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IDZIK: Building a Very Firm Foundation

Posted Mar 25, 2014

Transcript of Jets GM’s News Conference at Owners’ Meetings in Orlando

On the Jets being "deliberate" so far this offseason...

I wouldn't mistake deliberate for lack of activity or patience if you want to call it that. By deliberate we're going to be well thought out, well-researched in what we do. But we're going to be active with the thought of being productive today. We don't look at this thing as, well, let's see where we are in two or three years. We want to know where we are today. This is really a day-to-day proposition, that we concentrate on the here and now and we try to make the best informed decisions based on what we've done to that point and put us in the best possible position for that moment.

With that, there's an undercurrent of how is this going to play out over the longer term. So I guess what I'm trying to say is we want to win now, we want to win tomorrow, we want to win the next day. We want something sustainable. We don't want something that's just short-lived. And with that comes a lot of background work and research that go into these decisions for the day. That's what I mean by deliberate, not that we're going to take our time, kick our heels up. We're going to make very sound decisions in our minds. Those sound decisions, we believe, will lead to sustained success, not just a flash.

On if he sees any change in the approach of owner Woody Johnson, who said he will no longer use the word “patient”...

No, not really. I don't want to get caught up in semantics. I think what we're saying is, some of these things that are transpiring, free agency, there is a lot of action going on, so action doesn't always translate into achievement. We're active, we're researching different ways to build our roster. ... We've had some signings, UFA signings, we've signed several of our own guys back, we've already made a waiver claim, there could be potential trades, the draft, the compensatory process, post-draft — there's a process you go through.

I don't think we've changed at all in saying let's be patient with it. It's just telling our fans, telling everybody we're building this thing with a very firm foundation, and that does take time. But we also realize we're building this for success now and going into the future.

On what the addition of QB Michael Vick does for his team, and if it tells Geno Smith the team doesn't believe in him as much...

No, to the contrary I think it helps Geno. Mike brings a wealth of experience both on the field in the NFL and off the field. He's been through a lot, he's grown as a player, he's grown as a person. So I think that helps not only Geno, but we have a realtively young locker room and it will help our guys. So that went into our decision, and trying to elevate not only Geno but elevate everybody around him.

On Johnson's remarks Sunday about Eagles WR Desean Jackson...

No, we won't mention anybody by name, especially those on others' rosters. We will explore any avenue to help us build our roster, to improve our depth. I think that's was what was meant by that. If an opportunity presents itself, we're going to consider it. If it merits it, we'll act on it.

On how hesitant he is to bring in a player who's been a "headache" elsewhere as he tries to establish a locker room culture with the Jets...

That's a good question. It's not easy. We're in the human business. So it's nothing where everyone's got an absolute grade on things. People respond differently to different environments. But you do lean on people who have had experiences, exposure to these players. You gain insight maybe from coaches, from players that have lived with this individual, and you gain a little insight into how he handles different situations, what type of personality, how he handles stressful situations, how he handles the media. You bank all that. And that's what I mean by we do a lot of background work that way, to make well-informed, educated decisions on those type of people.

On the strategy of allowing Antonio Cromartie to test the free agency market...

That's really up to the player. I don't know if it matters much, if you want to release a veteran, whether you offer him that reduction at that time or if you say, "You know what? We're going to put the ball in your court, you're free, you go out and you decide your alternatives, your values, whatever offers you get." And then it's really up to him whether he wants to present that to us and come back.

We made it clear to Antonio that we had opened arms. We felt like he earned that right [for us] to say, "You know what? Why don't we put that ball in your court, you're free and then if it feels right for you, then come back to us."

On if Cromartie came back from Arizona to talk with the Jets...

We had open lines of communication with Antonio.

On if Cromartie brought the Cardinals' offer back to the Jets...

I won't get into offers or the nature of our discussions. I can just say that we always maintained an open line of communications with Antonio and his representatives.

On the prospect of overpaying for a player who is extremely valuable…

I don’t know if it’s overpaying. I guess when you establish a value for a player, there’s always going to be a range, it’s not going to be a high-water mark where you say that’s the absolute max. That comes out in the discussion, not only in the discussion with the player and the agent but also in the discussion internally: "OK, now this is where it sits. How will this potentially impact us not only this year but going forward with this deal if it’s a multiyear deal?" So there’s a lot of that going on.

I would hate to say that we’re averse to overpaying. I think we’re open-minded in how we value a player and where that range may be, especially given the circumstances. First week in free agency, there’s a lot of competition, there’s a lot of banter, and you have to wade through what’s real and what’s not, and then you make your decisions off that.

But I think what we do is we will try to state in no uncertain terms to the player, his agent, whoever’s involved, precisely how we feel, the rationale behind how we got to that point, so they understand it and they do the same. And if you can consummate a deal, great.

On if the team will pick up Muhammad Wilkerson’s option…

We won’t discuss individual stuff that we may or may not do with a player. Mo is very very important to the New York Jets. We’re very happy to have him.

On head coach Rex Ryan saying the Jets could add another receiver…

That’s a pretty open statement. I think we’ll alter pretty much every position going forward [laughs]. It’s still early in this thing. We’re in March so there’s still a lot to do … a lot of possibilities going forward at the receiver position. It may be street free agents, again, maybe a trade. We think it’s not done yet.

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