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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.

Are the Jets Interested in Bringing in Peyton Manning to Run the Team?

The clock has yet to strike 48 hours since the Jets made a massive move in the front office with the firing of general manager Mike Maccagnan, but already one huge name is on the teams’ reported wish list.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports Jets CEO and chairman Christopher Johnson is interested in former Colts and Broncos QB Peyton Manning to come in and run the show, helping out new Jets head coach Adam Gase.

Gase and Manning worked with each other in Denver, so it would be somewhat of a reunion.

“It’s more than a talent-evaluation guy,” Johnson said Wednesday. “I want a great manager, a communicator, who can collaborate well with the building. I’m convinced we’re going to find that person.”

Manning definitely would be that person. But it’s unknown whether Manning would be interested in being that person. If he is, it would fulfill a match more than 20 years in the making; in 1997, Manning supposedly would have left Tennessee early if he had an assurance that the Jets would make him the first overall pick in the draft.

Getting Manning also would go a long way toward removing the current stink of dysfunction enveloping the Jets, even if that stink is more than a little overblown.

Could the Jets Already Be Looking to Move Running Back Le’Veon Bell?

First there was the quick exit of Jets GM Mike Maccagnan, replacing him with current new Jets coach Adam Gase as the teams’ new GM.

Now New York has even more of a media circus, as there’s rumblings that the team might actually be LOOKING TO TRADE newly signed running back Le’Veon Bell.

Here’s a tweet from earlier today about the situation.

Some of this might be coming from the fact that Maccagnan liked Bell, but Gase was not all that keen on paying him what they did considering 31 other teams were not jumping to grab him when he was an unrestricted free agent.

The New York Post had these details:

Sources told me that Gase likes Bell the player, but felt they did not have to pay that much to get him. There were other reports that Gase did not want Bell at all.

With Bell already a no-show for most of the spring program, it is fair to wonder how the Bell/Gase relationship will be now that these reports are out in the atmosphere.

So if you are the Jets – what do you do? It’s not likely since you were the only team interested that someone is going to give up much for Bell, and most teams are simply going to sit back and watch while the Jets – four months before the season starts – go into panic mode.

It will be interesting to watch, and might be the best NFL drama of the summer.

Jets Fire General Manager Mike Maccagnan, Name Adam Gase Acting GM

The Jets announced on Wednesday that they have canned general manager Mike Maccagnan.

Jets chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson announced Maccagnan’s dismissal. Maccagnan began his tenure as Jets general manager in 2015.

Coach Adam Gase will take over as the Jets’ acting general manager until the team finds someone for the role full-time.

“This morning, I informed Mike that he was being relieved of his duties as general manager of the team, effective immediately,” Johnson said in a news release.

“Mike helped to execute the strategic vision of the organization during the last four seasons and especially the past few months. 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.”

“I will start a search for our new general manager immediately. In the interim, coach [Adam] Gase will be the acting general manager. I would like to thank Mike for his time and efforts during his tenure, and I wish only the best for him and his wife Betty.”

Before coming to the Jets, Maccagnan worked for the Washington Redskins and Houston Texans and had stops in the CFL and NFL Europe.

What Does Adam Gase Have to Do To Make the Jets a Winner in Year One?

When the New York Jets hired 41-year-old Adam Gase to run one of the league’s most high profile franchises, there was concern as to how he was going to be able to turn things around after a tough season in 2018 with the Miami Dolphins.

From his interesting facial expressions at his first presser, to the fact that many sites like think this can be a surprise playoff team, the Jets have to make some things happen in order to turn the corner after the last few seasons of being one of the lower teams in in the NFL.

Here’s a couple quick things that has to go Gase’s way in year one for the Jets.

1. Win the team

You have to know that at 41 there’s some players that are not all that much older than the coach, so for Gase it’s all about having the support of the locker room from day one.

One VERY positive sign is some comments from two-time Super Bowl champion Kelechi Osemele, who came to the Jets from the Raiders via trade this offseason.

“He’s [Coach Gase] a bad ass,” said Osemele. “You can just tell, you can just feel it…He’s [Le’Veon] a talented guy and he’s one of the best running backs in the league.

“Seeing Marshawn Lynch take a year off and come back to be fresh and explosive, I can’t imagine what Le’Veon is going to be like when he comes back fresh. Running backs take a lot of hits and sometimes they are just as banged up as lineman. He’s an ambitious guy on and off the field. It’s going to be good.”

Having the pulse of the team is going to be paramount for the Jets and their new head coach.

2. Get Darnold Confidence

Second-year quarterback Sam Darnold has to be the leader of this team in year two, and in order for him and the Jets to be successful, Gase has to be in his corner.

Darnold may have a bad game or two, but he can’t waver on making Darnold THEE man from week one to week 16. If the Jets are going to be in the playoff mix in a tough December in which they have five games including a primetime showdown with the Ravens, Darnold has be playing well.

