With their GM search underway following Wednesday's firing of Mike Maccagnan, one report suggests the New York Jets could raid Bears GM Ryan Pace's personnel staff to find Maccagnan's successor.
Bears Assistant Director of Player Personnel Champ Kelly was one of two names mentioned Wednesday by NFL Media's Ian Rapoport as the Jets' potential replacement hire for Maccagnan. However, our understanding is new Jets coach Adam Gase forced out Maccagnan to bring in Philadelphia Eagles VP of Player Personnel Joe Douglas. Douglas was hired by Pace alongside Kelly in 2015, the year Adam Gase was the Bears offensive coordinator, before vaulting to the top job in Miami.
"Very highly thought of, close with [Adam] Gase and another personnel guy on the rise that is a name to keep an eye on here," Rapoport said of Kelly, who has an incredible story of inspiring kids through his charity camps after watching his own mother battle addiction and his dad spend time in jail for dealing drugs.
Pace recently praised Kelly for assisting Personnel Director Josh Lucas and Director of College Scouting Mark Sadowski in predicting how last month's draft would unfold, specifically how the top running backs would come off the board. Kelly and new Bears secondary coach Deshea Towsend also earned recognition from Pace for working out privately seventh-round CB Stephen Denmark at Valdosta State in the spring.
Prior to his stint in Chicago, Kelly spent nearly a decade in the Denver Broncos personnel department, where he first worked with Gase. That connection could help serve as his next pro launching point, though Douglas has been rumored as the favorite to be the next Jets general manager even prior to Maccagnan's official ouster Wednesday.
One personnel man with Bears ties who won't be joining the Jets: Former Chicago defensive back and associate personnel director Dwayne Joseph, who last week left his post in the Eagles personnel department to become the new Oakland Raiders Director of Pro Scouting.