It’s not uncommon for teams to change General Managers after the draft, since that’s when the work-year for an executive usually ends. On Friday, Jets G.M. Mike Maccagnan addressed rumors that, this year, he’ll be one of the General Managers to go.
“I don’t think I’m really going to sit here and comment about my job,” Maccagnan told reporters on Friday, via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. “I’m focused on the draft. I feel good about the situation we’re in.”
The rumors and reports are nevertheless out there. Two difference league sources told PFT on Friday afternoon that, after the draft, Maccagnan quite possibly will be relieved of his duties.
It would be a surprise, given that Maccagnan survived the termination of coach Todd Bowles, who was hired when Maccagnan arrived. If a change were going to be made, it would have made more sense to make it then.
In recent weeks, however, suggestions have emerged of friction between Maccagnan and new coach Adam Gase.
“Actually, I think Adam and I have worked very well together,” Maccagnan said Friday. “I’m sure, like in any process, there are times where . . . you know, you work through the process.
“It’s just like in a scouting meeting. You might have different opinions on a player. But, from my standpoint, I’ve actually had a very good working relationship with Adam. Quite frankly, as I’ve said before, he has a very good sense of humor. He makes me laugh quite a bit, which is one of the reasons why I like working with him.”
Cimini reports that Maccagnan and Gase “had disagreements over certain personnel decisions during free agency,” and that “CEO Christopher Johnson started spending more time at the facility to observe the dynamic between the coach and General Manager.” (Cimini cites another unnamed source in support of the notion that Johnson’s increased presence “has nothing to do with Gase and Maccagnan.”)
Some have pointed to the decision to sign running back Le'Veon Bell as the biggest sticking point between Gase and Maccagnan. (Or, more accurately, the decision to pay Bell as much as the Jets did, given that the Jets likely could have gotten him for significantly less.) Bell’s decision to skip a voluntary minicamp this week gave Gase plenty of ammunition for a round of I told you so’s within the team’s facility.
The fact that the cat is out of the bag could end up being a factor in whatever Johnson does. And depending on the amount of internal chaos that this issue creates in the next couple of days, who knows how Johnson will decide to proceed? It would be strange if not unprecedented for Johnson to put all options on the table in late April, but it’s safe to say it’s already strange.