Remarkably Consistent At Being Bad, Jets Fire General Manager Mike Maccagnan

Bill Enright

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Often considered the laughing stock of the New York sports scene and on a bigger scale the National Football League, the Jets were seemingly moving away from that epithet. For once, they weren’t drawing the ire of the media or fanbase like the New York Giants or Knicks.


The Giants are getting ridiculed for trading away generational talent Odell Beckham Jr. and drafting QB Daniel Jones with the No. 6 overall selection. The New York Knicks haven’t had a winning season since 2012 and most recently lost out on the Number 1 pick in the NBA Lottery despite having one of the league’s worst records.


Almost as if they missed the negative attention and publicity, were distraught with not being on the back page of the New York Post or Daily News, the Jets fire their General Manager Mike Maccagnan and immediately reclaim their “circus act” and laughing stock throne.


Maccagnan just spent the last several months leading the team’s search for their new Head Coach, ultimately deciding on Adam Gase. He then spent nearly $190 million on superstar free agents including running back Le’Veon Bell and linebacker CJ Mosley. Most recently, Maccagnan and his staff were responsbile for Gang Green’s six draft picks, including the No. 3 overall selection.


Less than a month after making those picks, Maccagnan gets canned by Jets CEO Christopher Johnson. The same CEO that told fans and the media two months ago that he believed Maccagnan is “terrific” at his job and that the General Manager had a plan that Johnson “believed in.” It’s the same organization that just 16 months ago gave Maccagnan a contract extension through 2020.

Here’s Johnson’s statement regarding the decision to fire Maccagnan after four years with the team.



Did Maccagnan deserve the pink slip?

Let’s take a look at a handful of the Jets Quality Stats, all of which have a 55% or more predictive rate of victory. We started with the 2012 season-three years before Maccagnan took over in 2015 just to give a point of reference of how the franchise was performing before he got hired.


SEASON

REAL QB RATING

BENDABILITY

SCOREABILITY

PASSER RATING DIFFERENTIAL

RUSHER RATING DIFFERENTIAL

RECORD

2012

30th

25th

20th

22nd

25th

6-10

2013

31st

23rd

31st

27th

12th

8-8

2014

28th

30th

29th

31st

16th

4-12

2015

13th

11th

15th

9th

5th

10-6

2016

31ST

29th

31st

32nd

20th

5-11

2017

19th

22nd

20th

17th

17th

5-11

2018

30th

20th

9th

31st

24th

4-12


The biggest outlier is the 2015 season, the first year with Maccagnan as General Manager and Todd Bowles as Head Coach. Its hard to judge a GM in his first year with a team, simply because he didn’t quite get his hands dirty enough to mold the team to his liking.  But he did bring in veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and wide receiver Brandon Marshall, both of whom boosted the team’s Offense in the short-term but were simply not long-term solutions.


Outside of the 10 win season, in which they didn’t make the playoffs, the Jets-to put it bluntly- have been a really BAD team. Their standings in the Quality Stats neither improved nor declined, they simply stayed near the bottom third and often the bottom 10, sometimes in the bottom three, in nearly every crucial category.


In 2011 they finished 30th in Real QB Rating. In 2018 they finished 30th in Real QB Rating.

In 2014 they finished 25th in Rusher Rating Differential, in 2018 they finished 24th.

In 2014 they finished with a 4-12 record and fired Head Coach Rex Ryan and GM John Idzik. In 2018 they finished with a 4-12 record and fired Head Coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan.

They’ve finished 30th or worse in Real QB Rating four of the last seven seasons.

Just once in the last seven years they finished in the Top half of the league in Bendability.

In seven years, across five different Indexes they’ve finished in the Top 10 just three times.

There’s a pattern here.

A pattern of being remarkably consistent at being a bad team. Not exactly what you want to live through as a Jets fan. Meanwhile, during that same seven year stretch, AFC East Division rival New England Patriots played in four and won three Super Bowls and finished the regular season with 12 or more wins in six out of those seven years. No wonder Fireman Ed decided to call it quits.


Bottom line is this. The Jets are 14-34 the last three years. Maccagnan had four years to rebuild and there hasn’t been even the slightest improvement. The Jets want to get back to winning ways, there’s just no indication the current ownership has any clue on what that requires or how to identify and hire people that do.


For now, Head Coach Adam Gase will take over as interim General Manager. Within hours of holding that position, the only Head Coach in the league that also has General Manager in his job title, Gase traded away starting linebacker and 2016 1st Round pick Darron Lee to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for a 6th Round pick and leaked to the media that he didn't want Maccagnan to sign Le'Veon Bell (Jets signed the running back to a four year $52.5 million contract).


Yes indeed, the Jets are back where they are most comfortable, sitting on the laughing stock throne.


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