First-year Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan has been named the 2015 NFL Executive of the Year by the Professional Football Writers of America.
Maccagnan is the first Jets front-office member to earn the award since its inception in 1993. Coincidentally, Thursday’s announcement was made exactly a year after he and coach Todd Bowles held their joint introductory news conference on Jan. 21, 2015.
Owner Woody Johnson hired Maccagnan and Bowles to change the direction of his wayward franchise after the team finished 4-12 in 2014.
In the first season of the Maccagnan-Bowles era, the Jets finished 10-6, one win short of making the playoffs.
With a surplus of salary-cap flexibility created by predecessor John Idzik, Maccagnan upgraded the Jets’ roster in free agency. In addition to the big-name signing of Darrelle Revis and fellow defensive backs Buster Skrine, Antonio Cromartie and Marcus Gilchrist, Maccagnan upgraded the offense by trading for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and receiver Brandon Marshall.
Fitzpatrick posted a franchise-record 31 touchdown passes and Marshall also had a record-setting year with a career-high 14 touchdowns and 1,502 receiving yards.
In Maccagnan’s first draft as GM, he selected USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams, who was voted to the writers’ All-Rookie Team.