NEW YORK — Joe Douglas was the favourite all along — and the Jets got their guy.
The Philadelphia Eagles executive was hired Friday night to serve as New York’s general manager, tasked with leading the Jets back to respectability.
Douglas, the Eagles’ vice-president of player personnel, was one of four candidates interviewed twice by New York for the vacancy. He met with team officials last Saturday and Sunday, and again earlier this week.
The team announced Friday night on Twitte r that it had agreed to terms with Douglas. The Jets did not announce the terms of the deal, but ESPN reported it is a six-year contract.
Douglas was widely considered the top candidate because he has previous work experience with Jets coach Adam Gase, who served as the team’s acting GM and was heavily involved in the search process. Douglas was Chicago’s director of college scouting in 2015, when Gase was the Bears’ offensive co-ordinator.
They’re now reunited, leading an organization that hasn’t been to the playoffs since the 2010 season.
Douglas replaces Mike Maccagnan, who was surprisingly fired last month after four seasons when Jets chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson said he took a "deeper dive" this off-season to analyze the inner-workings of the football side of the organization. Johnson decided to move on from Maccagnan — after firing coach Todd Bowles after the season — and stressed he was looking for "a strategic thinker" and added that "it’s more than a talent evaluation guy." He also said he wanted "a great manager, a communicator — someone who can collaborate well with the building."
The Jets believe they have exactly that in Douglas, who was widely considered one of the up-and-coming potential GMs.
He beat out Chicago assistant director of player personnel Champ Kelly, New Orleans director of pro scouting Terry Fontenot and Seattle co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer for the job.
Douglas helped build the Eagles into a Super Bowl champion during the 2017 season, working closely with executive vice-president of football operations Howie Roseman after joining Philadelphia’s front office in 2016.
Before his one season in Chicago, Douglas worked in Baltimore’s personnel department from 2000 until 2015. He held various posts with Ravens during that time, including national scout, Southeast area scout, East Coast area scout, Northeast area scout and player personnel assistant.
The former offensive tackle started 45 straight games for the University of Richmond, and was an All-Atlantic 10 selection.
Douglas inherits a solid core of talent with the Jets, including second-year quarterback Sam Darnold, running back Le’Veon Bell, safety Jamal Adams, linebacker C.J. Mosley, defensive lineman Leonard Williams and first-round draft pick Quinnen Williams.
Douglas and Gase will report to Johnson separately, a structure the owner believes is most effective. Gase was responsible for player personnel during his three years as coach in Miami, but said that is not something he wants in New York.