The New York Jets are busy making changes in their front office. Changes dead smack in the middle of the offseason can alter things. At this point, strategies should already be entrenched after the draft and free agency. On the sideline, a new era is beginning for the Jets with head coach Adam Gase. How will that new era fare with a new regime in the office making decisions? Former general manager Mike Maccagnan is out and Joe Douglas is in. Here are three things to know about the newest executive.
1. Douglas was a vital part of the Eagle’s front office in recent seasons
As vice president of player personnel for the Philadelphia Eagles, Joe Douglas helped lay a foundation in Philadelphia from 2016-2018. Douglas was a catalyst behind contractual extensions given to tight end Zach Ertz, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and others. Douglas was a key piece of the driving force behind the construction of a deep and talented Eagles roster over the last few years.
Normally, general managers get their start in a role where they are able to build a roster from established National Football League players and Douglas has plenty of ability in that department. Multiple big names will reach free agency for the Jets in upcoming years. Names such as Leonard Williams, Robby Anderson, and Avery Williamson are due for contract extensions soon. We should see the prowess of Douglas in that phase pay off for New York.
2. Douglas had 15 seasons as an executive with the Baltimore Ravens
It’s tough breaking into the NFL as an executive. Over the last 15-20 years, the Baltimore Ravens have been one of the more consistent franchises. Learning the ropes in that front office as an executive created one hell of a launching pad for Douglas.
Former Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome was able to make a name for himself in that role in Baltimore. Douglas was able to soak up the ins-and-outs of the position behind Newsome. Sure, there is no better experience than actual experience. Concerns about Douglas taking on the hard hat as a general manager are understandable. However, Douglas learned plenty during his time in Baltimore. If the Jets are lucky, he should prove to be a mold of the Baltimore front office.
3. Douglas was an offensive lineman at the University of Richmond
It should be established that Douglas played collegiate ball at the University of Richmond. At left tackle to be exact. During his four seasons with the Spiders in the late 90s, Douglas earned 45 starts. Also, he was second-team all-Atlantic 10 in 1998. So the man knows the position and its value.
That is great news for a Jets franchise that has several question marks at that position. It is arguably the biggest question mark on the team at the moment. Not to mention, the position will need upgrading for a couple of seasons before a comfort level is likely reached. Young quarterback Sam Darnold will need protection. Bell cow running back Le’Veon Bell will need run lanes paved for him. So it’s only right for the Jets new hire at general manager to focus keenly on elevating the trenches on both sides of the ball. Keep an eye on this aspect in upcoming seasons.
Eric Robinson is a writer for PFN covering the New York Jets. You can follow him @_Eric_Robinson on Twitter.