Jets extend contracts of Maccagnan, Bowles for 2018

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — The New York Jets are choosing stability over a shake-up.

The team announced Friday it has extended the contracts of general manager Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles, keeping the pair for at least the next three seasons through 2020.

The extensions are for two years each, according to a person with direct knowledge of the contracts. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce terms.

“During their time here, they have worked together to help the organization build a foundation on which to grow,” acting owner and CEO Christopher Johnson said in a statement. “They are identifying, developing, and getting productivity out of our players.

“I believe we are headed in the right direction.”

The announcement came two days before the Jets complete their season at New England. New York is 5-10 and will miss the playoffs for the seventh straight year, and the third under Maccagnan and Bowles.

“This provides us continuity and stability as we continue to move this team toward sustained success,” Johnson said. “We still have a lot of work to do and I am excited to work closely with both of them as we move forward.”

The decision is not a huge surprise, although there was growing speculation on Bowles’ future as he completed the third year of his original four-year deal. But Bowles is credited with instilling a culture change among his players, who were in mostly every game this year.

“We have a plan that we’re going forward with and everybody’s on the same page,” Bowles said.

Maccagnan oversaw a roster purge in the offseason that cleared big names and high salaries from the locker room, replaced by mostly younger — and less-expensive — talents.

Because of the heavy roster turnover, little was expected of the Jets going into the season. Some fans and media predicted New York would have a tough time winning just a couple of games, so a 3-2 start was one of the NFL’s early surprises.

Bowles stressed a team-first approach, adopting a “One Team, One Goal” slogan, which he had painted all around the facility as well as other motivational words on the doors and hallways . Throughout the season, players highlighted the team’s unity and the positive vibe despite rough stretches — and many credited Bowles for that.

“He understands how to coach players and understands how to get guys to buy into a program and really commit to it,” linebacker Jordan Jenkins said.

Several players expressed their pleasure at the news on social media, and were 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, like many of his teammates, learned of the news from reporters.