NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Jets are keeping their power structure in place.
The team announced Friday it has given general manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles contract extensions. The Daily News reported they each received an additional two years.
Owner Woody Johnson transferred control of the franchise over to his brother, Christopher, prior to the season after accepting the appointment of ambassador to Great Britain by President Donald Trump. The brothers had made it clear that front-office and sideline stability were a big part of the team’s plan moving forward, despite the fact that the team has not made the playoffs in seven years.
“We are very happy to have extended both Mike and Todd,” acting owner Christopher Johnson said in a statement. “During their time here, they have worked together to help the organization build a foundation on which to grow. They are identifying, developing, and getting productivity out of our players. I believe we are headed in the right direction. This provides us continuity and stability as we continue to move this team towards sustained success. We still have a lot of work to do and I am excited to work closely with both of them as we move forward.”
While the Jets’ 5-10 record heading into the regular-season finale at New England on Sunday may not seem all that impressive, it actually is, given the fact that Maccagnan gutted the roster of burdensome contracts during the offseason. The Jets were not expected to win many games, with some predicting them being a lock for a top-two pick in next spring’s draft.
As it stands now, the Jets will pick seventh, but they could move up depending on what happens this weekend.
Maccagnan and Bowles are 20-27 since being hired prior to the 2015 season. Along the way, they have managed to cultivate some good, young players, including defensive end Leonard Williams, offensive lineman Brandon Shell, wide receiver Robby Anderson, linebacker Darron Lee, and safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye.
“It’s a credit to Mr. Johnson, obviously. He came in and he oversaw everything, and obviously Mike Maccagnan,” Bowles said of the Jets’ improvement leading to the contract extensions. “And we have a plan that we’re going forward with, and everybody’s on the same page, so we’re going forward.”
The Jets have been in search of a franchise quarterback for the better part of the last 40 years. They got by most of this season with journeyman Josh McCown, but he suffered a season-ending broken hand on Dec. 10 in Denver, forcing inexperienced Bryce Petty into the starting role.
The Jets are expected to be aggressive during the offseason on the quarterback front, either in the first round of the draft or through free agency
“We’ll get better. We’ll add some pieces,” Bowles said. “Obviously, the future is trying to win the Super Bowl and get to the playoffs, but we’ll add some pieces. We made some strides this year, not enough strides and we did not win enough games. But going forward, we’ll make the proper adjustments and go from there.”
The Jets are projected be close to $100 million under the 2018 salary cap, so expect Maccagnan to be extremely busy as he tries to complement Gang Green’s young core with some seasoned veterans.
Several players expressed their pleasure at the news on social media, supportive in the locker room of Bowles and Maccagnan coming back.
“I like stability and I like to be able to play for one coach and I like to be able to play in the same system for a while,” said defensive end Leonard Williams, who along with many teammates learned of the news from reporters. “It makes me comfortable and it makes me know who I’m playing for and who I’m playing with. I feel like a team is only going to progress when you have stability.”
Left tackle Kelvin Beachum pointed to the fact that Bowles has the overall respect of the players in the locker room.
“When you’ve got a coach that keeps it black and white, is not BSing, is not shooting smoke up your behind, that’s great as a player because you know exactly what you’re going to get,” he said. “Coach Bowles is consistent.”
Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, scheduled to be a free agent this winter, believes the Jets are heading in the right direction.
“With Mike putting the roster together and Todd coaching the way he’s coached with all the great coaches we have here, it’s a testament to them,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “When we keep adding pieces, we’re going to be a force to be reckoned with, and I’m very, very excited for them and very happy for them.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)