As first reported by WFAN’s Craig Carton and now confirmed by Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Sunday will indeed mark the end of Adam Gase’s tumultuous two-year run as Jets head coach. Gase’s firing was inevitable—the 42-year-old has won just nine of 31 games (.290 winning percentage) since taking over for Todd Bowles in 2019. With Gase’s fate sealed, the only question left to ponder is who will replace him.
As far as that goes, New York plans to cast a wide net in its coaching search, which will include such candidates as Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, former Niners head honcho Jim Harbaugh (though not if you believe reports the Wolverines are extending his contract) and Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. Per Rapoport and Pelissero, the Jets will also target Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale (not related to esteemed character actress Margo Martindale), Titans OC Arthur Smith, Rams D coordinator Brandon Staley, Matt Campbell of Iowa State and Florida coach Dan Mullen.
Campbell was on the Jets’ radar two years ago, though the 41-year-old declined an interview request, citing the six-year, $22.5-million extension he had just signed with Iowa State. Mullen, who coached at Mississippi State prior to joining Florida in 2018, could also be of interest to the Jets given his background with quarterbacks (Dak Prescott and Alex Smith are among his many prized pupils). Despite owner Woody Johnson’s past infatuation with Harbaugh, the Michigan coach is merely a peripheral candidate at this juncture.
Bieniemy figures to be the most coveted coach in this year’s hiring cycle, meaning he’ll likely have his pick of the litter. Despite the allure of New York, Bieniemy may prioritize expected openings in Jacksonville (future home of Trevor Lawrence), Los Angeles (where he’d be tasked with developing Justin Herbert) and Houston.
The Jets are reportedly still weighing whether to retain former third overall pick Sam Darnold or press the reset button by drafting one of Justin Fields (coming off a brilliant performance in Friday’s Sugar Bowl upset of Clemson) or BYU’s Zach Wilson. While that decision will be a “collaborative” effort, whoever the Jets hire to succeed Gase will undoubtedly be given strong input.
As for Gase, it’s unclear where his next opportunity will come, though some have already linked him to New England’s vacancy at quarterbacks coach.