The New York Jets announced the firing of general manager Mike Maccagnan on Wednesday.
In a statement, Jets Chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson revealed that head coach Adam Gase will serve as the interim GM until they find a replacement:
He also spoke about the timing of the move and Maccagnan's relationship with Gase:
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Jets also parted ways with Brian Heimerdinger, who was the vice president of player personnel.
"I think this is going to be a real attractive job," Johnson said, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. "I don't think we're going to have any trouble finding a good GM here. I think this is an excellent spot."
New York hired Maccagnan as general manager in January 2015, and naming Todd Bowles head coach was one of his first orders of business.
In four seasons under Maccagnan and Bowles, the Jets went just 24-40 and failed to reach the playoffs. That included a 4-12 mark last season that led to Bowles' dismissal.
Maccagnan was part of the group that hired Gase as the Jets' new head coach following his dismissal from the Miami Dolphins, but it wasn't long before questions surfaced regarding Maccagnan and Gase's relationship.
In April, Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com appeared on the Bleav Podcast Network and said he had heard about a "big rift" between Maccagnan and Gase:
Bleav Podcast Network @BleavPodcasts
🚨 Developing Story 🚨 Dating back to free agency, there has been an internal "rift" between Jets HC Adam Gase & Jets GM Mike Maccagnan. @TonyPauline explains what it means on The Draft Analysts podcast with @christripodi. Full breakdown: https://t.co/WkZ9DtfZyK https://t.co/YQL3npHRzR
Maccagnan and Gase denied that there was any bad blood. According to ESPN.com's Rich Cimini, Maccagnan acknowledged in April that he and Gase didn't see eye to eye on everything, but he didn't consider that to be a problem:
Actually, I think Adam and I have worked very well together. I'm sure, like in any process, there are times where ... you know, you work through the process.
It's just like in a scouting meeting. You might have different opinions on a player. But, from my standpoint, I've actually had a very good working relationship with Adam. Quite frankly, as I've said before, he has a very good sense of humor. He makes me laugh quite a bit, which is one of the reasons why I like working with him.
Last week, Gase took issue with the notion that he and Maccagnan were at odds when asked about it during a press conference:
Gase reaffirmed Maccagnan's comment that they didn't agree on everything but added, "If everybody just agreed on everything, it'd be boring. We need to have a little excitement every once in a while."
Cimini noted Jets CEO Christopher Johnson started spending extra time around the team facility because he was so concerned with the rift between Gase and Maccagnan.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that Gase was not a fan of how much the Jets spent on running back Le'Veon Bell and linebacker C.J. Mosley in free agency:
Johnson noted that the decision wasn't about a "power struggle," however.
"This had nothing to do with Adam," he said. "I want a good give-and-take between our GM and coach. This was not one person or another winning a power struggle. This was completely my decision."
The 2019 season is shaping up to be a pivotal one for a Jets team that has not reached the playoffs since 2010. In addition to it being quarterback Sam Darnold's second NFL campaign, the Jets will look to integrate Bell and the 2019 No. 3 overall draft pick in defensive end Quinnen Williams.
Maccagnan is chiefly responsible for assembling the current roster, but he won't be around to see how it performs on game days in 2019.