How does a Dan Quinn-Mike Maccagnan tandem grab you?
The Seattle Seahawks’ defensive coordinator and the Houston Texans’ director of college scouting have emerged as the front-runners in the New York Jets’ concurrent searches for a new head coach and general manager, according to sources.
In reality, Quinn has been the favorite for a few days, but his candidacy has gained traction now that team officials have all but completed the first round of interviews. By rule, the Jets aren’t allowed to make Quinn a formal offer until the Seahawks’ season is over — that could take another three weeks — but they appear to be getting close to naming a GM.
On Friday, they met for a second time with Maccagnan. He returned to Florham Park, New Jersey, only four days after his first interview and spent the latter part of the day with owner Woody Johnson and team officials. The group was scheduled to continue talks over dinner. If everything goes well, a deal could get wrapped up over the weekend, sources said. The discussions were described by one source as “very positive.”
The Jets have met with seven GM candidates. That Maccagnan has emerged from the group is hardly a surprise. He’s a Charley Casserly protégé, dating to their days with the Washington Redskins in the early 1990s. Casserly and Ron Wolf were hired by Johnson as consultants for the dual searches. Maccagnan is a longtime talent evaluator, although this is his first shot at a GM job.
On the coaching front, the Jets have interviewed six of their seven candidates. They’re still waiting on Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, but that interview — if it happens — may not matter at this point. Quinn has impressed owner Woody Johnson & Co., and the Jets apparently are willing to wait for Quinn.
It could be a long wait, perhaps to Feb. 2.
If the Seahawks reach the Super Bowl, the Jets wouldn’t be able to strike an agreement with Quinn until the game is over, according to league rules. They’d be allowed to meet with him for a second interview during the bye week, with Seattle’s permission, but the rules prohibit them from extending an offer at that time. Obviously, the Jets wouldn’t wait that long unless they had an unofficial nod from Quinn’s camp.
Quinn is perhaps the hottest head-coaching candidate on the market. He has interviewed with five teams, meaning there could be competition for the Jets. He likely will receive multiple offers, according to a source, so it’s premature to say he’s a lock for the Jets. However, he has strong ties to New Jersey. He grew up in Morristown, a few miles from the Jets’ facility, and has family in the area. He was a Jets assistant in 2007 and 2008.
From the outset, the Jets considered Quinn a strong candidate. So was former Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone, who has an ally in Casserly. But Marrone’s candidacy has faded as Johnson has become smitten with Quinn. He was interviewed Jan. 2 in Seattle during the Seahawks’ bye week.
Quinn will be involved Saturday in the divisional playoffs, as will Kubiak.
The Jets also have met with Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable, Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Frank Reich and Jets running backs coach Anthony Lynn.
In the end, it could be a Quinn-Maccagnan ticket as the Jets attempt to rebuild after a disastrous 4-12 season.