If you are a fan of a team from the NFL’s AFC East, today’s news that the New York Jets have finally hired a GM might be met with a snicker and more questions after they named John Idzik their new GM. Idzik has been with the Seattle Seahawks since 2007 but has very little player personnel or scouting experience. Instead his background is primarily on the cap side.
While that is good news for the Jets considering they will be in an extreme cap situation after spending freely for the last five years, Idzik will gain full control over the roster and all player decisions which many believe is the reason that former GM Mike Tannenbaum was fired. Tannenbaum had little scouting and player experience as well.
At the heart of the NY Jets problems seems to be the retention of HC Rex Ryan. The Jets went through 10 candidates for the GM spot but found themselves turned down repeatedly by the top end options. Many in the media attributed this to the negative surroundings of Rex Ryan.
The Dolphins recently had a similar situation only a year ago when they had to choose a direction. The team opted to stick with GM Jeff Ireland and fire HC Tony Sparano. The Jets have taken the opposite approach and barring a major surprise next season, the Jets may head into the 2014 off-season looking for a new HC.
The news of the Jets hire was surprising to some but the reality was that the Jets were running out of options. On a day when the Cleveland Browns, who recently added Rob Chudzinski as their head coach, held a presser to welcome new GM Michael Lombardi, the Jets hire pales in comparison.
In addition to the GM spots filled up, all 8 teams who kick started their off-season by firing their head coaches have now all filled their vacancies. In addition to Chudzinski in Cleveland, the Chiefs added Andy Reid (the only HC with previous HC experience), the Eagles landed Chip Kelly after he spurned both Cleveland and Philly before ultimately spurning the Ducks.
In Arizona the Cardinals have added Bruce Arians formerly of the Indianapolis Colts. Arians took over as the interim HC while Colt’s HC Chuck Pagano missed most of the season seeking treatment for his Leukemia. Chicago opted to trade Lovie Smith whom the players respected for Marc Trestman who came as a surprise to many.
In San Diego the Chargers stayed in the division and took OC Mike McCoy away from the Denver Broncos giving him his first shot at the top position. In Jacksonville, the Jaguars parted ways with Mike Mularkey after one season and added former Seahawk DC Gus Bradley. The Buffalo Bills also added Doug Marrone as their new HC following the firing of Chan Gailey. Marrone was formerly the HC at Syracuse.