FLORHAM PARK, N. J. — Rex Ryan will be back coaching the New York Jets next season, but he’ll be working with a new general manager.
The Jets fired GM Mike Tannenbaum on Monday, one day after the team finished off a dismal 6-10 season with a 28-9 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Jets owner Woody Johnson called the season a “disappointment to all of us.
” My goal every year as owner is to build a team that wins consistently. This year, we failed to achieve that goal,” Johnson said in a statement. “Like all Jets fans, I am disappointed with this year’s results. However, I am confident that this change will best position our team for greater success going forward.”
In deciding to stick with Ryan, Johnson said “I believe that he has the passion, the talent, and the drive to successfully lead our team.”
The Jets were a team in turmoil from the moment they acquired quarterback Tim Tebow in a trade with Denver before the season. The move was made by Tannenbaum, and failed in just about every way.
Tebow was brought in as a backup for Mark Sanchez and expected to play a key role in certain offensive schemes. He played sparingly, and spent several weeks out of the lineup with injured ribs.
Meanwhile, Sanchez was having a poor season, the Jets kept losing and Tebow never got a chance to be the No. 1 quarterback.
Tannenbaum was the Jets’ GM for seven seasons, including two trips to the AFC championship game. He had two years left on his contract, but Johnson made the change after the Jets failed to make the playoffs for a second year in a row.
Tannenbaum had been with the Jets since 1997, when he was hired as the team’s director of player contract negotiations. He served in various other roles before becoming general manager and replacing Terry Bradway in 2006.
With a knack for navigating the NFL’s salary cap, Tannenbaum was never afraid to make splashy signings or trades — Tebow, Brett Favre, LaDainian Tomlinson, Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress, to name a few. He also made his mark on draft day, bringing in some of the team’s best players such as Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson and David Harris. But Tannenbaum had more misses than hit in recent drafts, with Vernon Gholston, Vladimir Ducasse and even Sanchez high-round picks that didn’t perform as expected.
The trade for Tebow was perhaps the biggest mistake. By acquiring Tebow last March, the Jets brought in a player with immense popularity to provide a spark to the offense — just a matter of days after giving Sanchez a contract extension that included $8.25 million in guarantees for next season.
Tebow hardly saw the field in his one, and likely only, season with the Jets. And when he did, he wasn’t very effective. His lack of use was a season-long storyline that provided an unnecessary distraction to a team in need of locker room stability after in-fighting derailed its 2011 season.
Many fans and media argued that rather than trade for Tebow, Tannenbaum could have addressed some of the Jets’ more-pressing needs, such as the offensive line, wide receiver and depth on defense.
The next general manager will face an unstable salary cap situation, along with a dozen players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents, including starters Dustin Keller, LaRon Landry, Yeremiah Bell, Shonn Greene and Brandon Moore.