Joe Douglas

Latest On Jets’ Star Players, GM Search

Rich Cimini of ESPN.com passes along a number of interesting notes about the Jets this morning, including a few thoughts and reports on the futures of certain key players and the team’s hunt for a new GM.

For instance, Cimini reports that there is already speculation in league circles that head coach/interim GM Adam Gase is looking to move on from defensive lineman Leonard Williams. That does not mean that Gase wants to trade or cut Williams in 2019, but it sounds as though the new regime would be perfectly willing to allow Williams to sign elsewhere when he becomes a free agent at the end of the year. Cimini suggests that the club could franchise tag Williams or execute a tag-and-trade, but a long-term deal with the Jets does not seem likely at this point.

With respect to Le’Veon Bell, whose signing was a factor in the deteriorating relationship between Gase and former GM Mike Maccagnan, Cimini says it would not be surprising to see the Jets trade Bell after the 2019 season. If they cannot find a trade partner, then Bell can easily be cut after the 2020 season, when all of his guaranteed money will have been paid.

Robby Anderson‘s future with the club is more straightforward. Gase appreciates Anderson’s talent, and if the big-play wideout has a strong 2019, he could be back with Gang Green on a multi-year pact. If he disappoints, he will be gone.

And as far as the club’s GM search is concerned, Cimini says that the rumors connecting Peyton Manning to the job have no substance and that Manning is not on the Jets’ radar at the moment (which jibes with a report from yesterday). Cimini also hears that Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas remains the odds-on favorite for the job. Douglas has been billed as the front-runner since Maccagnan was fired.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Manning Unlikely To Consider Jets Job?

One name certainly overshadows the others thus far connected to the Jets GM job. However, the Jets may be the latest team Peyton Manning turns down.

Connected to positions with other franchises since his retirement, Manning was mentioned as a target in Gang Green’s GM search. But the future Hall of Famer is not viewed as likely to be interested in the position, Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com tweets.

Manning has been linked to jobs with multiple teams — including the Browns and Colts — but neither process seemed to advance too far. This one may not move past the interest stage, either.

The former Colts and Broncos quarterback was also believed to be a target to be part of ESPN’s post-Jason Witten Monday Night Football booth, but that did not come to fruition. Manning, 43, is working with ESPN on multiple other projects, however. Manning’s ESPN work has represented his most public role since retiring in March 2016.

However, he did advocate for Adam Gase to land the Jets’ HC job this year. If Manning were to take a GM post, working with Gase would seem like a fit on the surface. The Jets, though, have taken plenty of heat for their mid-offseason ouster of Mike Maccagnan and are run by a relatively new CEO, Christopher Johnson. Several Jets sources told the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta they do not exactly have confidence in their current boss’ ability to run a football team.

As for the other executives connected with New York’s GM vacancy, Robinson adds the Eagles have not been contacted about an interview with VP of player personnel Joe Douglas in what’s been a “quiet” search thus far. A former Gase coworker in Chicago, Douglas has been labeled the early favorite.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Eyeing Joe Douglas As GM?

On Wednesday afternoon, the Jets shocked the football world by firing GM Mike Maccagnan. For now, head coach Adam Gase will serve as the team’s interim GM, but he might not hold that title for long. The Jets have their eyes set on Eagles Vice President of Player Personnel Joe Douglas, two league sources tell Eliot Shorr-Parks of WIP (on Twitter).

It’s not clear whether the Jets have asked the Eagles for permission to interview Douglas, but that doesn’t matter much. Because the move would mark a clear career advancement, the Eagles would not have the ability to prevent Douglas from accepting the job.

Douglas has been with the Eagles since May of 2016, which coincided with Howie Roseman‘s return to power. Douglas had a big hand in assembling the team that won the Super Bowl following the 2017 season, giving him the pedigree to be a leading contender for Gang Green.

It remains to be seen whether Douglas would jump at the job. On one hand, the Jets are loaded with young talent, including quarterback Sam Darnold, running back Le’Veon Bell, safety Jamal Adams, and defensive linemen Leonard Williams and Quinnen Williams. On the other hand, the timing of Maccagnan’s dismissal indicates that there is some serious dysfunction in East Rutherford.

AFC East Notes: Rosen, Patriots, Darron Lee, Bills

The Dolphins weren’t the only team interested in trading for Josh Rosen, the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson writes. Jackson sites an NFL official who was in contact with the Cardinals after the trade was announced, and mention the Patriots as another team that was attempting to acquire the 2018 first-rounder.

Rosen, of course, ended up in Miami, and New England took its own quarterback when it tabbed Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham in the fourth round. In the weeks leading up to the draft, New England was mentioned, along with several other teams, as a potential landing spot for the quarterback.

