Jets fire offensive coordinator John Morton, reportedly considering QB coach Bates

Jets coach Todd Bowles survived the 2017 season, but his offensive coordinator wasn't so lucky. On Wednesday, the Jets fired John Morton.

"We appreciate John's contributions and wish him the best moving forward," Bowles said in a statement. 

That was the only statement offered in the Jets' release.

According to the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta, who broke the story, quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates is a "strong candidate" to replace Morton while ESPN's Adam Schefter added that Todd Haley, who departed the Steelers earlier on Wednesday after several season as their offensive coordinator, could also be a candidate. Bates was the Seahawks' offensive coordinator in 2010 when they finished 28th in yards and 23rd in points, and has been a quarterbacks coach for the Broncos, Bears, and USC. Mehta also mentioned John DeFilippo, Mike McCoy, Brian Callahan, and Haley as possible candidates.

Jason La Canfora believes the Jets may look toward Arizona.

Whoever ends up taking the post will inherit an offense that is short on playmakers at nearly every position, which makes it a challenging job.

That's what makes the firing somewhat surprising. The Jets' offense definitely wasn't good in 2017 (28th in yards, 24th in scoring, and 24th in DVOA), but nobody could've expected an offense composed of Josh McCown, Matt Forte, Bilal Powell, Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and a bottom-10 offensive line to actually perform like a decent group. Morton managed to turn McCown into a decent starting quarterback and Anderson into a big-play threat.

But again, it's not like the Jets experienced tremendous success on offense. Fair or not, the NFL is a results-oriented business. Plus, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini, there were some internal issues with Morton.

The next offensive coordinator will likely be tasked with developing a new franchise quarterback. McCown is scheduled to become a free agent and neither Christian Hackenberg nor Bryce Petty have demonstrated the necessary potential to be considered the Jets' long-term solution. It's more likely that the Jets will try to draft a quarterback or sign one in free agency. 

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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