On the surface, the report from NJ.com that former NFL G.M. Charley Casserly has begun contacting potential coaching and G.M. candidates for the Jets seems reasonable and expected. At a deeper level, the report (if true) creates potential problems.
If Casserly is indeed contacting candidates currently under contract with other teams, he’s engaging in tampering. The potential violation becomes more glaring in light of the fact that he currently works for the NFL, through its in-house media conglomerate.
The league has no comment on the situation. One league source with knowledge of Casserly’s efforts tells PFT that he’s making calls about candidates, but that Casserly is not directly contacting candidates.
What makes the situation a bit more complicated is the report from the New York Daily News that Casserly has been doing background work on candidates in connection with his role as a member of the NFL’s Career Development Advisory Panel. That connection makes Casserly more attractive to the Jets as a potential consultant, because he’s in position to provide much more meaningful input given his role on the panel that identifies the best candidates for the looming wave of vacancies.
Whether individual teams should be in position to purchase the information and access obtained by members of the advisory panel by hiring them as consultants is a philosophical question the league needs to address, if it so chooses. For now, Jets owner Woody Johnson’s decision to retain a consultant who is in a unique position to provide consultation is one of the smartest moves Johnson has made in a long time.
Then again, when it comes to smart moves made by Johnson, the bar is pretty low.