With other teams being interested, it helps explain why the Dolphins were willing to part with a 2019 second-rounder, and a fifth-round pick in 2020.

Here’s more from around the AFC East:

  • Teddy Bruschi thinks the Patriots might have been led to draft N’Keal Harry in the first round because of the physical presence Josh Gordon brought to the team last year, ESPN’s Mike Reiss writes. “They get him last year, put a 6-3, 225-pound target out there and see what a great piece it was for them, how great it was for Tom Brady,” Bruschi theorized. “Maybe that changed the perception of what they might need.” Of course, the Patriots haven’t picked a receiver in the first round in the Bill Belichick era, so the theory could be accurate.
  • Sticking in New England, the video that led to the arrest of team owner Robert Kraft will eventually be released to the public, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio writes. The judge ruled the tape can be released in a way that won’t taint the jury pool.
  • The Jets have been shopping linebacker Darron Lee throughout the offseason, and that isn’t expected to stop now that the 2019 draft has concluded, Pro Football Talk’s Darin Gantt writes. Lee became expendable once the team brought in C.J. Mosley.
  • Also in New York, team general manager Mike Maccagnan has reportedly been on the hot seat. If the team does make a change, one exec to keep an eye on is Joe Douglas with the Eagles, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora tweets. La Canfora mentions the Eagles exec has ties to Jets first-year head coach Adam Gase.
  • The Bills made a splash in the undrafted free agent pool, signing local product Tyree Jackson. Buffalo reportedly couldn’t believe the Buffalo quarterback wasn’t drafted, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio writes“He was on our draft board to be drafted. I’m surprised. You saw his name still sitting there late in the seventh, and you start going, ‘Man, if this kid doesn’t get drafted, we’re going to have to go after him.’ And we did,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said. Jackson is expected to compete for the team’s backup spot to Josh Allen.
  • The Dolphins already boast 12 picks in the 2020 draft. General manager Chris Grier says that is to be the rule going forward, the Miami Herald’s Adam Beasley tweets. Beasley predicts the team is expected to use its cap space next offseason to buy even more draft picks rather than signing top free agents.

 

NFC East Notes: Giants, Manning, Eagles

If the Giants use the No. 2 overall pick on a quarterback, that’s just fine with Eli Manning.

Obviously knowing I will be a New York Giant, that helped. Been told that, so that’s a starting point,” Manning said (via Art Stapleton of the Bergen Record). “Now just keep going about my job an learn this offense, obviously got to wait for spring and start back practicing with the team and get everybody up to speed.”

Manning also says that he is willing to help the Giants to mold a rookie quarterback, though he does not view that as his primary task:

Yes, in a sense. I wouldn’t look at it as that role. I would look at it as my job to prepare and compete and be ready to play each and every game and in that process you’re always talking football,” Manning said. “You’re always helping out the guys in the room. With Davis Webb this year, with Geno [Smith], you’re always helping them out. Nothing changes. It’s about doing your job but also helping the other guys around you and having great communication in the quarterback room.”

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • It sounds like the Eagles will have the services of defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan in the Super Bowl, even though he’s missed the last two days with an illness. “Because of the position and he’s one of our veteran guys, I do feel comfortable that he’ll be ready,” Pederson told a pool reporter (Twitter link via Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer). This season, Jernigan ranked as the No. 33 ranked interior defender in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics, making him a quality partner for Fletcher Cox (ranked No. 2) in the middle of the line.
  • Howie Roseman was asked about the Eagles’ decision to block vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas from interviewing for the Texans’ GM job this offseason and offered up a vague explanation. “We were during the season,” Roseman said (via Matt Lombardo of NJ.com). “I think that the way the league rules are, that during the season, it’s not expected that you’d allow people to interview with other teams. That’s the way the rules are written. We’re going to abide by the rules that are written. Joe’s a valuable part of our organization. We love having him in Philadelphia. But, again, during the season we’re going to focus on playing.” Going forward, the Eagles will probably have to give Douglas an elevation in salary and title in order to keep him in the organization.
  • The Cowboys should prioritize a long-term deal for Zack Martin over pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence, Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News opines. The Cowboys need a great edge defender more than another Pro Bowl offensive lineman, but Lawrence’s history of back injuries and struggles prior to 2017 give Sherrington pause about the idea of committing to him for years to come. His suggestion is for the Cowboys to tag him for 2018 and take it from there. Meanwhile, Martin has already shown that he’s among the best in the league at his position across multiple seasons.

Eagles Deny Texans Permission To Interview Joe Douglas

The Eagles denied the Texans permission to interview their VP of player personnel Joe Douglas, according to Albert Breer of The MMQB (on Twitter). As shown in PFR’s GM Search Tracker, Douglas was one of seven execs tied to the job.

