The Jets fired their GM Mike Maccagnan on Wednesday which left many people scratching their heads.
Many considered the Jets to have had a great offseason up to this point with signing a top 5 LB, a top 5 RB, and drafting what many had as the best player in the draft in Qunnien Williams. Maccagnan also drafted what looks to be their QB of the future in Sam Darnold last year.
If Maccagnan has done all of this, why was he cut loose? Well, like most firings, it does not happen after just one situation. It has been a long time coming after many arguments and questionable decisions.
I will discuss the reasons why Mike Mccagnan’s firing was just.
Overpaying for free agents
Many people gave a lot of credit to the Jets for snagging two of the top free agents this year in Le’Veon Bell and CJ Mosley. However, no one can deny they gave them too much money
Mosley is one of the top LBs in the league but is still not in the same class as Luke Kuechly and Bobby Wagner. Kuechly makes about $12.5 million a year, while Wagner only makes $10.75 million a year.
Mosley got the Jets to pay him about $17 million a year which shatters what any other MLB makes in this league.
Le’Veon Bell signed a 4 year/$52,000,000 (about $13 million a year) contract with the Jets and became the second highest paid RB in the league. Gurley is the highest.
Constant disagreements with Adam Gase
Shortly after Maccagnan was fired, reports came out that Gase was unhappy with the free agent signings of Bell and Mosely. It was not that Gase didn’t want Bell or Mosely, but the fact that they put so much money into them.
The Jets had a ton of cap space this season, and Mccagnan seemed determined to use every penny of it on big named players.
One thing an organization does not need is their head coach and GM to be on bad terms. A front office that is not in sync is a recipe for disaster. To obtain and sustain success, a team needs a solidified front office that knows what they want.
The good pickups were not difficult
Sure Mccagnan managed to draft and sign good players, but in reality, it was not difficult to do.
Sam Darnold was drafted with the third overall pick last year. The Jets needed a QB desperately, and Darnold fell right in their laps after the Browns decided to take Baker instead of him and the Giants taking Saquon. So, how much praise can we give Mccagnan for selecting the best QB in the draft with the third overall pick?
Quinnen Williams was, in my opinion, the best player in the draft. The Jets selected him with the third pick this year. Much like the Darnold pick, why should we praise a GM for simply drafting the best player available that early in the draft? In fact, it seemed as if the Jets wanted to trade back to acquire more picks, but Mccagnan failed to make a deal.
As mentioned before, the Jets overpaid for both Bell and Mosley. At first glance, it looks to be a good thing for Mccagnan to recruit top-level talent, but how much recruiting skill does it take to throw a big bag of money someone’s way?
Bad draft picks after the first round
Sam Darnold and Quinnen Williams are the last two first-round draft picks the Jets have made. While no one will argue that they were the right pick, a good GM finds success in the 2nd-4th rounds.
Mccagnan has taken underwhelming players in the 2nd round. Since 2015, the Jets have taken WR Devin Smith, QB Christian Hackenberg, and safety Marcus Maye all in the second.
Mccagnan has also taken players with questionable character traits/personalities.
One player that stands out in this year’s draft was third-round pick Jachai Polite. Polite was initially scouted as a mid-first round pick. However, he had one of the worst pre-draft processes I have ever seen. From a poor combine performance and interviews to exaggerating an injury, Polite killed his draft stock like no other. The last thing I want is a player that gives me more excuses than production.
In this draft, the Jets needed to address their problem at WR and center. Mccagnan did neither, and now they have a big hole at both positions going into next season.
While the firing did not go over well with many fans, I believe this is a good step forward for the Jets. They now know what they want and can proceed to move forward with a plan. They have a significantly better roster than they did last year and Jets fans should be optimistic about the future.