Joe Douglas, Adam Gase, Christopher Johnson
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

The New York Jets have requested an interview with Joe Douglas, but will he be interested if the organization’s current power structure doesn’t change?

Robby Sabo

Matt Rhule said no strictly due to the organization’s insistence on hiring his assistant coaches for him. We think. Mike McCarthy wasn’t wanted thanks to a Green Bay Packers defamation job. At least that’s what we hear.

Finding the newest New York Jets front office and sideline employes is something of a mystery these days, which makes the newest general manager search quite tantalizing.

Mike Maccagnan is out, in case you haven’t heard. The Jets facility front door smacked him as hard as Adam Gase could push (the story so many Jets beat reporters are unveiling). Therefore, the search is on.

Chicago Bears assistant of player personnel Champ Kelly, Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager George Paton and Seattle Seahawks co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer have emerged as candidates in Jets land. But the leader in the clubhouse remains Philadelphia Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas, whose familiarity with Gase reaches back to the Bears 2015 season.

Word around the campfire (in some circles) had Douglas to the Jets a “done deal.” But that was then, when the Mikey Mac smoke was still ablaze, so thick 20/20 vision suffered a rough instance.

Could the Jets current way of doing things hurt their chances in bringing in the best possible individual?

Douglas, 36, couldn’t be more perfect for the role. As the No. 2 man to Howie Roseman’s Super Bowl-winning Eagles, his personnel background coupled with age make for the perfect choice. (Oh yeah, he and Gase knowing each other might just serve as the greatest ingredient.)

Will such a magnificent hire come to fruition? It’s the question of the moment plaguing Jets fandom during these tumultuous times.

According to Howard Eskin of Sports Radio 94 in Philly, Douglas would accept the job if given full control over the roster.

“Adding to an Ian Rapoport report, the Jets have asked for permission to talk with Eagles VP of player personnel for their GM opening. I’m told unless Jets give Douglas final say on players the Eagles would not let him go and Joe Douglas would not take the job.”

Furthermore, the championship-caliber Eagles won’t let him go if not for the full-control sticking point.

This one giant “if” is monumental.

Woody Johnson’s arrival at the turn of the century didn’t just bring a new owner; it brought a new way of front-office life. Remember, Bill Parcells was the boss. The greatest thing Leon Hess did as owner was admitting defeat and relenting full control of the entire show to the Tuna. He shopped for the groceries while skipping through the supermarket.

Parcells was the man: head coach, personnel boss … the whole shebang.

Though Parcells turned the page into a winning Jets chapter, things quickly changed. From Herm Edwards to Terry Bradway, Eric Mangini to Mike Tannenbaum, Rex Ryan to John Idzik, Todd Bowles to Mike Maccagnan, the football equivalent of musical chairs is spotlighted in Florham Park.

Continuity is great, but worse than failing to maintain a steady hand is an example of individuals on separate voyages.

The head coach and general manager perform duties on equal footing within this organization. Both positions report to the owner and neither look above or behind the other. Many organizations run with this structure, as opposed to the classic “one true football man” who serves as the GM and hires his own coach. Unfortunately, the Jets haven’t clearly defined which individual serves as the top dog.

This particular power structure only works when one man is the clear personnel boss. When Maccagnan and Gase attempted to coexist, no true boss existed. The common “team decision” or “Jets way” of doing things reigned supreme.

Three months later, one man stands.

Despite any feelings or thoughts regarding what transpired this spring, potential candidates absolutely store these power-struggles issues in mind. It’s only human nature.

Speaking of Mr. Gase, he, too, wasn’t afforded the right to completely control the hiring of his staff. Gregg Williams was an organizational move. If true, to think the Jets put mass stipulations on the incoming general manager is completely fair.

Douglas is right to want full control. The Eagles are correct by looking out for their current valued employee. No matter how friendly he may be with Gase, this is the NFL, the Not For Long league, the place big boys go to battle with a winner who lives and a loser who falls. One true depth chart architect is the way of the championship football land.

Hierarchical structure is critical within any organization. Defined roles without an easy avenue for backstabbing remains crucial to keep human nature in line.

Currently, we don’t know who the Jets prefer. We also don’t know who prefers New York. Douglas may already be scratching and clawing his way to the other green NFL organization despite not caring about full control. Maybe the reports are bogus and he’s already buying into the Adam Gase relationship and the “team decision” way of life.

Maybe, just maybe, he’s wondering what he’s stepping into: a power structure without clearly defined roles set up to fail in the end.

The head coach and general manager can both report to the owner. But only one man can own final say over the roster. If Joe Douglas is truly the right man for the job, he may never come; he already knows the key to success and doesn’t like these current prospects.

It’s the double-edged sword the New York Jets might be actively battling; the best candidates say “no thanks” due to the Woody Johnson way of organizational life.

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]