Jets Fans Erupt Over New Details of Mike LaFleur’s Departure

Mike LaFleur

Getty The New York Jets have fired offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.

Wednesday, January 11, was Mike LaFleur watch around the New York Jets community and it all started with a tweet from NFL reporter Aaron Wilson, informing that the franchise was “parting ways” with the offensive coordinator.

While that early morning report was initially refuted by several members of the NYJ beat, it was later announced as fact. ESPN’s Adam Schefter was among those confirming the news, but his wording as well as everyone else’s raised some eyebrows.

No one uttered the word fired, everyone used expressions like “parted ways” and “allowing LaFleur to pursue other opportunities.” Then SNY’s Connor Hughes pulled back the curtain a bit, and Jets fans did not like what they saw.

“The Jets were planning to bring Mike LaFleur back as their offensive coordinator in 2023,” he detailed. “Several other teams reached out. The NYJ talked to LaFleur. After that discussion, they agreed to allow him to pursue those opportunities.”

Jets Fans Demand the Truth After Mike LaFleur News

Many NYJ supporters responded negatively to this reveal from Hughes. “I don’t believe you,” one fan stated bluntly.

Another commented: “That sounds like a very nice way to say someone was pushed out. Who is pining to hire LaFleur? The Packers? The 49ers? I realize the close relationship between the LaFleurs and [head coach Robert] Saleh but the team scored zero TDs in 3 straight games. I’d have brought in an advisor and kept him.”

“Connor…please explain,” a third pressed for information. “A professional team doesn’t alter their plans just because other teams reached out. If they believed in MLF [LaFleur], he’d be back without a ‘senior offensive assistant’ in the room also. The Jets don’t believe in what MLF is at this point in his career.”

Finally, one fan summed up the dysfunction of the fanbase by stating that he’s “gotta bookmark this gem” of a tweet for later.

Curious Circumstances Surrounding Jets, Mike LaFleur

SNY analyst Connor Rogers broke down the mysterious nature of January 11 the way he saw it. “When there were conflicting reports earlier it was clear a lot of discussions were ongoing from the top re: the offensive staff,” he voiced. “As much as it’s easy to see Saleh sticking up for his OC, I don’t think the entire organization was on board with running it back – fair or not.”

Like Rogers, Jets X-Factor media member Robby Sabo questioned whether or not Saleh ended up making the final call on this decision. “Whether or not Mike LaFleur is gone isn’t the big topic here,” he noted. “It’s instead *how* he’s now gone. In other words, has the integrity of the Jets football hierarchy been compromised? Has Joe Douglas and/or Robert Saleh been overruled? This is what’s critical, this question.”

So, was Woody Johnson involved in this move away from LaFleur? Did the Jets choose Zach Wilson over the young offensive coordinator? Or was it really Saleh who decided to pull the plug on this working relationship in the best way possible — considering their friendship.

“This likely was difficult for Saleh, who has known LaFleur for about 20 years,” ESPN’s Rich Cimini explained while summarizing the departure. “LaFleur is the younger brother of Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur, one of Saleh’s closest friends. A week ago, Saleh publicly advocated for Mike LaFleur, fueling speculation that owner Woody Johnson was pressuring to make a change. The Jets claimed that wasn’t the case, with general manager Joe Douglas saying Monday that Saleh has the final say on coaching-staff decisions.”

In the end, that “final say” was an amicable split between two close friends.

What’s Next at Jets OC After Mike LaFleur?

As for the all-important question — ‘where do we go from here?’ — some have speculated on names like Gary Kubiak, Kliff Kingsbury or Frank Reich, but we’ll have to see what direction the Jets decide to go in the coming days and weeks.

New York Post beat reporter Brian Costello spoke grimly on the subject, tweeting: “Very curious who the Jets find to replace LaFleur. You have no QB and little job security. This staff needs to make the playoffs next year.”

Hughes also commented that “[the Jets] need to either (1) have a plan to entice [a] candidate to take the job [or] (2) find a candidate who really believes he can fix Zach Wilson in one year.”

In theory, the coaching hire could also pair with a potential quarterback target. Buckle up for a wild offseason Jets nation, let the speculation begin.

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