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Jets fire head coach Todd Bowles, but GM Mike Maccagnan stays

December 31, 2018

The New York Jets will be looking for a new head coach but not a new general manager, apparently.

Todd Bowles has been fired by the Jets after four years at the helm, which ESPN first reported and the team later confirmed. Following the Jets’ 38-3 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday, Bowles’ four-year mark as head coach fell to 24-40 (a .375 win percentage).

Bowles started out strong with the Jets, going 10-6 in his first season, but it has been a nosedive since. The Jets won five, five and four games, respectively, the past three seasons, and after a 3-3 start to this season the team lost nine of its final 10 games.

This move doesn’t come as a surprise, but there was some speculation that GM Mike Maccagnan might also be in trouble. However, over the final few weeks of the season, his job appeared more and more secure, with the team’s past two first-round selections — safety Jamal Adams and QB Sam Darnold — clearly emerging as future building blocks on both sides of the ball.

When the Jets and WR Quincy Enunwa agreed on a four-year extension on Friday, which was first reported by Pro Football Weekly, it was a clear indication of business as usual for the front office and a solid sign Maccagnan was in good shape. Even with the Jets’ murky power structure, there’s a good chance such a move wouldn’t have been approved had Maccagnan been entering his final few days overseeing personnel.

It appears the Jets will key in on a head-coaching candidate whom the franchise believes can get the best out of Darnold and bring together an offense that ranked in the bottom 10 of most categories. Interestingly, the Jets have not had a head coach whose primary background was on offense since Rich Kotite, who was hired in 1995 and fired at the conclusion of the 1996 season after two disastrous years.

One big name that has been attached to the Jets’ potential opening for weeks now has been Mike McCarthy, who coached the Green Bay Packers for 14 years before being let go with four weeks remaining in the regular season. McCarthy, 55, has amassed a record of 125-77-2 with a Super Bowl title and could be in play for multiple jobs.

Bowles, 55, now has an overall head-coaching mark of 26-41. It includes a three-game stint to close out the Miami Dolphins’ 2011 season, when he was named interim head coach to replace the late Tony Sparano that season.

There’s a great chance Bowles will be a defensive coordinator candidate in demand once the chips start falling elsewhere. Look for him to be mentioned as a possible replacement in Chicago if Vic Fangio leaves for a head-coaching job elsewhere, and Bowles might be in play in Cleveland depending on who gets the full-time head-coaching position there.

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