Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum did not want to be giving his SOTG&W — State of the Green & White — remarks today because he, like all Jets personnel, wanted to be preparing for one more game a week from Sunday in the Dallas/Fort Worth neighborhood.
But the Jets' loss at Pittsburgh last Sunday precluded that so Tannenbaum today spoke with reporters on a conference call and answered questions on matters past, present and future.
"I thought this season was a good one. I'm really proud of the things we accomplished," Tannenbaum said in his opening comments. "The back-to-back AFC Championship Games obviously solidifies our program. We have a great foundation of sustainable success for the future. I'm really proud of our coaching staff, led by Rex [Ryan] and all his talented assistants.
"There's disappointment in not getting all the way to the Super Bowl. Those were the emotions earlier in the week. But by the end of this week we've kind of turned the page and have moved forward to the 2011 season."
One matter that impacted on last season and many seasons ahead is the SOTS — the state of the Sanchez, and specifically Mark Sanchez's right shoulder that was first injured in the December regular-season game at Pittsburgh. The GM said his quarterback and the team have yet to make a decision regarding surgery on the shoulder.
"Mark's going to get a couple of opinions and we're going to make the best decision once we get all the information," Tannenbaum said. "No decision has been made yet. In my mind, if you're going to have a procedure, you want to get started sooner than later. We're working collaboratively, Ken Montgomery [chairman of the Jets' medical department] with shoulder experts. We'll keep looking at it and make a decision as soon as possible."
Another element affecting Sanchez's development moving forward is his coordinator. Tannenbaum said as of midday today no team had contacted him seeking permission to talk to Brian Schottenheimer about a head-coaching position. Asked specifically if Schottenheimer will return as the Jets' offensive coordinator for a sixth season and Sanchez's OC for a third, Mike T replied:
"Yes, he's certainly coming back, absolutely."
And another area of concern for Jets fans is who Sanchez will be targeting his passes for in 2011. With Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes both possibly becoming free agents, the debate is already raging in Jets Nation about whose services can be retained.
Tannenbaum reiterated that he'd like to keep as many of the players on this team as possible, and regarding wideout he said he'd like to hold onto both No. 17 and No. 10, and No. 16 as well.
"We'd actually like to keep all three, with Brad in the mix there as well — that's certainly our goal," Tannenbaum said of Brad Smith, a wideout, Seminole QB and kickoff returner whose contract is also up at the end of the NFL's calendar year. "Braylon and Santonio both did a heck of a job for us. Both helped in Mark's development. Both had big touchdowns in the Patriots game. We're proud of what those guys accomplished for us."
Yet another big-name potential free agent is inside linebacker David Harris, voted by his teammates as this year's Curtis Martin Team MVP. The general manager repeated his desire to get a contract done for "the Hitman," although the labor situation clouds these issues.
"David remains a top priority for us," Tannenbaum said. "He's done a lot of great things for us on and off the field. We expect him to be here for many years to come. ... When we know all the specific rules of the new system, we'll move forward. David is a top priority."
The league's and the players' quest to find common ground and reach a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is tingeing all teams' decisions from now on into the offseason. For instance, Tannenbaum said since the league year doesn't end until March 3, it is possible but not yet determined that teams can exercise franchise tags and restricted free agency tenders.
"We'll certainly look at that during the month of February," he said about the use of the Jets' franchise tag. "There's another 4½ weeks before the end of the league year. If we do have that at our disposal, we'll take a look at that," he said about the use of the franchise tag, adding about whether the Jets might tag Harris or sign him to a long-term deal, "I wouldn't eliminate either option," if both are available.
There are a number of potential Jets free agents, 17 in all although unrestricted/restricted status remains undetermined for some. Tannenbaum said about attempting to sign any of them, "My sense of it is I doubt we would sign anybody between now and the end of the league year. It's certainly a possibility but I don't foresee that now."
In addition there are the situations involving the returns of such players as LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor, Damien Woody, Tony Richardson and Vernon Gholston. Eric Allen will have a blog about Mike T's comments on those and other players a little later this afternoon.