Daily News: Woody Johnson began re-shaping his organization by firing general manager Mike Tannenbaum on Monday morning. The Jets owner, who was conspicuously missing in Buffalo on Sunday to witness a forgettable loss that ended a miserable season, also announced that Rex Ryan will be back for his fifth season as the head coach.
Tannenbaum’s six-year run as the GM came to a predictable end after a series of recent missteps.
“Although he helped guide us to two consecutive AFC Championship games,“ Johnson said in a statement, “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.”
Johnson said in his statement that he has hired Korn/Ferry International search firm to find Tannenbaum’s replacement.
Tannenbaum, who has worked for the Jets since 1997, doled out ill-advised contracts and didn’t stock the roster with enough offensive skill position talent after making back-to-back AFC Championship games. The Jets have gone 14-18 since losing to the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game to cap the 2010 season.
Tannenbaum’s shrewd moves like trading up to draft Darrelle Revis and pulling off trades for Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie were overshadowed by glaring mistakes in the past year. He traded for Tim Tebow, which turned into a big distraction and mistake. He gave Sanchez a curious contract extension in the offseason with two years remaining on the quarterback’s rookie deal. The move financially saddled the organization for 2014 after Sanchez regressed this season.
Ryan, meanwhile, got better news on Monday morning.
“I believe that he has the passion, the talent, and the drive to successfully lead our team,” Johnson said.
Offensive coordinator Tony Sparano will reportedly be fired though.
Johnson sounds like he’s ready to put the past two seasons behind him… fast.
“Like all Jets fans, I am disappointed with this year’s results,” Johnson said. “However, I am confident that this change will best position our team for greater success going forward.”
This was somewhat of a shock. Not that Tannenbaum is no longer the GM, but that he has been outright released. Early reports were that Tannebaum would retain some role in the organization. Frankly… that could have been useful considering his ability to manage a salary cap. Woody had other ideas…
This was a necessary move in my opinion. No quality GM candidate is going to step foot into an organization where his predecessor still is lurking around. The odd part is that Woody Johnson is allowing Rex Ryan to come back as head coach. This doesn’t happen very often. A new GM comes into town and doesn’t get to pick his coach? Optimistic Jets fans (if you can find them) will point to the Steelers GM change when Cowher remained head coach and they won the Super Bowl 2 years later. Let’s hope for similar results.
And the rebuild begins…
UPDATE: Mike Tannenbaum has made the following statement:
I want to thank Woody and his entire family for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime — serving as the General Manager of the New York Jets for seven years.
I am incredibly grateful to have been a part of rebuilding a winning tradition for Jets fans over the past 15 years. My days with Coach Parcells through my years as General Manager of the team that went to back-to-back AFC Championship games have been the fulfillment of a dream I have had since I was a little kid and I’ll always be grateful to Woody, the two head coaches, Rex and Eric, as well as all of the players, staff and the entire organization for this opportunity.
While of course it is disappointing to not achieve the ultimate goal of winning a championship, I am incredibly proud of our overall winning record and success. I feel very fortunate to have been the general manager who drafted cornerstone players during a period that yielded four playoff victories and 22 Pro Bowl appearances.
I appreciate that it is rare for someone to stay with one organization with such a wide range of responsibilities for so many years. My time with the Jets will always be special to me and my family and it has prepared me well for whatever comes next.
There are champions on this team that haven’t been crowned yet. I am confident that the base we’ve established will allow the New York Jets to continue a winning tradition for years to come and I wish everyone in the organization the best of luck.