiano)
Johnson pushed back against the idea that Gase won in a power struggle with Maccagnan: “No. This had nothing to do with Adam. I want a good give-and-take between our GM and coach. This was not one person or another winning a power struggle. This was completely my decision.” (Vacchiano)
Johnson mentioned Gase would assist in the search for a new general manager in his role as interim GM. (Brian Costello)
Johnson said there would be no change in structure with how the new general manager and Gase report to him, meaning Gase does not have final control of the 53-man roster. (Costello)
Per ESPN’s Rich Cimini, Johnson was worried enough about the dynamic between Gase and Maccagnan that he started spending extra time at team headquarters.
Ian Rapoport says to keep an eye on Eagles front office executive Joe Douglas and Bears personnel man Champ Kelly as general manager candidates for the Jets.
Rapoport notes that both Douglas and Kelly are close with HC Adam Gase.
Yahoo!’s Charles Robinson says some elite general manager candidates won’t consider the Jets job as long as Gase keeps final control over the 53-man roster.
According to the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta, one of the disagreements between Gase and Maccagnan was HC Adam Gase“absolutely did not want” to sign RB Le’Veon Bell, or any high-priced running back.