FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Jets officials are aware that offensive coordinator John Morton could be a target of the Raiders for a similar position, according to multiple sources.
Morton, who is under contract with the Jets, has a close relationship with Jon Gruden, with whom he worked from 1998-2001 in Raiders personnel. ESPN reported that Gruden is a favorite to become the Raiders’ coach after the firing of Jack Del Rio on Sunday night.
Speaking of Gruden in September, Morton said: “We had a relationship because I was in Green Bay [as a player] and he was my receiver coach, so that’s how that started. But I wouldn’t be sitting here right now if it wasn’t for Al Davis.”
It’s uncertain whether the Jets would let Morton make a lateral move. If he were getting the head-coaching job, the Jets couldn’t stop it. Todd Bowles wouldn’t address the Morton reports, calling them rumors.
Bowles stressed that he wants to keep the West Coast offense in 2018. If the Jets were to let Morton go, a source said quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates would be in line to take over the play-calling.
In Morton’s first season as a play-caller, the Jets were 28th in yards per game (305.3) and 24th in points (18.6).
“I thought he did good,” Bowles said. “He had some plays he made and some plays he’d like to have back. A first-time coordinator, you learn things — I learned things as a first-time coordinator — but he brought them together.”
Here are the Jets’ 2018 opponents — Home: Bills, Dolphins, Patriots, Broncos, Packers, Texans, Colts and Vikings. Away: Bills, Dolphins, Patriots, Bears, Browns, Lions, Jaguars and Titans. The schedule will be released in April . . . The Jets will draft sixth overall.