FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Addressing reports of internal discord, New York Jets coach Adam Gase didn’t deny he’s had disagreements with general manager Mike Maccagnan, but did say he’s upset by the perception their relationship is strained.
“Unless I say it, it’s really irrelevant to me. I don’t know who decides to put that stuff out there,” Gase said Friday at the start of rookie orientation. “It kind of pisses me off a little bit, because we have discussions on everything. That’s our job. We have to work through so much stuff. That’s what we have to do. That’s all we’ve done since we’ve been here.
“Since we started, we’re constantly in communication,” he continued. “Whether he’s coming down to my office or I’m going to his office, that’s all we’re trying to do, just trying to make sure we’re on the same page all the time. We’re trying to put this thing together as well as we can in a short period of time.”
Reports surfaced during the draft that Gase and Maccagnan, working together for the first time, had developed a rift. One report suggested Maccagnan was in danger of being fired after the draft, but that wasn’t the case, sources said.
Maccagnan, speaking to reporters during the draft, insisted he has a strong working relationship with the Jets’ new coach. Sources told ESPN at the time that friction existed between the two men, but that it was smoothed over before the draft.
Gase wasn’t available to comment until Friday. Describing the dynamic between the coaching staff and front office, he said healthy disagreement is part of the process.
“Yeah, I mean if it wasn’t, what are we doing this for?” he said. “If everybody just agreed on everything, it would be boring. We need to have a little excitement every once in a while.”
Gase and Maccagnan reportedly clashed over personnel decisions in free agency. Asked if he was frustrated by anything in free agency, Gase said they simply executed their plan, trying to sign players on their wish list. He described free agency as a “nightmare procedure.”
In fact, the Jets spent the most money of any team in free agency, doling out about $125 million in fully guaranteed money. They signed big names such as linebacker C.J. Mosley and running back Le’Veon Bell, who has skipped most of the voluntary workouts. Gase reiterated Friday he’s not bothered by Bell’s approach to the offseason.
On Friday, the Jets released cornerback Rashard Robinson, whom they had acquired in a 2017 trade with the San Francisco 49ers. Minutes before the trading deadline, the Jets gave up a 2018 fifth-round pick for Robinson, who started 14 games for the 49ers in 2016 and 2017. He never found a role on the Jets. He served a four-game suspension at the start of the 2018 season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, and he wound up playing only 79 defensive snaps. The Jets will realize a $2 million cap savings, the amount of Robinson’s base salary.
The Jets, coming off three straight losing seasons, retained Maccagnan and hired Gase to replace Todd Bowles. Maccagnan and Gase had no previous working relationship, although Maccagnan had input into the hiring process.
Contractually, Maccagnan has control of the 53-man roster. Gase had that power in his previous job with the Miami Dolphins.