What’s Going on with Joe Douglas?
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The most notable absence as the Eagles kicked off on-field OTAs on Tuesday was Pro Bowl safety Malcolm Jenkins.
But there were plenty of others missing whether it be due to injury or just maintenance for veteran players. Among those overseeing it all at the NovaCare Complex were owner Jeffrey Lurie and executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman.
Joe Douglas, however, was never spotted.
Douglas, Roseman's top lieutenant in the personnel department with Philadelphia, has been painted as a top candidate to replace Mike Maccagnan as the general manager of the New York Jets due to his past relationship with Adam Gase, the Jets coach who recently pulled a Chip Kelly-like coup up the Jersey Turnpike.
Douglas, despite being referred to 973espn.com as Gase's first choice by an NFL source, still hasn’t officially interviewed for the position and remains the Eagles’ vice president of player personnel.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson was asked about New York's interest in Douglas before practice on Tuesday and stayed on the fence for the most part, acknowledging Douglas' importance to the organization but also hinting at the business part of professional football.
“Our relationship has been great,” Pederson explained. “It’s like we’ve said before: He’s a big part of our scouting process and getting the information we need through our scouts and assisting us in that area.”
Lurie's instruction since moving on from Kelly and giving Roseman a mulligan in personnel was collaboration. If Roseman did not build an inclusive structure, his second try as a de facto GM would have likely ended like the first one.
The working relationship between Roseman, Douglas, and Pederson has been seamless for the most part to date and the result has been unearthing players that fit what the coach wants to do on game days.
“Our process has always been a collaborative one,” Pederson said. “There is a lot of open dialogue, whether it’s between me and Howie, Joe and Howie, the three of us together, our owner, and he [Douglas] has really built that relationship and has done a good job for us.”
Then came the money question -- does Pederson expect Douglas to be collaborating in South Philadelphia much longer?
“At this time there is nothing,” Pederson said, “so he’s here.”
Just not on the field with reporters around.
From their end the Jets have yet to make any announcements regarding concluded or potential interviews nor have offered any concrete timetable for naming Maccagnan’s successor with Gase currently serving as interim GM.
A strange report surfaced from the New York Daily News on Tuesday claiming Jets owner Christopher Johnson could lean on FOX TV analyst Peter Schrager as a sounding board for the hire.
On the surface, Douglas might want to avoid a circus like that but an NFL source told 973espn.com if Schrager really does have sway with Johnson that would bode well for Douglas because Schrager loves the way the Eagles do business.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen