It might have gotten a little more complicated than it initially seemed it would be, but the bottom line held true: The New York Jets announced Friday evening that they have hired Eagles player personnel vice president Joe Douglas as their new general manager, in what ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported was a six-year deal.
Douglas, 42, was the favorite from the moment the Jets fired GM Mike Maccagnan on May 15. But the Jets conducted several interviews amid questions over new coach Adam Gase’s role in Maccagnan’s demise. Gase, who worked with Douglas in Chicago in 2015, insisted that the new general manager would have final say over the 53-man roster. But some observers have wondered about Gase’s ultimate intentions.
This week, reports emerged that the Jets and Douglas were haggling over his compensation and the scouting budget and that the Jets didn’t appreciate reports that Douglas had the job locked up.
On Friday, the Texans unexpectedly fired general manager Brian Gaine after just a year in the position and in which Houston made the playoffs. Houston, denied permission to talk to Douglas previously, might have been an alternate destination had the Jets and Douglas not reached agreement.
Douglas came up in the Baltimore organization and joined the Eagles from Chicago after the 2016 draft. He has a reputation for drafting and acquiring tough, solid players who don’t present problems off the field.
The Eagles seemingly have been preparing to lose Douglas ever since they won Super Bowl LII. This offseason, they hired Andrew Berry, formerly of the Browns, as vice president of football operations. He could slide into Douglas’s role as could director of player personnel Andy Weidl if Weidl doesn’t go with Douglas.
Douglas, a beefy former University of Richmond offensive lineman who looks like a bouncer at a really tough bar, gave the Eagles’ front office true “football man” cred. But his tenure here was so brief it is hard to identify how much of the team’s success he should get credit for and what the Eagles might lose now that he is leaving.
In 2017, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said Douglas’s hiring was “the pivotal moment of the last year.” But as it became apparent that Douglas was destined to move on, with his path to full control blocked by executive vice president Howie Roseman, Lurie became less effusive.
Asked this March about Douglas’s impact, Lurie portrayed him as part of a group, a “great team” of “really good people in the whole scouting and the analytics area."
“We also at some point are going to lose executives,” Lurie said at the NFL owners’ meetings. “When you’re winning, you’re going to lose executives, and I think we’re in a great position to be able to deal with that.”