Can Peyton Manning Fix the New York Jets?

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New York Jets

The New York Jets surprised the football world by firing general manager Mike Maccagnan just weeks after the 2019 NFL draft. A supposed power struggle between Maccagnan and new Jets head coach Adam Gase led to the GM's dismissal. Now, rumors are circulating that future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning is the Jets target to replace Maccagnan. 

Manning? Maybe

Is it true? Are the Jets really interested in Manning as their GM? Sure, why not. The Jets have a track record of unusual decisions. Manning, of course, has exactly zero experience as an NFL personnel executive. Neither did Denver's John Elway nor San Francisco's John Lynch. The results for both of those guys are mixed, but making the jump from retired quarterback to general manager can be done. Would the Jets hire Manning as GM? It doesn't seem likely, but then again this is the Jets.

More Realistic Candidates

There are a few more realistic candidates that would actually be interested in the Jets GM job. The favorite is Joe Douglas, current VP of player personnel for the Philadelphia Eagles. Douglas worked for the Chicago Bears in 2015 which is how he is tied to Gase who served as the Bears offensive coordinator that year. The two have remained close ever since. Douglas was one of the keys to putting together the Eagles roster that won Super Bowl LII.

Other candidates include George Paton, the Vikings assistant general manager, and Champ Kelly, the Bears assistant director of player personnel. The Jets are the only NFL currently looking for a new general manager, so there is no competition. In conducting their search, the Jets will have to interview a minority candidate per the Rooney rule.

The Next Jets GM

Jets CEO Christopher Johnson said that the next Jets GM must be more than a talent evaluator. Johnson wants someone who is a strategic thinker, someone who can communicate, and someone who can work well as part of a team. When the Jets failed with John Idzik, Johnson said he wanted more of a talent evaluator as the GM. That led to Maccagnan's hiring. Idzik was more of a salary cap expert and deal maker than talent scout. 

Now, the Jets are looking for a CEO-type with a strong football background. This is exactly why Peyton Manning or whoever Johnson eventually decides to hire cannot fix the Jets. The franchise has lacked a clear vision for too many years to remember. 

For now, Gase remains the interim GM. He is now the sixth general manager for the Jets since Bill Belichick left after one day as head coach in 2000. 

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