The New York Jets finally fired former GM Mike Tannenbaum earlier this week, opting to retain head coach Rex Ryan. While the search for a new general manager is still underway, according to Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork, Jets’ owner Woody Johnson is telling potential candidates that firing Ryan is off the table.
Cimini reported that the Jets have told any possible candidate that “they won’t be considered unless they agree to keep Rex Ryan for a year.”
That more or less means that for at least one season, the new general manager will be not only working for Johnson, but Ryan as well.
If they cannot fire Ryan for at least one year, what personnel decisions will Johnson allow them to make? If he believes that strongly in Ryan, then he will allow his head coach to make the moves he feels are necessary to put the team in a position to win now. Hiring a new general manager and not allowing Ryan to have the final say would go against the message Johnson is sending by saying Ryan must remain as head coach for at least next season.
That could limit the options for the Jets, as many new general managers will want to bring in their ow people, from top to bottom. That generally starts with the head coach. If they are a believer in Ryan – and, to an extent, Mark Sanchez – then there is no problem. In fact, they will probably move to the front of the line.
If they do not have faith that Ryan is the coach to lead this team to a Super Bowl, then they need not apply.
Not this season, at least.