Good general managers don’t grow on trees and neither do good general manager job openings. Perhaps the latter part of that statement led to some hesitancy, but ultimately Philadelphia Eagles’ vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas decided to become the next general manager of the New York Jets.
It’s a decades long journey for Douglas who will now have to access all of his training under various styles of bosses to turn the Jets into a winner. With the title of general manager being such a coveted prize, what took Douglas so long to finally give a “yes”?
Jets just would not take “no” as an answer from Joe Douglas. He tried to turn down the Jets and each time he did, they came back at him harder and harder. Jets simply were not going to be denied in their efforts to land the former Eagles’ vice president of player personnel.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 8, 2019
Part of the reason for Douglas’ indecision could be the lack of second chances for general managers. Considering the recent organizational tumult within the Jets recently, Douglas wouldn’t be wrong to see it as a risk both short and long term. As Dan Hatman points out, it’s typically a one strike and you’re out proposition.
“The NFL is the stingiest in professional sports at giving GMs a second chance, failing to take into account the potential for growth and development that comes with having done the job before. While head coaches like Bill Belichick got the opportunity to learn from mistakes and benefit from years of experience making tough decisions, GMs rarely get a second chance. Some Hall of Fame GMs like Ernie Accorsi and Bill Polian led multiple franchises, but that came off a platform of early success... Recent history may be helpful here as John Dorsey and Dave Gettleman provide owners with recent examples.”
All of these factors combined to produce what’s seen as a favorable deal for Douglas. Not too long ago it was a big deal when long general manager contracts were doled out. The San Francisco 49ers’ 2017 move to bring in John Lynch for the job on a six-year deal was essentially unprecedented. Douglas’ six-year contract also comes with roster control and likely some of “his guys” filling out his staff.
The Eagles have several within the organization that have a long history with Douglas. Some of those that could get poached include:
- Director of Player Personnel Andy Weidl
- Player Personnel Coordinator Casey Weidl
- Player Personnel Executive TJ McCreight
- Director of College Scouting Ian Cunningham
Howie built the deepest/best scouting staff in the NFL. He's going to be fine. https://t.co/ACYdBrdtSC— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) June 10, 2019
The Eagles have fully expected this outcome and undoubtedly have a plan in place, but it’s still a hit no matter how you slice it. If they do see an exodus, they’ll have to find capable replacements. It shouldn’t be too difficult, as Philadelphia should be seen as a place where movement up the ladder won’t take decades. For instance, would you be surprised if vice president of football operations Andrew Berry was a candidate for a general manager job in a few years?
Pro scouting, analytics, and now a masterclass in the cap..— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) June 8, 2019
As I said yesterday, Berry will be a hot name soon. https://t.co/DgW5r8RCT5
The question does still remain though; who will fill Douglas’ shoes? Will it be Andy Weidl, Andrew Berry, or perhaps an outsider like Ryan Grigson, Brian Gaine, or Daniel Jeremiah?
We discuss all of this and much more on BGN Radio #58! Me, Benjamin Solak, and Brandon Lee Gowton teamed up to break this move down from every possible angle. You can listen to it on the media player below or click here if the player doesn’t load. New to podcasts? Check out our guide on how to listen to BGN! FLY EAGLES FLY!