The favorite ended up winning out. On one of the most action-packed June Fridays in recent NFL history, the Jets named Joe Douglas their next general manager. While Douglas beat out three other candidates, he was the frontrunner from the start. The Jets will make a six-year commitment to Douglas, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.
Howie Roseman will lose one of his top lieutenants, with Douglas having served as the Eagles’ VP of player personnel since 2016. Adam Gase has been believed to have preferred Douglas since Mike Maccagnan‘s ouster. The two worked together with the 2015 Bears, when Douglas served as their college scouting director while Gase was Chicago’s OC. Prior to that, Douglas spent 15 years in the Ravens’ personnel department.
Gase, who served as Jets interim GM, will cede 53-man roster control to Douglas, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. Both will report to CEO Christopher Johnson.
This comes at an interesting time. The Texans fired Brian Gaine on Friday afternoon, and with the team having attempted to interview Douglas for that post last year, it stood to reason the AFC South franchise would try again. The Jets and Douglas were believed to be apart on salary, with CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora tweeting a chasm of around $1MM per year existed. But we now have a June day featuring two GM moves, an obviously uncommon NFL occurrence.
Douglas, 42, becomes the Jets’ fourth GM in the past eight years, following Maccagnan (2015-19), John Idzik (2013-14) and Mike Tannenbaum (2006-12).
Douglas certainly appears to have resisted the Jets’ initial overtures, with Schefter reporting (via Twitter) he repeatedly turned the team down. But the Jets continued their aggressive pursuit. This comes a few days after a report surfaced about some candidates being leery of the Jets’ atypical ownership situation. Christopher Johnson is working as CEO while Jets owner Woody Johnson serves as an ambassador in the Trump administration. A six-year deal would cover any amount of time the president would serve in office, though as the Texans showed earlier today by cutting bait on Gaine’s five-year deal after one season, long-term pacts are tenuous. But the team appears to have made an effort to help assuage any concerns about its ownership status.
Breaking into the NFL as a scout for the Super Bowl champion 2000 Ravens, Douglas also played a key role in helping the franchise win its second Lombardi trophy. He brought Joe Flacco‘s name to Ozzie Newsome, per Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Douglas has been part of three Super Bowl champions.
The Jets have not been to a Super Bowl in 51 years and have missed the past seven AFC playoff brackets. They are the only team to have failed to win six games in each of the past three seasons. Their most recent coach-GM experiment deteriorated rapidly. Gase and Maccagnan differed on some 2019 decisions, most notably the Le’Veon Bell contract, and that led to an awkward draft. But the first-year Jets HC will likely have more confidence in Douglas. Interestingly, with Douglas now signed up, he, Gase and Sam Darnold share an agent (Jimmy Sexton).
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.