The Associated PressNEW YORK (AP) — Mike Maccagnan helped lead the Jets’ coaching search this offseason, spent big money in free agency and oversaw the team’s draft.
Now, stunningly, he’s out as New York’s general manager.
Team chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson announced the decision to fire Maccagnan in a statement posted Wednesday on the team’s Twitter account. Coach Adam Gase will serve as the acting general manager while the Jets search for a replacement.
“It was a decision that evolved,” Johnson said during a conference call a few hours after the announcement. “And it took a while and maybe I was slow with that decision, but I finally came to it in the last few days.”
ESPN reported that Brian Heimerdinger, the Jets’ vice president of player personnel, also was fired.
Maccagnan had long been on the hot seat, so the move itself isn’t necessarily a shocker. The timing, however, is particularly surprising because Maccagnan ran the Jets’ draft less than three weeks ago, including taking defensive tackle Quinnen Williams with the No. 3 overall pick.
“There’s never a good time to make a decision like this, honestly,” Johnson said. “But it’s a process.”
That included Johnson deciding to “get deeply embedded” in the organization’s football operations by taking what he called a “deeper dive” this offseason.
“I was part of a lot of discussions about the free agents and sat in on dozens of interviews with the guys at the combine and sat in on scouting meetings and watched this process,” Johnson said. “I understood more fully Mike’s role in this building and what I’m hoping for in our future GM.”
Johnson emphasized he wants “a strategic thinker” and added that “it’s more than a talent evaluation guy.”
He also said he wants “a great manager, a communicator — someone who can collaborate well with the building.”
There were reports over the past several weeks that there was tension between Maccagnan and Gase — both denied the reports.
Seattle adds QB Smith
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks have added former New York Jets starting quarterback Geno Smith to the competition to back up Russell Wilson.
Smith signed Wednesday and will be competing with Paxton Lynch, who was selected by Denver in the first round of the 2016 draft.
Brett Hundley became the backup last season after he was acquired in a trade with Green Bay, but he never saw the field as Wilson took every snap. Hundley became a free agent after the season.