The New York Jets, in a stunning move, have fired general manager Mike Maccagnan. Head coach Adam Gase has been named interim general manager while the team begins a search for Maccagnan.
There were rumors of tension between Maccagnan and Gase because of disagreements over personnel during free agency, which all sides denied. The timing of this move, however, indicates there indeed was some sort of internal strife within the front office.
“Mike helped to execute the strategic vision of the organization during the last four seasons and especially the past few months,” Jets CEO Christopher Johnson said in a statement. “However, I came to the decision to make a change after much thought and a careful assessment of what would be in the best long-term interests of the New York Jets.”
The Jets also relieved Brian Heimerdinger, vice president of player personnel, of his duties.
Maccagnan was 24-40 in four years as general manger for the Jets, with zero playoff appearances. That would be reason enough for the Jets to conclude enough was enough. Instead, they decided to retain Maccagnan and fire head coach Todd Bowles.
The Jets then entrusted Maccagnan with the search for a new head coach, signed off on his hiring of Gase, and allowed him to lead them through free agency and the draft.
From the outside, looking in, it’s fair to conclude there was a potential power struggle brewing between Maccagnan and Gase. Now, they’ll need to search for a permanent replacement while also getting ready for the upcoming season. It’s reasonable to ask how much influence will Gase have in the search for a new general manager?
Meanwhile, this looks poorly handled by Jets CEO Christopher Johnson. Why make this move now? Why not fire Maccagnan after last season? This is the type of negative attention they’ve been trying so hard to clean up in recent years and they’ve once again put themselves in a position that’s near-impossible to explain.