In mid-May, and just three weeks after the NFL draft, the New York Jets elected to rebuild their front office: the team parted ways with general manager Mike Maccagnan and also let his right-hand man, vice president of player personnel Brian Heimerdinger, go. In a follow-up move, newly hired head coach Adam Gase was put in charge as New York’s interim GM. Now, the organization has completed its search for a successor to Maccagnan.
As was announced by the Jets late last week, they signed Joe Douglas to serve as their new general manager. The team and Douglas agreed to a six-year contract, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, which speaks about how highly he was viewed by the club — and also how committed it is to having him oversee this new phase of a rebuilding process that essentially began when Sam Darnold was drafted third overall by Maccagnan in 2018.
Douglas certainly is an interesting hire by the Jets. As the Philadelphia Eagles’ vice president of player personnel since 2016, he played a key role in constructing a roster that went on to win the franchise’s first Super Bowl to cap the 2017 season. The Eagles’ opponent in the title game? The New England Patriots, who have dominated their division — one that includes the Jets — for the better part of the last two decades.
It is unlikely (but given their track record not entirely unrealistic) that this particular fact played a role in the Jets’ decision making, though. Nevertheless, Douglas has something that most of New York has lacked over the last 20 years: experience when it comes to beating the Patriots. Of course, now he will have to prove that he can win against New England twice a year — and whether or not he is able to build a competitive roster to do just that.