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Report: Jets add Saints' Terry Fontenot to their list of GM candidates

New York Jets chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson

New York Jets chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson arrives at the Jets "Take Flight" new uniform event at Gotham Hall in New York City on April 4, 2019. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The Jets have added another name to their list of candidates for their vacant general manager position.

They have requested permission to speak to Saints director of pro scouting Terry Fontenot, according to the NFL Network. Fontenot is the fifth person the Jets have reportedly sought to interview.

The other candidates are Eagles director of player personnel Joe Douglas, Bears assistant director of player personnel Champ Kelly, Vikings assistant general manager George Paton and Seahawks co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer.

Fontenot has been with the Saints for 16 years, the last six in his current role. He’s worked closely with assistant general manager/college scouting director Jeff Ireland and coach Sean Payton to help build the roster. Fontenot also supervises the advance scouting of upcoming opponents.

The interviews are expected to start this week — perhaps as early as Thursday with Fitterer reportedly up first. Kelly could be next, followed by Douglas, who is considered a leading candidate.

It’s unclear whether Paton will take the interview. He has turned down many interviews, including one with the Jets in 2015 before Mike Maccagnan was hired.

Jets coach and acting GM Adam Gase wouldn’t address the candidates or when they would interview for the job that became available when Maccagnan was fired two weeks ago.

“Just to be fair to these guys we have to go through our process,” Gase said Wednesday. “There’ll be a time and place to talk about all of this. For me to comment on any of that stuff, it’s just not the right time or place.”

There was a report that the Jets could pursue legendary quarterback Peyton Manning for a front office position. Gase was Manning’s quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator for three years in Denver. But Manning said the Jets never contacted him.

“I never heard anything from the Jets. Nobody ever contacted me,” Manning told the New York Post at an Ohio golf tournament Wednesday. “And I’m not sure I was qualified anyway.”

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