FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Sam Darnold was sorry that Mike Maccagnan lost his job, and he expressed appreciation for what he did for him.
Maccagnan made the trade in the 2018 draft that enabled the Jets to take Darnold with the No. 3 pick. The Jets fired Maccagnan last week.
“This business is tough,” Darnold said after Thursday’s OTA. “It’s a hard deal. It’s just part of it. For me, I’ll forever be grateful for Mike and what he’s done for me. Taking me three overall is a life-changing experience, and I’ll forever be grateful for that. But I do understand that it’s a tough business. I understand that, and a lot of guys on the team do as well.”
Darnold has learned that quickly. His first NFL coach, Todd Bowles, was fired hours after the Jets' final game last season. Now the man who drafted Darnold is gone.
Other Jets players said they don’t worry about what happens in the front office and that they can’t let it impact them on the field.
“It doesn’t affect us at all,” linebacker C.J. Mosley said. “What’s upstairs, happened upstairs. You can’t let upstairs or outside noises affect what we do in our locker room or inside the white lines. That’s all we got to focus on.”
Mosley didn't have much of a reaction to the report that coach Adam Gase thought Maccagnan paid too much for him. Mosley signed a five-year, $85 million contract.
“It doesn’t matter,” Mosley said. “I’m here now. He pretty much said don’t listen to the media. It doesn’t really matter, honestly, what anybody says. It doesn’t affect what I do on the field. If you win games, none of that will even matter.”
Gase, who is also the acting GM, said Maccagnan had been working on trading linebacker Darron Lee “before I got here.” Gase said they were talking to Kansas City already. “We just pulled the trigger,” Gase said of the deal that was agreed upon hours after Maccagnan was let go. The Jets received a 2020 sixth-round pick from the Chiefs for Lee, a 2016 first-rounder.
First-round pick Quinnen Williams (calf) did not practice for precautionary reasons.