[RELATED: PFR’S 2018 GM Search Tracker]

Unless Howie Roseman surprises everyone by retiring, there’s no plausible way that Douglas can ascend to the Eagles’ top job. However, the Eagles could keep Douglas happy with some combination of a pay bump, a shiny new title, and maybe a tacit promise to be the heir apparent to Roseman, whenever that day comes.

Douglas joined the Eagles in 2016 and he’s already impressed ownership with his acumen. This past year, Roseman granted Douglas additional control over the team’s draft board.

Bills exec Brian Gaine is said to be the favorite for the job in Houston. Packers exec Brian Gutekunst, an exceptionally qualified candidate, will interview with the team on Sunday.

Texans Eyeing Douglas, McClay For GM Job

The Texans are showing interest in Eagles VP of player personnel Joe Douglas and Cowboys VP of player personnel Will McClay for their GM vacancy, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). They join Bills vice president of player personnel Brian Gaine, Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio, Packers director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst, and Patriots director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort as candidates tied to the opening. Texans Helmet (Vertical)

[RELATED: 2018 NFL General Manager Search Tracker]

Douglas was not included in the league’s annual list of prospective GM candidates, but he has wielded considerable influence over the Eagles in his year-and-a-half with the team. This past year, top exec Howie Roseman gave Douglas more control over the draft board that he has to previous lieutenants. Owner Jeffrey Lurie also recognizes the role that Douglas has had in the team’s success.

“The hiring of Joe Douglas, I thought, was the pivotal moment of the last year,” said Lurie.

Several teams have failed to lure McClay away from the Cowboys, but this could be the year that he finally leaves the nest. He is among the Fritz Pollard Alliance’s recommended minority candidates for GM jobs this offseason.

 

The Texans’ next GM will reportedly have roster control over head coach Bill O’Brien. But, in an interesting twist, O’Brien will be a part of the four-man team in charge of the hiring process along with McNair, team president Jamey Rootes, and vice chairman/CEO Cal McNair.

The GM job opened up this week when Rick Smith announced that he will be taking a leave of absence to care for his wife as she battles breast cancer. Both parties left the door open to Smith returning to his role as GM at some point, but that seems unlikely if a permanent hire is made. At minimum, the plan is for Smith to remain with the organization and carry the title of Executive Vice President.

Texans vice president of football operations/assistant general manager Jimmy Raye III may also be in the mix for the job, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: 49ers, Eagles, Injuries

The 49ers have won every game that Jimmy Garoppolo has started this season. However, general manager John Lynch knows that the team’s priority this offseason must be to surround his new signal caller with better talent, reports Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.

Smith relays quotes that the first-year decision maker made on FS1 today that expresses his decision to move forward with the plan of building around Garoppolo.

“It frees you up in the draft to go looking for other needs and build your team around him,” said Lynch.

At the moment, San Francisco seems to have found two solid play makers in Marquise Goodwin and rookie Trent Taylor. But with running back Carlos Hyde‘s future with the team uncertain being that he will become an unrestricted free agent, the team needs more guys that can help elevate Garoppolo’s game.

It’s certainly a team with a number of holes, but there’s undoubtedly newfound hope that the organization has found their next franchise quarterback given this late season run.

Here’s more notes from around the NFC:

  • While the Eagles have a number of assistant coaches that could be in-line for head coaching gigs after the conclusion of this season, the team’s Vice President of Player Personnel Joe Douglas has gone a bit under-the-radar in terms of garnering interest from general manager needy teams, opines Jeff McLane of The Inquirer. Douglas surprisingly wasn’t mentioned in the league’s annual list of prospective GM candidates. But despite not being named, owner Jeffrey Lurie has spoken highly of the number two football man in his front office. “The hiring of Joe Douglas, I thought, was the pivotal moment of the last year,” said Lurie. With Douglas’ guidance, the Eagles have made a number of quality football decisions that has led them to being on the verge of clinching home field advantage in the NFC. McLane does mention that while Douglas is highly-regarded in league circles, he’s still viewed as strictly a “football guy”, which isn’t the type of person that is now needed to lead an entire front office, according to McLane. Nevertheless, if the Eagles continue to dominant with Douglas partially at the helm, he definitely should start to become more sought after for a lead job in the years to come.
  • Despite the Cowboys getting Zeke back for the first time since Week 8, the team is still dealing with a number of injuries entering their season-defining Week 16 game against Seattle. Star left tackle Tyron Smith is currently dealing with back and knee injuries, but he will “give it a try” this Sunday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Defensive tackle David Irving has been officially ruled out for a third straight game because of a concussion as well, reports David Moore of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). Although, there is some good news on the injury front for the Cowboys as stud pass rusher Demarcus Lawrence practiced fully on Friday and is ready to go, per Todd Archer of ESPN.com.
  • The Seahawks are also dealing with a few critical injuries of their own prior to the Week 16 contest, even though the injury news seems to be a bit better on Seattle’s side. Head coach Pete Carroll said after practice that linebacker Bobby Wagner and strong safety Bradley McDougald are on track to play on Sunday, but the team would “wait-and-see” if cornerback DeShawn Shead would be activated from the PUP for this weekend’s matchup, reports Brady Henderson of ESPN.com.

