Naturally this week has not been void of rumors, wild speculation and thinly veiled criticisms. Nor did we avoid another situation where certain candidates turned down interviews with the Jets leading to critics painting the Jets jobs as something no respectable candidate wants without acknowledging the situations that made those candidates decline the chance to interview with the Jets.
Below we will take a look at the coaching and general manager candidates that the Jets have interviewed, have scheduled for an interview and who has rebuffed the Jets advances and will also provide the context for why those candidates choose to pass on interviewing with the Jets.
The Jets requested to interview Eric DeCosta (Ravens assistant GM), George Paton (Vikings assistant GM), Ryan Pace (Saints director of player personnel) and Chris Ballard (Chiefs director of player personnel) and all four candidates turned the Jets down. It’s easy to turn around and say the Jets can’t get any good candidates to even interview but it’s not really correct since only one of those candidates is accepting interviews with anyone else.
DeCosta turns down interviews with teams every year, it’s widely known that he is the future GM of the Ravens whenever current GM Ozzie Newsome decides to retire or move on.
Paton also turned down the Bears request, as well as requests in years past, and is reportedly comfortable with his role with the Vikings.
Pace decided to stay with the Saints and, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, will be promoted by the Saints.
Ballard is the only candidate to turn the Jets down and accept an interview with another team, the Bears, but Ballard has been considered the favorite for the Bears gig since they announced the firing of their last GM. The NFL Network’s Albert Breer also reported “one reason Chris Ballard turned down the Jets interview -- When he becomes a GM, wants full authority. That was far from certain in New York.”
So, yes technically four different people turned down the chance to even interview with the Jets but it’d be quite a leap to suggest that qualified candidates are turning down interviews with the Jets just because it’s the Jets. Could potential candidates be hesitant to take the Jets GM job? Of course but that would likely be because the last GM was fired after only two years. Outside of that it doesn’t make any sense because the Jets have a lot of young talent, will have an entire new staff and over $40 million to spend in free agency this year.
The Jets have already interviewed Trent Kirchner, Rod Graves, Bill Kuharich, Rick Mueller and Mike Maccagnan (who was scheduled to interview today). Chris Grier is also scheduled to interview with the Jets but no time has been made official on that yet.
Of those candidates the top two choices (in my humble opinion) are Kirchner (Seahawks) and Maccagnan (Texans). Johnson has said ideally he’d like to hire a GM first then hire the coach but they won’t rule out of hiring a coach first, either way whichever job gets filled first that person will have a say in who the other hire is. It is a bit unusual for a coach to have a say in who his GM (also his boss) would be but the key for Johnson is that his coach and GM to be tied together and on the same page.
The Jets have already interviewed Dan Quinn (Seattle defensive coordinator), Doug Marrone (former Bills head coach), Tom Cable (Seahawks assistant head coach/O-line coach) and Anthony Lynn (Jets running back/assistant head coach). They are set to interview Todd Bowles (Cardinals defensive coordinator), Frank Reich (Chargers offensive coordinator) and requested an interview with former Texans head coach and current Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. But Kubiak has repeatedly said he doesn’t want to take any meetings or be considered for any jobs until the Ravens are done playing football this year.
As soon as the news broke that Marrone was opting out of his contract with the Bills the speculation that he would become the next coach of the Jets began but that it appears that talk may have cooled down. Earlier today ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Quinn is the “favorite” to get the Jets job and Marrone “doesn’t have much a chance.” It’s not surprising that Quinn would be looked at as a favorite but it is interesting/hilarious, considering all the hysteria, that Mortensen said Marrone is basically out of the running.
There have also been reports that Quinn isn’t interested in being paired with his fellow Seahawk, Kirchner, as he reportedly wants a more experienced GM to work with but he also reportedly was hoping to be paired with Paton so that doesn’t make the most sense either. When it seemed like Marrone was set to be the Jets next coach it seemed likely that Maccagnan would then be his GM, as the two have strong ties, but even if Marrone is officially out of the running Maccagnan is likely to remain near the top of the Jets wish list.
If the Jets want to hire Quinn and/or Kirchner they will have to wait until after the Seahawks either lose or win the Super Bowl. Of course they could reach an agreement and keep it hush hush until after the Seahawks season has ended but Jet fans would likely still have to wait awhile. However the rest of the candidates, with the exception of the unlikely candidate of Tom Cable, are all available to be hired immediately so if the Jets decide to go away from the Seahawks they could have a new coach and/or GM in the next few days.