John Idzik was introduced as the New York Jets’ new General Manager, replacing the fired Mike Tannenbaum.
The 52-year-old Idzik, formerly the Seahawks’ VP of football administration, insists the Jets will ”explore each measure to bring in talent and to compete.” He adds the NFL draft will be the team’s ”lifeline.”
Idzik, wearing a green and black checkered tie, was employed after a 2-week search by the New York Jets that included 10 applicants. Idzik had been with the Seattle Seahawks the past 6 seasons after formerly working in the front offices of Tampa Bay and Arizona.
Idzik’s first strengths include managing salaries and the salary cap, but he has additionally worked in player personnel – a combo that attracted the Jets. Calling it a ”very, very important day” for the team, owner Woody Johnson adds that Idzik has ”the requisite” to help rebuilt the team into a perennial playoff contender.
Idzik, who will have the last say on all staff decisions, but he and Johnson frequently repeated that things will be a ”collaborative” effort, which should include Coach Rex Ryan.
”It will be the power of ‘we’ over ‘me,”’ Idzik said.
He’s going to face immediate challenges with the N.Y Jets. He’s going to have to make decisions as to whether to keep quarterbacks Mark Sanchez, who is due $8.25 million in guarantees next season and would cost the New York Jetsa $17.1 million cap hit if they cut him, and Tim Tebow, who isn’t expected back after one disappointing and unproductive season.
”We just have to take our time and evaluate Mark, with everyone else,” Idzik expounded.
N.Y Jets is also about $19 million over the salary cap.
”I never saw the income cap as a hindrance,” related Idzik, adding that he’s assured the Jets can have ”fruitful” offseason.
Neither he nor Johnson would definitively answer questions about a brief the Jets will explore trading star cornerback Darrelle Revis, who is getting over a rather serious knee injury.
”I would never say anything about a trade or contract,” Johnson related.
Revis, who has held out of training camp twice and nearly did again before last season, has a contract that voids after the 2013 season. The Jets also won’t be in a position to use the franchise or transition tag on him, so there’s some concern that the team won’t be in a position to re-sign and would rather get something back for him instead of lose him as a free agent next winter.
”I think it is way early to say anything specific,” Idzik related.
At the team’s season-ending meeting, Johnson defended maintaining Ryan, and said potential GM applicants would need to be willing to work with the coach. That setup – having a coach already in place for an inbound General Manager – was thought of as a possible drawback by some. NFL scores
”I look at Rex Ryan as a very accomplished coach, energized, optimistic and engaging – and he gets players to play hard,” Idzik recounted. ”I anticipate working with Rex Ryan. That, to me, was a plus.”