It's looking more and more as if Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini could become the next head coach of the New York Jets.
According to reports in the New York Post, Jets general manager Terry Bradway and assistant general manager Mike Tannenbaum interviewed Mangini at Tannenbaum's father's house outside of Boston.
Tannenbaum and Mangini worked together in Cleveland and the assistant general manger is believed to be the main reason the Jets began looking at Mangini in the first place.
Because the Patriots season ended Saturday night – according to NFL rules – the Jets were not only allowed to speak to Mangini but also offer him a contract if they so desired.
However, a decision by the Jets won't be made until after they finish interviewing former Vikings head coach Mike Tice. Tice is interviewing for the Jets job on Monday in New York but Mangini is still believed to be the top candidate.
Tice will be the final candidate to interview with the Jets before the team makes a decision on who they want to be their head coach. In all, the Jets interviewed eight people for the opening, including former Giants coach Jim Fassel and recently fired Saints head coach Jim Haslett.
In his first season as the Patriots defensive coordinator Mangini directed a defense that despite being ravaged by injuries, finished seventh overall in the NFL.
During his first five seasons in New England, Mangini served as the secondary coach on a team that won three Super Bowl titles. He was on both the Browns and Jets staff with Bill Belichick and has spent 10 of his 11 seasons in the NFL coaching with his mentor.
Mangini's background and history with Belichick is what makes him so appealing to the Jets. By hiring Mangini, the Jets would not only get a bright young coach who has learned from one of the all-time greats, they would also be hurting their division rivals in the process.
According to The Post, Mangini's deal could be in the five-year range and approach $17 million. Not bad for a guy who will turn 35 on Thursday.
If Mangini is offered and accepts the job in New York, he would join the Dolphins Nick Saban as former Belichick assistants to get head-coaching jobs in the AFC East.
Nothing has been finalized yet but it's starting to look like the Patriots could be replacing their second defensive coordinator in as many years.