Chicago Bears Assistant Director of Player Personnel Champ Kelly is scheduled to interview early this week for the vacant New York Jets GM position, but it’s possible a former teammate of his has a leg up on him in this race.
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweets Eagles Vice President of Player Personnel Joe Douglas is the preferred candidate of Head Coach/Interim GM Adam Gase. Mehta adds that so long as Douglas doesn’t tank the interview, he’ll be lined up to get the gig. But even if Douglas gets the job – instead of the Bears’ Kelly – it’s still possible for Kelly to join Douglas and Gase in New York.
ESPN’s Rich Cimini hears from league sources that Douglas could poach Kelly to be his top assistant in New York. Perhaps the Jets would be more comfortable with Kelly being Douglas’ right-hand man, than pushing him to make the jump from an assistant director to GM. Kelly and Douglas worked together under Bears GM Ryan Pace, and both have long-standing ties with Gase. With that in mind, you can understand why both are top targets for Gase and the Jets.
Teaming two rising front office stars would be a reasonable and smart way to start putting together a strong front office for a rebuilding franchise. And that would be a refreshing change of pace for a team like the Jets, which hasn’t done much right in recent years.
So while it would sting the Bears to watch Kelly go, it would be the ultimate sign of respect for what Pace is doing in Chicago to have two former associates working together in the Big Apple. We’ll keep an eye on that situation to see how it unfolds.