The Jets brought in the second candidate to interview for their vacant general manager job on Saturday.
Saints director of pro scouting Terry Fontenot completed an interview with the Jets, the team announced. Fontenot has been with the Saints for 16 seasons, the last six as the director of pro scouting. According to his biography on the Saints’ website, Fontenot’s duties include player acquisition recommendations, monitoring the waiver wire and supervising the scouting of opponents.
The Jets started the process on Friday with Seahawks co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer as the first candidate to meet with the team. Fitterer has climbed the ranks with the Seahawks, starting out as an area scout, then becoming West regional director of scouting and then college scouting director. He was promoted to his current position in 2015.
Eagles director of player personnel Joe Douglas, who is considered to be the leading candidate to replace Mike Maccagnan, is reportedly the next candidate to interview with the Jets. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Saturday that Douglas will have dinner with Jets officials on Saturday night and that the interview would continue on Sunday.
The Jets also are expected to interview Bears assistant director of player personnel Champ Kelly. It’s unclear if the Jets will add another name or two to their interview list. Vikings assistant general manager George Paton declined a request to interview with the Jets, according to The Athletic. The Jets also were turned down by Paton in 2015 when Maccagnan ended up getting the GM job.
Jets coach Adam Gase was named acting GM by team chairman and chief executive officer Christopher Johnson after Maccagnan and vice president of player personnel Brian Heimerdinger were both relieved of their duties on May 15. Gase is also assisting Johnson with finding Maccagnan’s replacement.
Gase said on May 20 that he is only concerned with coaching the Jets. Gase acknowledged that he and Maccagnan had disagreements, but said it was Johnson’s decision to relieve Maccagnan of his duties and said he did not win a power struggle with Maccagnan.
“Whoever is getting hired [as general manager] is going to have the same role, like control of the roster, control of the 53,” Gase said. “I will coach the football team. That’s what I’m going to do. Nothing is changing in that structure.”
While Gase has said that it will be Johnson’s decision on who is hired as the next general manager, Gase also said that he is comfortable working with people he knows. Gase has worked with Douglas and Kelly in the past, and has no past working relationship with Fitterer and Fontenot. Gase worked with Douglas for one season with the Bears, while Kelly worked with Gase in Denver and Chicago.
“I don’t really hang out with yes men,” Gase said on May 24 before the Jets ended their first week of optional team activities. “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.”