Adam Gase needed just a few hours as the Jets’ acting general manager to pull off a big deal.
Two people with direct knowledge of the trade told The Associated Press that New York agreed Wednesday night to send linebacker Darron Lee to the Kansas City Chiefs for a sixth-round draft pick.
The deal is pending a physical, according to the people who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because neither team had announced the move.
It came just hours after the Jets fired general manager Mike Maccagnan and installed Gase as the acting GM while the team begins a search for a replacement.
Lee was New York’s first-round pick in 2016, but was mostly disappointing in his three seasons with the Jets. He was suspended by the NFL for the final four games of last season after violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Lee’s spot on the Jets’ roster was uncertain after New York signed C.J. Mosley to anchor the inside linebacker position with Avery Williamson.
Lee had been the subject of trade rumors all offseason, especially after the Jets recently declined his fifth-year contract option for 2020. Many believed he would be dealt during the NFL draft. Less than three weeks later, Gase made it happen.
In three seasons, Lee had 241 tackles, four sacks, 11 passes defensed and three interceptions — all last season — including one returned for a touchdown. He was the 20th overall pick out of Ohio State in 2016.
Lee now goes to the Chiefs, who are switching from a 3-4 base defense under former defensive coordinator Bob Sutton to a 4-3 under new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
Gone are veterans such as Justin Houston and Eric Berry, and second-year general manager Brett Veach has brought in Tyrann Mathieu, Frank Clark, Emmanuel Ogbah and Alex Okafor. But the Chiefs were still looking for help at linebacker.