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Jets Expected to Add Phil Savage to the Team’s Front Office

The Jets have added another piece to their front office, as reports from NFL.com state that Phil Savage is joining the team.

Savage’s role is not yet clear, but barring a snag, an announcement is expected this week, per Rapoport.

It’s a reunion for Savage and new Jets GM Joe Douglas. The duo worked together in Baltimore, from 2000 when Douglas joined the Ravens’ staff as a scout until 2005 when Savage left for the Browns GM job. This time around, it’s Douglas in charge.

After his stint as the Browns GM and three years with the Philadelphia Eagles, Savage worked as the Senior Bowl Executive Director from 2012-2018, where he helped select the prospects and run the event, a vital part of the pre-draft process.

Savage left the Senior Bowl last year for a chance to be the GM of the Arizona Hotshots of the Alliance of American Football, which folded before the end of its first season.

Former Jets Quarterback Josh McCown Announces Retirement from the NFL

Former Jets quarterback Josh McCown has announced his retirement after 17 seasons in the NFL according to Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk.com.

McCown made the announcement himself in a post on The Players’ Tribune. Originally a third-round pick out of San Jose State by the Arizona Cardinals way back in 2002, McCown had a long, career that saw him mostly as a backup for 10 different NFL teams as well as the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League.

His best season came as Jay Cutler’s fill-in for the 2013 Bears. That earned him a second life as a bridge-type quarterback, most recently for the New York Jets the past two seasons. McCown started 76 games over the course of his career, completed 60.2 percent of his passes and had a 98:82 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

There are players that would consider McCown’s career a failure because he never ascended to the top echelon of starting QBs in the NFL.

But McCown made it clear he that he is proud of his accomplishments and has enjoyed the entire ride.

“I guess it just goes to show that you don’t always get to choose your own path,” McCown wrote. “But looking back, I’m proud of how my career has gone. I don’t shy away from the journeyman label. I embrace it, full force. Because it’s been one heck of a journey.”

Revered everywhere he has played, McCown was pursued for coaching opportunities before he even retired. He will likely have his pick of sideline jobs if he chooses the coaching route and his chiseled blond good looks and wealth of football knowledge will undoubtedly garner broadcasting offers.

McCown will turn 40 years old on July 4.

Jets Announce Their Theme and Giveaways Schedule for the 2019 Season

In what has become somewhat of a trend in the NFL, teams announce their ‘themes’ for certain games throughout the season, and the Jets today released their schedule for their theme and giveaways games for the 2019 season.

Could GM Joe Douglas Hire Todd McShay to Help Him Run the Jets?

In addition to firing general manager Mike Maccagnan in mid-May, Jets acting owner Christopher Johnson also fired Maccagnan’s right-hand man — vice president of player personnel Brian Heimerdinger.

So now that Johnson has hired the Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas to replace Maccagnan, Douglas still needs to hire a No. 2 guy.

And one candidate is ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay, Darryl Slater of NJ Advance Media reports.

“Joe is considering multiple options, and I’m one of the options,” McShay said.

It’s unclear what McShay’s role in Douglas’ front office might be. Douglas could always rearrange things and bring McShay onboard in a position other than No. 2 man (whatever he winds up calling that job).

McShay and Douglas go way back, to their college days at the University of Richmond in the mid-1990s. McShay was a walk-on quarterback, while Douglas was a four-year starting left tackle. McShay and Douglas both graduated from Richmond in 1999.

When McShay realized he wasn’t going to stick as a player, he became an undergraduate assistant to coach Jim Reid, helping with film breakdowns and recruiting. And that’s how McShay got his start in the scouting/draft analyst world.

McShay has been at ESPN since 2006. He is expected to speak with Douglas about a potential Jets job during the middle of this week, as McShay told ESPN.

Jets RB Le’Veon Bell Thinks He and QB Darnold Will Be a ‘Special Duo’

After one day on the practice field with his new signal-caller, Le’Veon Bell said Sam Darnold will be able to create more plays for him using his legs, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports.

“Sam’s going to make me a better player just cause of the fact that he’s so mobile,” Bell said. “He’s going to create opportunities for me that I wouldn’t usually have and same thing for me, I’m going to make opportunities for him that he’s never had really before too. We’re going to kind of bounce off each other and I think it’s going to be a special duo in the backfield.”

