Many believe that creating a perfect offseason plan for the New York Jets means completely gutting the organization. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports that Woody Johnson may be taking steps in that direction. Johnson has supposedly begun a search for a new general manager, contacting prospects such as the Houston Texans' director of college scouting, Mike Maccagnan.
The funny thing is that while Johnson wants a new GM, he wants Mike Tannenbaum to remain in the organization. Tannenbaum's duties would focus on salary cap management, while the new GM would address the talent acquisition issues that have seen the Jets fall from AFC title game participants to a sub-.500 team in two seasons.
According to La Canfora, "Several potential GM candidates...would never consider taking the Jets' job under these circumstances...."
In other words, Johnson may not get his new GM.
Is replacing Tannenbaum necessary? A perhaps surprising source, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, thinks otherwise. He wrote, "The Jets...are far from a lost cause. Johnson's decisions in the coming weeks will shape the future....Starting over isn't the best solution."
This comes from the writer who broke the story in which unnamed teammates called Tim Tebow "terrible."
Mehta proposed a four-point plan (which I quote) for reviving the team:
1. Keep Ryan.
2. Bolster the talent at the offensive skill positions and coaches around Sanchez.
3. Supplement the front office.
4. Re-sign defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
In short, Mehta wants to salvage, not gut, the ship. This is a far more practical approach than building a completely new organization from the general manager level on down. It attempts to take advantage of organizational strengths like head coach Rex Ryan's support among players while addressing acknowledged weaknesses like talent evaluation.
It also considers the realities of issues like the salary cap impact of releasing or trading Sanchez and the impending deadlines for re-signing unrestricted free agents and contacting available talent.
However, a perfect offseason plan for the New York Jets must also explore the following issues:
1. Freeing cap room for free-agent retention and new talent signings.
2. Replacing departed coaches at coordinator level and below.
3. Deciding the best way to fill each position need.
4. Repairing the Jets' public image.
Mr. Johnson has much to decide, and he doesn't have very long. Free-agent re-signings should conclude in February. With that deadline in mind, let's view the offseason plan's first step: Select the management team.