The Jets have asked for permission to interview Bears assistant director of player personnel Champ Kelly for their vacant general manager job, sources confirmed Friday.
Kelly worked with Adam Gase, the Jets’ head coach and current interim GM, both with the Broncos and Bears.
Kelly came to the Bears alongside head coach John Fox and Gase, then the offensive coordinator, in 2015 after spending seven years with the Broncos. He was the team’s assistant director of pro personnel his last five seasons in Denver.
In July 2017, the Bears promoted him from pro scouting director to assistant director of player personnel. Kelly works alongside player personnel director Josh Lucas and college scouting director Mark Sadowski to scout on both the college and pro levels.
The Bears value Kelly’s expertise. Last month, general manager Ryan Pace praised Kelly, Lucas and Sadowski for “really predicting how this draft was going to unfold,” particularly when it came to which running backs would be available in the third round.
Kelly and new secondary coach Deshea Townsend for working out Valdosta State cornerback Stephen Denmark before the draft. The Bears drafted him in the seventh round.
The likely favorite for the Jets’ GM job: Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas, who was the Bears’ college scouting director in 2015.
The Jets fired GM Mike Maccagnan last week — unusual timing after they allowed him to sign big-money free agents and conduct the draft.