Bell played with a quarterback in Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger, who despite not having speed to run away from defenders extended plays with the best thanks to his strength, famous pump fakes, and subtle pocket movement. Perhaps Bell envisions more opportunities coming his way in New York with a quarterback whose escape hatch is rolling out, where the running back could find himself in open space in the flat.

There is little question that Bell’s ability in the passing game, and especially as a blocker in the backfield, should behoove Darnold entering Year 2. Last season, Darnold struggled with underneath throws, finishing dead last in completion percentage (62.9) on tosses from one to 10 yards. Bell should immediately upgrade that range for Darnold.

Bell should be the workhorse out of the Jets’ backfield as a dual-threat, but the veteran back said he’s not worried about how many touches he earns.

“I feel like I need enough touches for us to win the game,” he said. “I don’t care if I have seven touches; if I have seven touches and we win the game, I had enough today. If I have 38 touches and we win the game, that’s enough. If I have 38 touches and we lose, then I didn’t get enough. I just want to have enough for us to win the game; that’s all that really matters to me. I don’t care how many touches I’m getting; I want us to win the game.”

If the goal is to win games, and ultimately, as he said, the Super Bowl, the questions clearly turn to why Bell would skip voluntary workouts with a new team, and new quarterback as he did before this week.

In a one-on-one interview with NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones, Bell said in order to be the best he can be for the Jets, training with his personal guru was the optimal route to get ready for a grueling season after more than a year off.

“I know a lot of people are expecting a lot from me and I want to be my best self,” he said when asked why he skipped OTAs. “What I’ve been doing over the course of my career — everybody’s been seeing me be my best self. In the offseason, I’ve been doing the same thing (every year). I work out with my trainer, he knows my body to a T.

“He knows the things that I’m great at and he knows the things I’m not necessarily great at and he’ll try to help those things. Our trainer here is coaching 50 guys that are trying to meet one-on-one. So, I can be my best self and I can help my team the best that I can (by skipping OTAs). I want to be the best that I can be because I want to win a Super Bowl.”

Is Eagles VP of of Player Personnel Joe Douglas the Jets Choice to Be Their Next GM?

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News seems to feel that Philadelphia Eagles Vice President of Player Personnel Joe Douglas remains the favorite to fill the Jets GM vacancy.

Per Mehta, barring a disastrous interview this weekend, Douglas is “in line” to become the Jets’ next GM. Mehta adds that Douglas has been coach Adam Gase’s choice “all along.”

Champ Kelly and Scott Fitterer were also considered for the role (George Paton of the Vikings was initially in the running but declined an interview request), but the job has always been Douglas’ to lose. Expect the Jets to officially name him as Mike Maccagnan’s successor in the next few days.

Jets Continue GM Search, Request to Chat with George Paton and Scott Fitterer

The Jets are expanding their general manager search, Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com reports.

In addition to requesting interviews with Joe Douglas and Champ Kelly, the Jets have also requested to interview George Paton and Scott Fitterer, a source told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport on Sunday.

New York previously requested to interview Paton, the assistant GM of the Minnesota Vikings, during its last two general manager searches (2013, 2015) and previously interviewed Fitterer, the co-director of player personnel of the Seattle Seahawks, for the GM vacancy in 2015.

Whereas Douglas and Kelly both have connections with Jets coach Adam Gase, Paton and Fitterer have not crossed paths with the 41-year-old coach.

Jets Seek Permission to Speak to Two Possible GM Candidates

The Jets’ search for a new general manager ramped up Friday as the team began to request permission to interview candidates, Brian Costello of the New York Post reports.

Among the first ones contacted are Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas and Bears assistant director of player personnel Anthony “Champ” Kelly, according to the NFL Network.

The Eagles and Bears must now decide whether to grant permission and then the Jets can begin to schedule interviews. The Jets have said the next general manager will have control of the 53-man roster. If they had not, teams might block candidates from interviewing because it would not be seen as a true general manager’s job.

Both Douglas and Kelly have worked with Jets coach/interim GM Adam Gase before. Douglas spent a year with Gase in 2015 with the Bears and has been rumored to be the front-runner for the job even before the team fired Mike Maccagnan on May 15.

Kelly and Gase worked together with the Broncos from 2009-14 and with the Bears in 2015.

Douglas spent 15 years in the Ravens scouting department, one of the most respected in the league, before going to the Bears in 2015 and then joining the Eagles in 2016. He is highly respected around the league and is seen as a key contributor in assisting general manager Howie Roseman in assembling Philadelphia’s Super Bowl team in 2017.