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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Report: Adam Gase completely removed himself from Jets’ draft process

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If any of the players the Jets drafted last month go on to enjoy successful NFL careers, head coach Adam Gase will not be able to say he had a hand in bringing them to New York. In his first year with the team, Gase apparently felt it was best to completely remove himself from the draft process.

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News published a behind-the-scenes look at the rift between Gase and Mike Maccagnan that resulted in the former Jets general manager being fired this week, and apparently the relationship got so bad that Gase gave up on trying to help evaluate players. Sources told Mehta that Maccagnan did not want Gase’s input, because he felt the Jets’ scouting department should be able to evaluate players without being influenced by the coach. Maccagnan apparently operated the same way when Todd Bowles was the head coach in New York.

While there were some points where Gase shared his opinion during meetings with Maccagnan, Gase became angered that the GM did not allow him to have more input on players that were going to have to succeed in the coach’s system. Eventually, Gase decided to go to great lengths to remove himself from the draft process altogether. One team employee who was in the war room during the draft said Gase intentionally moved his seat so he could not be seen on camera.

“He literally took his seat and moved it (out of camera view),” the staffer said. “That was extreme.”

Here’s more on the dynamic that quickly became “awkward” for many within the organization:

Gase wanted to wash his hands of the draft before it even began, according to sources. Eyewitnesses told the Daily News that he was oddly detached for all three days. This was a Maccagnan Production through and through. Gase stayed out of the way, rarely giving input on trade possibilities or prospects when the Jets were on the clock. There was no point that Gase ever fought for or objected to any of Maccagnan’s picks.

Obviously, that is no way to run a team. Jets owner Woody Johnson and CEO Christopher Johnson must not have known how ugly the power struggle had gotten, which could explain the odd timing of when Maccagnan was fired. It could also be explained by one source telling Mehta that Johnson tries to see the good in everyone and simply “doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

Gase was at odds with Maccagnan before the draft because of some major free agent signings he disagreed with, and it will be interesting to see how that plays out going forward. Now that the Jets have sided with Gase over a GM that had been with them for years, the pressure will be greater than ever to win.



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