3. Handle the Media

Being in the New York market is not easy, and so far Gase has done a nice job with the way he’s handled the always tough New York media.

Having the media in your corner in New York is about the biggest thing you can have going for you, but so far the media seem okay with Gase, and as long as they are competitive and are (if not winning) at least hanging in games, Gase should get an early pass from the mouths that could easily call for his head.

Jets December Slate Won’t Be Easy, But Could Dictate How the 2019 Season Plays Out

The new look New York Jets will not have an easy slate when it comes to the final five weeks of the regular season, as the club will play no less than five December games that could dictate if they can find a way to be a challenge in the postseason or even pushing the Patriots in the AFC East.

Checking such sites as the Jets are still in the mix to win between six and eight games in 2019, but a lot of things can happen between now and in seven months when it’s crunch time for gang green and company at Met Life Stadium.

December starts with a road game at the AFC North’s Cincinnati Bengals, a team with a new coach in former Rams passing coach Zack Taylor.

The Bengals are not expected to be a force this year in the AFC, but the Jets cannot assume they will go into Paul Brown Stadium and be able to just dominate.

The next week the team will be at Met Life to take on division rivals the Miami Dolphins. Miami could be a train wreck in 2019, and Adam Gase will want revenge for the team parting ways with him when he clearly was not at fault for a lot of their mistakes.

Four days later it is another AFC North showdown, as the Jets will be on Thursday night football at 8:20pm. The Jets will have to make sure to keep second-year QB Lamar Jackson in check, and also the Ravens have lost a lot of their top defense in free agency this past offseason.

The game that many are looking at is December 22nd, three days before Christmas as former Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell will take on his old team the Steelers at Met Life Stadium.

The Steelers always play the Jets tough, but Bell is going to want revenge for what he put up with trying to get paid what he felt he was worth while in Pittsburgh.

The final five of the December games will be on the 29th when the Jets travel to Buffalo to battle the Bills, a team that will also be in transition in the 2019 season.

The Bills always seem to put up a fight with the Jets as well, and even if they are already done for the postseason, you can’t rule out the Bills coming up with a game plan to try and get a win on in the final day of the regular season against the Jets.

6th Round Jets Pick Bless Austin Hoping to Have a Big Impact at the CB Spot in 2019

The New York Jets are hopeful they have a diamond in the rough when it comes to one of their late draft picks, as the team picked Rutgers cornerback Bless Austin in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

The pick from Rutgers was sitting on the board at exactly the right time for the Jets, as had him going right where he went, meaning the Jets waited it out just right.

Austin is excited about his opportunity with the Jets, and has already set huge goals for himself and the team as they go through mini camp to start to look to get ready for the 2019 season with new head coach Adam Gase.

“I want to be the best to ever play this game at my position,” Austin said to

“Regardless of if I was healthy or not, I was always going to come to this level and have that chip [on my shoulder].”

Last season Austin played in one game before suffering a season-ending injury He was honored on Senior Day versus No. 16 Penn State despite the injury.

In the season opener against Texas State (9/1) he recorded three tackles, two for a loss with a sack, and an interception.

Many felt that Austin with the right amount of playing time had potential, as he was named Preseason Fourth Team All-Big Ten by Athlon Sports.

Austin does have plenty to prove and still has to work his way back to show that the Jets were not just spinning their wheels when they picked him in the 6th round.

They were impressed with his workouts as well as his attitude, and while there is no timetable for Blessuan Austin’s return as he and team have not given a definite answer.

Don’t look (unless there are big changes) that Austin plays at all in the preseason or in the first few weeks of the regular season for the Jets as they begin the 2019 season.

Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan has stated that there’s a chance that Austin could start the year on the PUP list. This would then cause him to sit out at least six weeks.

When Bless is able to come back, he will look to join a long list of great NFL defensive backs (Devin and Jason McCourty, Logan Ryan, Duron Harmon and Marcus Cooper) who came out of Rutgers.

While Austin likes to talk a good game, he’s got plenty to prove that he was worthy of a 6th round pick of the Jets in this year’s NFL Draft.

Jets to Decline Fifth-Year Option on LB Darron Lee

Various reports say that the Jets are expected to decline the fifth-year contract option of linebacker Darron Lee.

Lee, the Jets’ first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2019 season. New York could have kept the linebacker under contract for the 2020 campaign at $9.5 million, which wasn’t fully guaranteed until next March.

The Jets’ decision to pass on Lee’s option likely involved the signing of inside linebacker C.J. Mosley. Lee is projected to lose his starting job to Mosley, who signed a five-year, $85 million contract with the franchise in March.

Mosley and returning starter Avery Williamson are the top candidates to start at inside linebacker, pushing Lee to a backup role if he remains on the team.

The Jets have been attempting to trade Lee, according to ESPN. If a deal isn’t found for the Ohio State product, the Jets may find a role for him in defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ scheme.

Lee has a $3.25 million cap hit this season and has a $1.8 million base salary.