Dysfunction 101: How Adam Gase Won Jets Power Struggle
By Steven Blush
For weeks, there came vehement denials over rumors of a Jets struggle between GM Mike Maccagnan and new head coach Adam Gase. Turns out, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
The Jets created shock waves by firing GM Mike Maccagnan and his director of player personnel Brian Heimerdinger. What organization lets its GM to hire the coach, lets him spend $191 Million on splashy free agents, run a draft with the #3 overall pick — and then fires him three weeks later? We were just starting to believe the Jets were finally on the right track, then this happens!
When Mike Lombardi first floated news of the alleged front-office rift, the Post‘s Brian Costello savaged him. Hours after the firing, an irate Costello on WFAN apologized to Lombardi for trusting his own inside sources and said he can’t ever trust these Florham Park “liars” ever again.
The GM-HC feud allegedly traces back to “overpaying” the team’s two major free agent signings, Le’Veon Bell and CJ Mosley, and not pursuing center Matt Paradis. Gase clearly felt similarly about the draft class after rookie orientation. That information should go over well in the locker room!
Do you now believe that Minnesota LB Anthony Barr knew what he was doing when he got cold feet? Or how about last year with Kirk Cousins? Bill Belichick must be laughing his ass off. This level of dysfunction even provides cover to Giants GM Dave Gettleman!
Let this point sink in: 41-year-old Adam Gase has complete control of this franchise. There’s a discussion of Eagles VP Joe Douglas, who worked with Gase in Chicago, taking over the GM position. But the well-respected personnel guru’s also a Gase guy — so there will be no checks-and-balances. Also, is draftnik Daniel Jeremiah up for a front office gig (he and Douglas worked together in Baltimore 2003-2007)? And how does this news bode for Gregg Williams’ job security, with Gase’s father-in-law Joe Vitt next in line?
Why Gase over Maccagnan? Why didn’t they just fire the GM when Todd Bowles got shown the door in December? Or why doesn’t ownership just blow this whole thing up and start anew? Gase had a veil of protection with a GM on the hot seat, but now he squarely has a bullseye on his back.
This is an organization mired in chaos. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see that the two would eventually lock in a mortal struggle: the alpha-male Gase versus the sheepish Maccagnan. But to allow Gase, who has won nothing — and is clearly a master manipulator — to win the power struggle, redefines incompetence. Bart Scott believes that this doesn’t affect the overall product on the field. But how could it not?
There are now serious trust issues regarding the players, the front office and the fanbase. Fill-in owner Christopher Johnson better step-up right away to the podium and speak on-camera, front-and-center. We now see that all the backstabbing ties to the team’s unorthodox and unsuccessful power structure, and the lack of hierarchy. Ownership must give more to his customers far more than frivolous commentary about the new uniforms!
But there could be an upside: If Douglas takes the job, he’d be a major upgrade over four seasons under Maccagnan. Douglas rode his Eagles to the Super Bowl, while our GM was still making alibis for Christian Hackenberg. But ownership allowed all this to happen. And that’s a bigger problem.
Welcome to one of the lowest of many low moments in Jets history. You just can’t make this up!