The New York Jets are trying to build the roof to their house before they've even laid the foundation.
How else could you describe the method they're using to fill their openings?
It felt premature to criticize the Jets' GM search a few days ago. Now, we are a week into the search with no visible signs of progress, a list of names that rivals the length of the Mitchell Report and the news that the Jets are, indeed, thinking about their next offensive coordinator before they have a general manager in place:
Carolina requested permission to interview Hue Jackson about its OC opening, w/Chud gone. The Jets have also expressed interest in Jackson.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 11, 2013
Criticism is no longer premature.
Why does this latest news change things? Because, at first, it was fair to question whether the Jets had a clear direction or a plan for their hiring process. Now, it's almost certain they don't.
Most candidates will want an opportunity to execute their vision of the team. The Jets have already handicapped the next GM with a sour contract for Mark Sanchez. They further hamstring the next GM by forcing head coach Rex Ryan onto him.
Jeff Capellini of WFAN put it best when he said of the search:
I'm good with #Jets interviewing every last GM candidate on Earth, but talking to OCs at same time is recipe for getting lowest bidder.— Jeff Capellini (@GreenLanternJet) January 11, 2013
Leaving the head coach in place was a dubious enough decision in the first place. Appointing the coaching staff without knowing who the general manager is, though, takes that to another level.
The search looks very disorganized, aside from the fact that the job itself is not all that attractive to potential general managers to begin with.
There are the obvious ramifications of keeping the head coach in place and the impact that might have, but perhaps some of the names on the roster are playing just as big of a role in the Jets' inability to fill their opening:
New Jacksonville Jaguars GM David Caldwell accepted the job on the premise that he didn't also have to accept Tim Tebow. That, to an extent, indicates what GMs think of when they think about Tebow.
It's not a certainty that Tebow won't be dealt, but last year, the only two suitors were the Jaguars and the Jets. His stock is lower now than it was after that magical 2011 season with the Denver Broncos. Unless there are suddenly more suitors than last year, that means almost any prospective general manager would need to release Tebow and eat his $2.5 million salary for 2013.
All that being said, the fact remains: The longer this search goes on and the more decisions that are made before the search is finished, the more it looks like the Jets are wasting a lot of money on that search firm.
Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless otherwise specified, all quotes are obtained firsthand or via team press releases.