NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the New York Jets are flying 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh for a second interview on Tuesday, making him the first coach to interview for a second-round and a finalist for the Jets job. Saleh has also interviewed with the Lions, Jaguars, Falcons, and Chargers in the past week.
There were conflicting rumors about Saleh having bad interviews—specifically with the Lions—but if Saleh was asked back for a second interview, I think we have our answer on whether he was interviewing poorly. Plus, who is to say that this will be the only second interview Saleh gets?
My initial reaction to Saleh interviewing with the Jets was that I wanted him to land elsewhere, but the more I think about it, the more the Jets are in a better position than most of the other teams with a head coaching opening. New York has Sam Darnold under contract for another season—two seasons if they decide to pick up his fifth-year option. They have the No. 2 overall pick and, if they like Darnold, can flip that pick for a bevy of picks.
The Jets would likely add another weapon for their quarterback, but Denzel Mims and Jamison Crowder are solid weapons. Left tackle Mehki Becton is going to be a star. Defensively, the Jets have their work cut out for them. Outside of Marcus Maye, who is a free agent, and Quinnen Williams, I’m not sure that they have an NFL starter. With that said, Saleh proved this year that he could get the most out of a defense without its stars.
That said, New York is projected to have the second-most cap space in the NFL. Saleh could potentially poach free agents like Jason Verrett and Kerry Hyder and bring them along with, knowing the Jets can open up their checkbook and offer more than most teams, including the 49ers.
The Eagles also requested to interview Saleh. To me, Philly is the worst job on the market. Carson Wentz’s contract isn’t good, and Jalen Hurts is a work in progress. There are many holes on that roster, and upper management doesn’t seem to have a good grasp at either drafting or to be on the same page as their coaches, as 2020 showed. This may be unpopular, but the Jets job is more appealing than the Eagles.
As the rumors continue to fly, Cowboys insider Mike Fisher believes Saleh is no longer the top candidate for the Lions. The Saints assistant coach and former Lion Dan Campbell are now the frontrunner. Where do you believe Saleh will end up?