The Jets fired general manager Mike Maccagnan on Wednesday morning and first-year coach Adam Gase will serve as interim general manager, team chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson said in a statement.
“This morning, I informed Mike that he was being relieved of his duties as general manager of the team, effective immediately,” Johnson said. “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 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.”
ESPN reports that VP of Player Personnel Brian Heimerdinger has also been fired.
Maccagnan was hired in January 2015, replacing John Idzik, who lasted just two seasons. The Jets went 10-6 in 2015 but missed the playoffs. From 2016-18, the team went 5-11, 5-11 and 4-12. The four-win campaign cost Todd Bowles his job and now, some four months later, Maccagnan has suffered the same fate.
ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini wrote at the time of Maccagnan’s hire in Jan. 2015 that the Jets interviewed at least six other candidates for the job — Rod Graves, Chris Grier, Trent Kirchner, Bill Kuharich, Rick Mueller and Jon Robinson — and the organization was turned down by four others — Chris Ballard, Eric DeCosta, George Paton and Ryan Pace. Ballard, DeCosta and Pace are all now general managers (for the Colts, Ravens and Bears), and Paton is an assistant GM with the Vikings.
“I hear that all is not well in New York Jets land about their scouting operation. General Manager Mike Maccagnan is on the hot seat internally, and many in the league expect changes in the Jets’ front office after the draft. Stay tuned.”
A day later, Maccagnan was asked about a possible rift with Gase, whom he played a role in hiring.
“Actually, I think Adam [Gase] and I have worked very well together,” Maccagnan said on April 26. “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.”
And less than three weeks later that’s exactly what happened. The development comes after the Jets selected Quinnen Williams, arguably the best player in the draft, with the third-overall pick, and added edge rusher Jachai Polite — also considered a first-round talent — in Round 3.
On paper, the Jets should be much improved over the four-win outfit from a season ago. In addition to Williams and Polite, 2018 No. 3 pick Sam Darnold is entering Year 2 and he’ll be joined in the backfield by Le’Veon Bell. On the other side of the ball, the Jets signed linebacker C.J. Mosley to bolster a unit that ranked 21st a season ago, according to Football Outsiders.