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Woody Johnson returning from London, will have final say in Jets matters as CEO

Jets CEO Woody Johnson during pregame against the

Jets CEO Woody Johnson during pregame against the Vikings at MetLife Stadium on Oct. 21, 2018. Credit: Lee S. Weissman/Lee S. Weissman

After a four-year stint as the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Woody Johnson is expected to resume his duties as the Jets’ CEO shortly after returning from London.

Johnson’s brother, Christopher, who has served as the team’s CEO since Johnson was named by former President Donald J. Trump as ambassador, told reporters Thursday that Woody was flying home Thursday.

"When he is officially principal owner [again], we’re not exactly sure," Christopher Johnson said. "It’s something that has to run through the league. He will be assuming his duties essentially as principal owner quite soon. He will be chairman. I’m going to be vice chairman."

The NFL does not plan to further scrutinize allegations that surfaced last year about Woody Johnson making racist and sexist remarks to staff members during his time as ambassador. The State Department inspector general called for "a more thorough review" of the comments.

In a report released last August by the State Department, Johnson "sometimes made inappropriate or insensitive comments on topics generally considered Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)-sensitive, such as religion, sex, or color."

In a response attached to the report, Johnson said, "If I have unintentionally offended anyone in the execution of my duties, I deeply regret that."

The State Department ultimately cleared Johnson of any wrongdoing, and two NFL sources said the matter will not be pursued.

Christopher Johnson has defended his brother and said he looks forward to working with him again. Christopher will retain a significant role in the day-to-day operations of the team.

"All of the final decisions will be his," Christopher said of his brother being in charge. "I’ve loved being in this building for the last four years especially, and I’m looking forward to continuing my involvement here.

"There’s going to be a fair amount of continuity here. My brother and I work really well together. We enjoy each other’s company. We think alike on most things, and when we disagree, we find a good place to settle on. I’m really looking forward to working with him."

Woody Johnson returns to a team that might have a big decision to make at quarterback, especially with speculation that the Texans might look to trade Deshaun Watson. Johnson signed off on the deal in 2008 to acquire Packers great Brett Favre, who played only one season with the Jets before joining the Vikings.

Christopher Johnson said there will be a change to the front-office structure as it relates to general manager Joe Douglas and newly hired coach Robert Saleh.

"Joe will report to me [and Woody Johnson] and Robert will report to Joe," Johnson said. "It seems a clean and simple way to do things, but not much really changes. We have very good communication already. I don’t think that’s going to alter things all that much, truly."

Previously, both the coach and general manager reported to the owner.

Despite not having met Woody Johnson, Saleh said he is comfortable with the arrangement.

"Haven’t had a conversation with Woody yet, but really excited to get the opportunity in the near future," Saleh said. "I’m not concerned at all. I’m excited about the opportunity to build a relationship with Woody."

Saleh was hired to replace Adam Gase, who was fired after going 9-23 in two seasons.

New York Sports