Mike Tannenbaum: Why the Jets GM Needs to Be Fired Immediately
I take you back to February of 2011. The Jets are coming off a second consecutive AFC Championship appearance, a playoff run in which they managed to beat Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in back-to-back weeks on the road.
Mark Sanchez has continued to show improvement throughout his first two years in the league, the offensive line is among the league's best and the defense is showing shades of the legendary Steel Curtain of the early '70s.
Entering the offseason, New York was just a few moves away from being Super Bowl champions. They were so close. Nothing could stop them.
I now fast-forward you to present day. The Jets are well on their way to a second straight season without a playoff berth. The once-elite defense has more holes than a Swiss-cheese donut, and the offense struggled to pick up first downs on a consistent basis.
Mark Sanchez's progress has been halted. His receiving corps is among the worst in the league, and his offensive line can't stop any decent pass-rushers on the outside.
Even the special teams, once thought to be one of the main strengths of the team, is quickly becoming a liability.
The Jets free fall from Super Bowl contender to league-wide joke can not be blamed on Mark Sanchez. Or Rex Ryan.
It's all on Mike Tannenbaum.
In just two years, Tannenbaum has managed to sever one of the most talented rosters in the NFL.
Should Mike Tannenbaum be Fired?
The general manager has made decisions that have left Rex Ryan and company with little to no talent on either side of the ball.
Let's start in 2009, when Tannenbaum makes several fatal mistakes in attempting to improve the Jets roster.
He lets go of Leon Washington, one of the most dynamic third-down backs and kick-returners in the league, and Thomas Jones, a man who had just run for 1,400 yards behind the Jets offensive line.
Alan Faneca, a nine-time Pro Bowler who still had a couple years in the tank was also shown the door.
The left guard position hasn't been the same since.
Tannenbaum did bring in All-World talents Antonio Cromartie and Santonio Holmes, but the two have been locker room cancers since 2011.
After a second straight AFC Championship appearance in 2010, Tannenbaum has his worst offseason as the Jets GM.
He lets go of Braylon Edwards, a talented deep threat who had a terrific rapport with Sanchez, and signs veteran Plaxico Burress for the same price.
Tannenbaum also re-signs Santonio Holmes to a huge deal, significantly overpaying a man who has just one 1,000 yard season in his career.
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Since letting go of Edwards, the Jets receiving corps has been in shambles
This offseason, the trade for Tim Tebow has done nothing but add distraction and put even more pressure on Sanchez to succeed.
Tannenbaum's worst decisions have come in the draft, though.
Of his seven first-round picks, the only major success has been Darrelle Revis.
Vernon Gholston, taken sixth overall in the 2008 draft, has been one of the biggest busts of the last twenty years.
Dustin Keller has also not lived up to the tag of being a first-round tight end, and Kyle Wilson is just plain awful in man-to-man coverage.
Wilkerson's and Coples' pedigrees are still to be decided, and I'll leave it to you to decide whether or not you approve of Mark Sanchez being taken sixth-overall in 2009.
Tannenbaum has constantly made decisions that have sent the team backwards, not forwards.
As we watch the Jets implode in front of our very eyes, just blame it all on Mike Tannenbaum.
And then howl for his firing on the rooftops.
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