According to multiple sources, including Brian Basset of TheJetsBlog.com and Conor Orr of the Star-Ledger, the Jets are getting set to hire Tom Gamble as their new GM to replace the recently fired Mike Tannenbaum.
Tom Gamble is the best choice for GM that Jets fans could have optimistically hoped for. In his past few seasons as an executive for the San Francisco 49ers, he has turned the team around from a laughing stock into a Super Bowl contender. He has found the pieces to create the kind of team that the Jets want to be: a run-first team that plays tough defense and wins games with a game manager at quarterback.
Rumors that owner Woody Johnson's refusal to fire head coach Rex Ryan might scare off potential GM candidates appear to have been irrelevant. As a longtime friend of Rex Ryan and his family, as well as a former employee of Buddy Ryan (Rex's father), the presence of Ryan on the team is most likely one of the big draws for Gamble.
The official announcement of the hire—assuming it occurs—will most likely not happen for a few days. The Jets still have to give an interview to Marc Ross because they have not yet interviewed a minority. Interviewing one minority candidate is required by NFL rules.
A marriage between Gamble and Ryan is one that makes so much sense, it makes one wonder why it comes as such a surprise to many. Johnson wants to hire an up-and-comer at GM, not someone who has failed elsewhere. He also wants to continue the Buddy Ryan/Rex Ryan football philosophy. Pairing Gamble with Ryan should mean a return to the type of football played by the Jets in 2010 and by the 49ers since then.
The last big hole to fill for the Jets is that of offensive coordinator. Current offensive coordinator Tony Sparano has not yet been fired. That decision is being left up to the new GM. However, the widely held expectation is that Sparano will be fired by whoever comes in to run the team.
With Ryan being primarily a defensive expert, the Jets need a new offensive coordinator who can really take charge of the offense and serve somewhat as an assistant head coach. Currently, Norv Turner's name is being thrown around. The recently fired head coach of the Chargers is looking for offensive coordinator positions and is generally considered to be an offensive expert.
Assuming the Gamble move is made official, expect the Jets' attention to turn quickly toward Turner to try and lock him up before another team steals him away.