NY Jets complete second interview with Robert Saleh without a deal

NY Jets, Robert Saleh (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
NY Jets, Robert Saleh (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The NY Jets have completed their second interview with Robert Saleh.

The NY Jets have been in deep talks with San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh over the last two days as the team looks to find their next head coach.

But after spending the better part of last night, this morning, and the early afternoon in the Jets’ facilities in Florham Park, Saleh has officially left without a deal.

The Jets announced Wednesday afternoon that they had completed their second interview with Saleh. And soon after, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the highly-sought-after candidate was on his way to Philadelphia to interview for the Eagles’ open position.

Thus, despite two days of extensive interviews with the organization, Saleh has left without a contract and will resume talks with other teams.

Saleh has been one of the hottest names on the coaching market this offseason having either interviewed or received a request to interview with six of the seven teams searching for a new head coach — the Houston Texans being the only exception.

The Jets are far from the only team interested in Saleh with the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars reportedly connected to him as well. Now, Saleh is on his way to Philadelphia where he will interview to become Doug Pederson’s replacement.

So what does all of this mean? Are the Jets not hiring Robert Saleh? Is all hope lost? Not exactly.

Does this mean the NY Jets aren’t hiring Robert Saleh?

While Saleh leaving the Jets facilities without a deal isn’t encouraging, this doesn’t necessarily take him out of the running. No one knows for sure why he left without a deal.

Perhaps Saleh decided that he wanted to weigh his options and speak with other teams. Perhaps Joe Douglas decided he wanted to meet with more than one candidate in person before making a decision.

This was always supposed to be a long, drawn-out process. The phrase “cast a wide net” has become a cliche, but it remains the Jets’ gameplan for this coaching hire.

Douglas knows that his reputation rests on this hire and he’s going to make the process as extensive as possible. It would have been a major surprise to see the Jets land the first coaching hire of the offseason after all the talk of them taking their time.

Bottom line — the sky isn’t falling. Saleh may have left without a deal, but that doesn’t mean he won’t eventually get one.

For now, the Jets are free to interview the likes of Marvin Lewis, Joe Brady, Matt Eberflus, and Arthur Smith — otherwise known as the four candidates who are not participating in the playoffs.

As for the likes of Brian Daboll, Eric Bieniemy, Aaron Glenn, and Brandon Staley, the Jets will have to wait at least another week.

The reports of the Jets’ interest in Smith continue to grow and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the team brought the Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator in for a second interview in the coming days. Although the Atlanta Falcons are lurking.

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Robert Saleh has left the building and the Jets’ search for their next head coach continues.