NFC Rumors: Vikings, Zeke, Roseman, Cards

Harrison Smith underwent ankle surgery in February but is expected to be ready for training camp. The Vikings‘ top defensive back is ahead of schedule in his recovery from the left ankle operation, per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, but the team is expected to be cautious with him this offseason. A high ankle sprain hampered Smith toward the end of last season, and although the Pro Bowl defender returned for the Vikings’ final two games after missing two in December, a corrective procedure became necessary. A source informed Tomasson that Smith opted for surgery after playing on the injured ankle in the Pro Bowl led to it “getting worse.” Smith will enter the first season of his five-year, $51.25MM contract in 2017.

Here’s more from the NFC.

  • Jerry Jones acknowledged the Ezekiel Elliott video that emerged via TMZ last month is “not good.” The video shows the Cowboys running back lowering a woman’s top on a float at a Dallas St. Patrick’s Day parade. “There is not much that I want to say other than that was unfortunate and not good,” Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News,” Jones said. “It wouldn’t be the right emphasis one way or the other to get into any communications or dialogue since that happened. … I wouldn’t want to say on communication, but I’m aware of the incident and I’m aware of the criticism.” Representatives of the 21-year-old Elliott expect him to be cleared of wrongdoing in a 2016 domestic violence case, but this incident adds to a growing list of off-the-field drama for the talented back.
  • The Rams did not pursue T.J. McDonald or Case Keenum in free agency, according to the Los Angeles Times. An impending eight-game suspension reduced interest in McDonald, who landed with the Dolphins. Keenum signed with the Vikings.
  • Howie Roseman‘s given more power over the Eagles‘ draft board to VP of player personnel Joe Douglas than he did previous lieutenants Ryan Grigson or Tom Gamble, Jeff McLane of Philly.com writes. “The draft is going to be really built by Joe,” Jeffrey Lurie said, via McLane, before adding “the final decision will be made by Howie.” This will be Douglas’ first draft with the Eagles after landing in Philadelphia last May. McLane writes this will take some of the prospect-evaluation burden off of Roseman.
  • The Cardinals do not look set to add any notable help at either running back or wide receiver. Bruce Arians said (via Kent Somers of AZCentral.com) the team is content with what it has there. The fifth-year Cardinals coach noted Kerwynn Williams can be the No. 2 back behind David Johnson, and the coach expects a healthier season from John Brown. Somers notes depth pieces could come via lower-round picks or UDFAs, but it appears Arizona will address other positions with its higher draft picks.
  • Tim Hightower‘s 49ers deal is a one-year agreement, according to Nick Shook of NFL.com. The former Cardinals, Redskins and Saints back will turn 31 in May.

Eagles Will Keep Pederson, Roseman

The Rams, 49ers, Jaguars, Chargers, Bills, and Broncos are all in search of their next head coach. The Eagles won’t create a seventh NFL head coaching vacancy this offseason. The Eagles will retain coach Doug Pederson as well as executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman and vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas, according to a team source who spoke with Zach Berman of the Philadelphia InquirerDoug Pederson (vertical)

[RELATED: Darren Sproles Likely To Retire Following 2017 Season]

Although the Eagles were hoping to do better than 7-9 this year, few expected the team to fire Pederson after just one year at the helm. Roseman only recently wrestled back control of the front office after the Chip Kelly ouster and there wasn’t much talk of him getting the boot either. Roseman has been with the organization since 2000 and has a strong relationship with team owners. Of course, the return of Pederson, Roseman, and Douglas doesn’t mean that there won’t be other changes made.

I’m going to evaluate everything,” Pederson said recently when asked about potential staff changes. “Obviously right now, nothing, but we’re just going to get into the offseason and we’re going to take some time to evaluate, but I don’t anticipate anything.”

The Eagles’ first-round pick (No. 12) is owned by the Browns. However, they’ll be picking at either No. 14 or No. 15 thanks to the pick they acquired from the Vikings in the Sam Bradford trade.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.