FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Even in Europe, Mike Maccagnan couldn’t completely relax.
The uncertainty surrounding the Jets’ quarterback situation was on his mind during the offseason as he traded emails and made calls while vacationing with his wife. And it wasn’t until Wednesday evening — when Ryan Fitzpatrick finally walked through the doors of the facility — that the second-year general manager finally felt at ease.
At least for a few hours.
“It was a good feeling,” Maccagnan said during an informal sitdown with beat writers Friday. “I think for about a night I probably felt a big sigh of relief, and then it was back to work.”
In a 12-day span, the Jets signed Muhammad Wilkerson to a long-term extension, avoided a contract holdout with first-round draft pick Darron Lee and, perhaps most notably, finally were able to reach an agreement with Fitzpatrick’s camp.
The Jets finally have gotten all of the boxes checked on their long list of offseason to-dos. But even though Maccagnan said the Jets are “gunning for” the postseason, he said there isn’t a “playoff or bust” mentality heading into the 2016 season.
“I know everybody probably wants that quote, but we’re working one week at a time,” he said in his first comments to beat reporters since the NFL Draft.
Though Maccagnan believes the Jets have “made some improvements,” they’re “definitely a work in progress.” In his eyes, a successful season would entail the Jets being “competitive.”
“Once you’re in the playoffs,” he said, “you don’t know what can happen after that.”
Every general manager wants to give the coaching staff “the pieces and tools that they need to be successful” heading into training camp, he said. And part of that plan involved re-signing Fitzpatrick.
He wouldn’t comment on the negotiations or on Fitzpatrick’s statement that he’d rather bet on himself than take the Jets’ initial three-year, $24-million offer.
“Hey, the deal is done, we’re very happy with it, we’re happy to have Fitz back,” said Maccagnan, who signed him to what amounts to a one-year, $12-million deal. “I just want to go forward with this whole thing and getting the team ready to go and play.”
Maccagnan also touched on other topics:
- Asked if Geno Smith will be on the Jets’ Week 1 roster, Maccagnan said: “I would assume so. Right now, I know we like Geno Smith . . . Geno’s in our plans.”
- The Jets still haven’t ruled out keeping four quarterbacks on their Week 1 roster. “We’ve discussed it internally,’’ he said, “and if that’s in the best interest of the team, that’s what we’ll do.”
- Maccagnan said Wilkerson’s five-year, $86-million extension “doesn’t preclude” the Jets from getting a deal done with defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson in the future.