With 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh getting a second interview with the Jets for their vacant coaching position, Saleh now appears to be the favorite.
As Chris Simms said during Wednesday’s PFT Live, the talk in coaching circles is that the Jets are moving toward hiring Saleh.
Saleh has proven to be a great coach, but his hiring by the Jets would come with an important caveat. The Jets need to develop quarterback Sam Darnold, who has fallen far behind three of his 2018 first-round peers: Baker Mayfield (taken before Darnold), Josh Allen (taken after Darnold), and Lamar Jackson (taken well after Darnold).
All three of them will be playing this weekend. So if the Jets get a defensive coach who hires an offensive coordinator who gets Darnold to the final eight in 2021 or 2022, then what? The offensive coordinator gets a head-coaching job elsewhere, quite possibly.
So, as the Jets and Saleh apparently move toward quite possibly striking a deal, both sides need to have a plan for the worst-case scenario resulting from the best-case scenario: Having things go so well that whoever it is that gets the most out of Darnold gets a head-coaching job elsewhere.