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Johnson's Jets duties could change if he gets ambassador role

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While his team has struggled on the field in 2016, Jets owner Woody Johnson recently received some good news.

According to several reports, Johnson is a leading contender to be the United States ambassador to the United Kingdom. President-elect Donald Trump has not yet made his choices public, but Johnson was a noted contributor to Trump.

While it would not be an unprecedented post for an NFL owner, it does create legitimate questions that could have a drastic impact on his team during his tenure -- if Johnson gets the job.

According to a source informed of such matters, the expectation would be for Johnson to conclude it would not be "practical" to run the team on a day-to-day basis. That opens up the real possibility that someone else could be operating the team in an important 2017 offseason and beyond. He has owned the team since 2000.

In addition, Johnson would almost certainly resign from NFL committees on which he currently serves. He's on the NFL's Media Committee, Finance Committee, and Business Ventures Committee.

The team made no official comment on the situation when reached Saturday afternoon. A Jets source reiterated it's all speculative at this point, adding that no one knows if Johnson will even get the job. But having a plan might be important.

This has happened before.

Steelers owner Dan Rooney was confirmed in 2009 as U.S. ambassador to Ireland. He gave up his committee duties, but leadership of the team didn't dramatically shift because Art Rooney II, named president in 2003, had already taken a large hands-on role.

Dan Rooney still attended league meetings, and Johnson likely would, too.

Johnson had been a major contributor to Trump's campaign, and he was named vice chairman of Trump's Victory Committee. During the blowout loss to the Colts on Monday night, Johnson spent time seated next to vice president-elect Mike Pence. He has no known connection to Great Britain.

The NFL would take its lead on how to proceed from the ethics office at the State Department, sources said. Similar to Rooney, Johnson would not have to give up ownership interest in the team. But how his role changes if he gets the job is a situation to watch.

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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