Adam Gase is on the hot seat at One Jets Drive. And while Jets GM Joe Douglas likely won’t be fired, should he share in the blame for the Jets misfortunes this season? According to what Pro Football Network Insider Tony Pauline has heard, that might be the case.
On Wednesday’s edition of NFL Draft Insiders, Pauline reported what he was hearing around the league in regard to Adam Gase and his job status. You can read more here where we go into detail on whether or not Gase will be fired if he loses to the Broncos on Thursday Night Football.
But Pauline also went into detail about Douglas and all that is surrounding him within the organization. It’s no secret that the Jets are a mess. They’ve been a mess for nearly a decade. The failed hirings of John Idzik and Mike Maccagnan have set the franchise back as far as they could go. Douglas was supposed to be the savior that fixed all of that. But can he be?
Joe Douglas wasn’t the Jets’ first choice for GM
The Jets were connected to Douglas before Maccagnan was even out the door. His connection to Gase and the hype around him as a candidate made him an easy target for the media to pick out. He did eventually get the job, but was he the Jets’ first choice all along? According to Pauline, the guy the Jets really wanted was Minnesota Vikings Assistant General Manager George Paton.
“Joe Douglas was really not the Jets’ first choice to be general manager. The guy they had their heart set on was George Paton. I’m told the Jets made him an offer, but Paton did not want to come to the Jets. Number one, he didn’t want to be saddled with Adam Gase as the head coach, and number two, he’s not a big believer in Sam Darnold.”
Paton is commonly regarded as the Vikings’ cap guru. His work under Vikings general manager Rick Speilman has drawn the eye of nearly every team around the league. He’s been one of the hottest general manager candidates in the NFL for years.
But Paton turns down offers seemingly every year. Reports have been that it would take a perfect situation to get him out of Minnesota. Well, the Jets were far from a perfect situation in the summer of 2019. So, it’s no surprise that he spurned them.
Is Joe Douglas really on the hot seat already?
Let’s make one thing clear – Joe Douglas isn’t going anywhere this year. He’s in the second year of a lucrative six-year deal. This is his first full offseason of work, and his top draft pick, Mekhi Becton, has been phenomenal.
But, his free agent moves haven’t worked out thus far and his 2020 draft class has spent nearly the entire time injured – my opinion is that he deserves blame for that, mainly the free agency moves. However, this Jets team was never going to compete in 2020. It was always about the future.
That’s why 2021 is going to mean so much. Douglas has loaded up on draft picks and is set to have the third-most cap space in the NFL next offseason. But Pauline explains that if he can’t turn things around quickly with those assets, he’ll be in trouble.
“I think what’s going to happen is this – if Joe Douglas can’t turn it around, then the Jets are going to be upset. Not only because Douglas couldn’t turn it around, but because they didn’t get their top guy in George Paton.”
It’s hard enough to be a general manager of an NFL team, and it seems like Douglas is expected to carry double that weight. If he can’t perform, and quickly, then he’s not living up to the expectations the Jets had for the guy they really wanted. Whether that’s fair or not doesn’t really matter.
Douglas has work to do to convince the Jets that he deserves the job he has. He’s done a fantastic job of building up the war chest, but now he has to deliver. 2021 is going to be the year that could make or break the Jets’ future.