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Jets seek to interview Joe Douglas and Champ Kelly for GM position, report says

New York Jets chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson

New York Jets chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson speaks at the new uniform event at Gotham Hall on April 4, 2019. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Jets’ general manager search is starting to heat up.

According to the NFL Network, the Jets have requested permission to speak with Eagles executive Joe Douglas and Bears executive Champ Kelly.

Both have worked with Jets coach Adam Gase and have been linked to the GM vacancy since Mike Maccagnan was fired last week.

Gase was appointed acting general manager by Jets chairman and chief executive officer Christopher Johnson. It is expected that whoever runs the football department will be a person with whom Gase has had a previous relationship.

It’s become apparent that Gase and Maccagnan did not have a good working relationship, but Johnson and Gase said that wasn’t the reason that Maccagnan was relieved of his duties.

Gase also downplayed the thought that he wants someone he knows or has worked with before. He dismissed the idea that whomever the Jets hire will defer to him.

“I don’t really hang out with yes men,” Gase said Thursday before the Jets closed out their first week of OTAs. “So if it’s somebody I already know, it’s probably somebody that’s not going to be a yes man. I don’t associate myself with people like that.”

As much as Gase said it will be Johnson’s decision, the coach is heavily involved in the process. Gase expects to be a part of the interviews.

“I’m obviously going to have interaction,” he said. “I’m going to have time with anybody that we bring in.”

Douglas was mentioned as a leading candidate not long after Maccagnan was fired. He and Gase worked together for one season with the Bears.

Douglas currently is the Eagles’ director of player personnel. He was the right-hand man for GM Howie Roseman the past three years and helped assemble the roster that won the Super Bowl two years ago.

Douglas previously worked for the Ravens and was instrumental in Baltimore’s decision to draft quarterback Joe Flacco in 2008.

Kelly is the Bears’ assistant director of player personnel. He worked with Gase in Denver and Chicago.

When the Jets hire a new general manager, the job duties and reporting structure will remain the same. Gase will be responsible for coaching the team, the new general manager will be in charge of the roster, and both will report to Johnson.

“Whoever the GM is will have the final say on the roster,” Gase said. “If there’s ever a disagreement, our job is to hash it out. At the end of the day, that guy or that person will have the call. They’ll have the call and the final say.”

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