As we approach the opening weekend of the NFL postseason, the Jets have begun their search for a new general manager. Team CEO Woody Johnson and head coach Rex Ryan are scheduled to address the media at 11:00 AM Tuesday and you can catch that news conference on newyorkjets.com. Then please join me for our “Jets Talk LIVE” 2012 Year in Review at 3:00 PM.
Q: Who looks like the favorite candidate for the new general manager position?
EA: This is the $64,000,000 dollar question.
The organization took a tight-lipped approach this week after relieving Mike Tannenbaum of his duties. Publicly the team has not commented on the names being floated about in media circles: Falcons director of player personnel Dave Caldwell, 49ers director of player personnel Tom Gamble, former Browns GM Tom Heckert (lots of speculation that Heckert could join Andy Reid in KC), Packers director of football operations John Dorsey and Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross. Jets Assistant GM Scott Cohen will interview and Joey Clinckscales, who took a job as the Raiders director of player personnel after last April's Draft, spent 17 years with the Green & White and might receive consideration. Dolphins Assistant GM Brian Gaine, a Don Bosco product who worked with the Jets from 1999 – 2004, is well respected in league circles.
Jed Hughes, who heads Korn/Ferry International’s sports practice, is the key outsider in the process. Johnson will make his thoughts known next Tuesday, but I am sure Hughes is already busy with the search. In fact, numerous media outlets have reported that Caldwell had an interview Friday.
Q: I don't understand how (Rex) Ryan can keep his job. He refused to play a different QB other than Sanchez until it was too late. The season is over and now you play a backup? Sanchez is arguably the worst in the league. It's obvious Ryan is set in his ways and refuses to change. Guess what? Next season will be much of the same. What was the big deal about letting Tebow get at least a quarter to play?
EA: On Tuesday, both CEO Woody Johnson and head coach Rex Ryan will speak to the media and and we will highlight their comments on our special “Jets Talk LIVE” installment. Johnson will be asked on his thought process regarding the retaining of Ryan and the Jets head coach is definitely going to field more Sanchez/Tebow inquiries.
I don’t think Coach Ryan waited too long to make the quarterback switch. Ryan benched Sanchez in Week 13 and gave him a chance to work out of his funk in Week 14. He was fine in the Week 15 win in Jacksonville, but Ryan had seen enough after the five-turnover debacle in Nashville.
Q: Will the Jets be looking to trade or release
EA: Once the new Jets GM is in place, we will have a better sense of the direction of this team. After consecutive non-winning seasons, I can’t imagine any player is untouchable. With Tone working his way back from his lisfranc injury, it is unlikely there would be a big trade market there because he is reportedly due $7.5 Million next year. I think Holmes will most likely be back with the Green & White and a healthy No. 10 could give the Jets a shot in the arm.
EA: The Jets will never publicly discuss their cap situation, but they do have some huge decisions ahead. Greene is a solid back who can punish a defense, but he is not going to spring many long-gainers on a defense. A third-round pick of the Jets in 2009, Greene averaged a career-low 3.9 yards per carry and had only two carries of 20 yards. He is not a home run hitter and it will be interesting to see how much he is valued on the market if he gets there. After starting all 64 games in his first four seasons, Keller was limited to just eight games in 2012 due to injury and finished with career-lows in catches (28) and yards (317). Both are slated for free agency and they could don different colors in 2013. Teams can always take different approaches to change their cap situation, but it is fair to say the Jets have some maneuvering to do.
Q: With the first three picks in the draft, should the Jets go linebacker, linebacker and offensive tackle?
EA: No! If the Jets don’t go offense in the first round, there better be a dynamic game-changer there on defense. Last time I checked, South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney isn’t eligible for the draft and if he was — he would probably be the top overall selection. Outside linebacker is a need, but I would run a marathon if the Jets go back-to-back LBs in rounds one and two.
The Jets need offensive help and they can’t address everything in free agency. They have questions at quarterback, running back, tight end, wide receiver and up front on the line.
Mitt Romney hired as Jets new GM. Rex Ryan fired. Team rumored to be moving to China.
EA: Hah! Romney might be a good businessman, but I bet you that he isn’t in play here for a top football position. Also the Jets aren’t going anywhere — still hoping we can get that trip to meet President Obama.