Monday, December 31, 2012

After the Flightmare: Tannenbaum out, Rex still in


Finishing the season was a formality, but big changes were inevitable.

Following a dismal 6-10 campaign, the New York Jets were poised for a housecleaning that would involve coaching firings, front office shakups and player dealing. The tremors have already begun, with general manager Mike Tannenbaum the first to officially go.

A day after the Jets lost to the lowly Buffalo Bills, Jets owner Woody Johnson released a statement Monday morning announcing Tannenbaum's dismissal.

"This morning, I informed Mike Tannenbaum that he will not return for the 2013 season," Johnson said. "Mike devoted 15 years of service to the Jets, and I want to thank him for his hard work and dedication.

"Although he helped guide us to two consecutive AFC Championship Games, we are not where we want to be, and a new General Manager will be critical to getting this team back on the right track."

Poor team building in terms of chemistry, unnecessary hefty contracts and spotty drafting made Tannenbaum an obvious candidate for an exit. The Jets reportedly considered keeping Tannebaum in a salary cap consulting role, but they likely realized no good GM would want to come in under those circumstances.

Johnson also said he's sticking with Rex Ryan at head coach, as expected.

"I believe that he has the passion, the talent, and the drive to successfully lead our team," Johnson said.

Under Ryan, the Jets have gone 9-7, 11-5, 8-8 and 6-10, with a pair of AFC Championship game appearances in 2009 and 2010.

As for the search for a new general manager, Johnson says the organization is already knee-deep in the process.

"I've consulted with a number of football executives and I have also engaged the services of Korn/Ferry International, the same search firm that conducted the NFL Commissioner search in 2006," Johnson said. "Our process with Korn/Ferry will be led by Jed Hughes, who heads their sports practice and who previously led the General Manager search for the Seattle Seahawks, among others.

"When we have updates on this process, we will provide them to our fans and the media."

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