Even though the Jets have been in the limelight recently the new hire in Joe Douglas seems to remedy all of the havoc that has occurred in recent months. I may sound like the ultimate optimist but believe me when I tell you that no one has been as critical of the Green and White as yours truly. You need to understand that with this new hire there is a lot to be excited for in the future of the Jets.
Firstly, the firing of Maccagnan was a shock due to the timing of the incident, but even though the timing was surprising, I was not entirely upset of losing Maccagnan. He was not a good GM. I can count on one hand the good choices Maccagnan has done to help the Jets during his tenure with the team. He made the right gamble and moved up in the draft to select Sam Darnold in last years draft. He had signed free agents this offseason to help add depth and skill for this upcoming season and overall his first-round picks have been decent starters for the team.
Other than the last points that I have mentioned Maccagnan has failed on all other fronts. Other than his first-round draft selections he has been mediocre at best. In rounds 2 and 3, since 2015, he has only selected 3 players that have started more than 2 games. The only player in that category that I find to be a smart pick was Marcus Maye. he is great on the field but that’s the problem, he is never on the field due to the injuries that he has sustained. Rounds 4 through 7 are even worse, 17% of all the picks, that’s 3 of 17 have not started more than half a season. The rest are either not on the Jets or even playing in the NFL. NFL.com has ranked Maccagnan as the 22nd worst GM in the NFL and the only criteria that did not make him the worst was because of his gamble of drafting Sam Darnold. What if Sam Darnold was selected by the Giants and was taken out of the equation? Let’s just say that if Maccagnan took the same gamble and drafted Josh Rosen, who was on top of our board, would we still be singing his praises?
Lastly, he had used the massive amount of cap space that was left for him to acquire players but when he had a chance to fill major holes at the Oline and CB positions he failed miserably. It was a sense of arrogance to me that there were several reports from Jets beat writers that Maccagnan had made offers for both Mitch Morse and Matt Paradis. The issue is that instead of sweetening the deal after the first round of negotiations he had outright pulled the deal from underneath them because he did not want to bid for a player. In hindsight that would lead to his downfall, missing out on big time Oline free agents then claiming the Oline was already fixed is not only embarrassing but delusional. It was too little too late.
I never agreed with the timing of the firing, but it had to be done. Hiring Joe Douglas not only was the right decision, but it paves the way towards a bright future for Gotham. They had interviewed four candidates for the position, Douglas, Chicago Bears’ Champ Kelly, New Orleans Saints’ Terry Fontenot and Seattle Seahawks’ Scott Fitterer. At first Douglas had declined the Jets offer but when Johnson had sweetened the deal to a 6 year deal with more than $3 million per season. Douglas was happy enough to sign the dotted line.
Douglas is the right man for the Jets. Firstly, he is respected throughout the league by coaches and front offices. “The Jets may have made a mess of things, but they actually came out of this in a better place,” an NFL executive told Jets reporter Ralph Vacchiano. “Lots of teams were going to want Joe”. His resume speaks for itself working for two of the NFL’s most well-run organizations. Douglas rose from player personnel assistant on the Baltimore Ravens to the team’s national scout through 2014. After one season as director of college scouting for the Chicago Bears, he became the Philadelphia Eagles’ vice president of player personnel.
Resume aside, Douglas is the GM the Jets need. Both Gase and Douglas are cut from the same cloth, they are cutthroat leaders that will surround the team with players that fit their scheme and mindset for the future. Both have an eye for talent and will set this ship in the right direction. The best part about this deal was that when Johnson had first made the offer to Douglas many reports had indicated that he would only accept the job if he was given full control over the roster instead of following this faulty hierarchy that has plagued the Jets for years. The Jets have suffered following this system where both the Head Coach and General Manager were on the same level of power and the Johnson brothers were pivotal parts of player acquisition and contracts. With the official hiring of Douglas as the head of the ship, Jets fans can have hope knowing that maybe this hierarchy will crumble, and a real football mind will be in control allowing the Johnson brothers to take a step back.
Other than the change of power I beleive the most important aspect of this hiring is the cohesive alliance between both the Head Coach Adam Gase and newly appointed GM Joe Douglas. Douglas may not be best friends with Gase but they have worked together in Chicago. They can use both of their football minds in developing a roster that can win games instead of falling behind in the AFC East whi h is pivotal to any franchise. The Jets have lacked this relationship for the past 10 years which gives an explanation as to why the Jets have failed for so long.
We may not see the changes right away, but remember Maccagnan did not leave the roster in a perfect state. It feels like the Jets had to hit rock bottom before they could be cleansed from this poorly run organization. If I were to give advice to the Jets fans it is this: If you have been a fan this whole time through the rough patches, stick around, because a change is coming.