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NEW YORK (AP) — It wasn’t long after Todd Bowles was fired as the Jets‘ head coach that frustrated fans started asking the inevitable
question:What about Mike Maccagnan?The general manager was hired a day before
Bowles in 2015 Youth Joe Klecko Jerseys , the two linked together — but separately in the team’s reporting structure — for the next four seasons that featured lots of losing and
disappointment.A few hours after completing a 4-12 season, Bowles was fired
Sunday night by Christopher Johnson , the team’s acting chairman and CEO, who
opted to keep Maccagnan in place.“I think Mike is a good talent evaluator,
period,” Johnson said Monday. “Looking at the plan we have going forward, I’m a
believer in Mike.”That declaration raised some eyebrows from some fans and
media, who don’t necessarily share the Jets owner’s confidence in the man who
will play a vital role in finding a new coach and building a roster around
quarterback Sam Darnold with about $100 million in salary cap space to work with
this offseason.Bowles deserved a large part of the blame, of course, for New
York’s 24-40 record in his four seasons. But, the counter-argument is that the
coach didn’t exactly have a roster filled with overwhelming talent and depth.And
that falls on Maccagnan.“I think there are definitely things, where the team is
right now, that are the result of some of the things — some of the decisions I
made — that did not work out well,” Maccagnan acknowledged. “I understand that.
I definitely know I need to do a better job in certain areas. But I also feel
confident that we have added some good pieces to this organization.”The trade up
with Indianapolis last winter to draft Darnold at No. 3 overall is the biggest
positive of Maccagnan’s tenure.Unless, of course, you consider that the
quarterback-needy Jets passed on both Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes in 2017
and instead took safety Jamal Adams — who is already a Pro Bowl pick and a team
leader, but not a franchise quarterback. And getting one cost New York two
second-round selections last year and a second-rounder this year to be sure it
was in position to draft one last April.Adams Joe Klecko Jerseys Stitched , by the way, implored the team after the season finale to get more “dogs” on the roster, playmakers who can make the difference between
wins and losses. That could be considered an unintentional criticism of
Maccagnan, whose draft record might be the most glaring strike against him.Only
12 of the 22 players selected in his first three years are still on New York’s
roster. The first-rounders are starters — Adams, Darron Lee (2016) and Leonard
Williams (2015) — but several other early round picks have been
busts.Second-rounders Devin Smith (2015) and Christian Hackenberg (2016), and
third-rounders Lorenzo Mauldin (2015) and ArDarius Stewart (2017) are all out of
the league. Williams is the only player of the six the Jets drafted in 2015
still on any active roster, let alone New York’s.“Every team wants better
talent,” Johnson said. “We’d love to have great talent. This team has to get
better. Mike knows that.”Maccagnan has had some success with some late-round
picks, with right tackle Brandon Shell (fifth round, 2016), punter Lachlan
Edwards (seventh, 2016), wide receiver/special teamer Charone Peake (seventh,
2016) and running back Elijah McGuire (sixth, 2017) all playing large roles for
New York this season. Tight end Chris Herndon, a 2017 fourth-rounder, also had a
solid rookie season.But some big-name Youth Curtis Martin Jerseys , big-money free-agent signings and trades have also underwhelmed or backfired during Maccagnan’s tenure, namely Darrelle Revis,
Brandon Marshall, Ryan Fitzpatrick and most recently Trumaine Johnson, who
struggled in his first season with New York and was benched for the finale.In
fairness, there have also been some big-time hits on under-the-radar signings,
including a pair of Pro Bowlers in kick returner Andre Roberts and kicker Jason
Myers, along with linebackers Brandon Copeland and Frankie Luvu.Leading wide
receiver Robby Anderson was an undrafted free agent in 2016, and Maccagnan also
swung a deal with the Colts during the draft last April to land defensive end
Henry Anderson, who tied linebacker Jordan Jenkins — a third-rounder in 2016 —
for the team lead with seven sacks.“I think we have some good, young players and
we’ve positioned this team very well in terms of the salary cap, which is going
to give us the ability to definitely augment our talent base,” Maccagnan said.
“We also have, even with the players under contract, the ability of roster
flexibility. So, although it’s a difficult situation bringing a new coach into
the environment, I do think we have the ability to adjust things to kind of fit
different schemes and stuff like that Curtis Martin Jerseys Stitched , potentially.”Johnson reiterated his support for Maccagnan, saying the GM is the right man for the job as the Jets move forward
and try to regain respectability.“I’ve worked with Mike now for a while,”
Johnson said. “We’ve developed what I think is a good plan. It’s a plan we’re in
sync on and it really came together with Sam. Now, we’re going to build with
Sam, build around Sam and with some great players we have on this team already.
I think it’s a good plan and I’m looking forward to working with Mike to take us
to the next level — including this coach hire.”That’s where the spotlight will
be over the next few weeks, with the likes of Mike McCarthy, Eric Bieniemy, Kris
Richard and Todd Monken expected to interview for the Jets’ coaching
vacancy.After that, it will be largely on Maccagnan to change the narrative on
his tenure and mold the Jets into a roster of playoff contenders.“I think our
big thing, like everything else,” Maccagnan said, “is to keep trying to make
good decisions moving forward.” Jets rookies reported to training camp last
Friday, but unsigned first-round pick Quinnen Williams did not join them and he
remains out as the team edges closer to the first full squad practice of the
summer.According to multiple reports, the issue holding up Williams’s contract
is the signing bonus payment schedule. Manish Mehta of the reports that most
players selected in the top 10 are getting their full signing bonuses this year
— 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa hasn’t signed yet and Giants quarterback Daniel
Jones signed on Monday night — but the Jets have not offered that to Williams at
this point.Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that the Jets have offered
Williams a lower percentage of his bonus than any of the team’s other
first-round picks since the current Collective Bargaining Agreement was put in
place in 2011. Pelissero notes that Williams remains a resident of Alabama this
year and the difference in taxes between that state and New Jersey would mean a
difference of some $100,000 to Williams if the money is deferred to later
years.The Jets didn’t sign quarterback Sam Darnold until camp was fully underway
last year. The team’s veterans report on Wednesday, so things may play out in a
similar fashion this time around.
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