It's been a wild two weeks for the New York Jets, as they have looked to fill their vacancy at the general manager position in the wake of firing Mike Tannenbaum.
It started out as a long list of names, but then came a lot of confusion, second-guessing and wrist-tapping while it seemed the search was headed nowhere.
This latest update from Rich Cimini of ESPN New York sheds some light on where the process stands as of now.
#Jets GM update: Angelo fading. Barring a curve ball, it looks like Idzik (2nd interview today), Khan and Cohen. My money is on Idzik.
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) January 16, 2013
For context, the tweet is referring to former Bears GM Jerry Angelo, Seahawks vice president of football administration John Idzik, Steelers director of football and business administration Omar Khan and Jets assistant GM Scott Cohen.
What does each candidate bring to the table?
After working in the Eagles' personnel department, Cohen joined the Jets in 2008 and has spent the past five seasons as Mike Tannenbaum's second in command.
The New York Daily News points out that Cohen worked under Tannenbaum "with a focus on pro personnel matters. He was integral in the free agency process and evaluation of players on other rosters throughout the league."
As the lone in-house candidate, Cohen may be at a slight disadvantage—fans might be upset with the idea of more of the same.
He's a business-side guy who runs the team's cap, but he also does some college scouting for Schneider and has a wealth of experience with franchise rebuilds, going back to Dungy's Bucs.
The Jets have lined up a lot of "numbers guys" for their opening, and Idzik is another one of those. Cimini also shares that Idzik would sit in on personnel meetings.
Idzik has been in the NFL with a team in some capacity since 1991. He helped build the Tampa Bay Buccaneers squad that won the Super Bowl in 2002, and has been part of a Seahawks organization that has drafted very well over the past two years and is positioned well with the salary cap ($18.6 million in space for 2013, according to John Clayton of ESPN).
Khan's background has been discussed all over the place.
He has worked with the Steelers since 2001, and Breer wrote that he has been "long seen as Bill Cowher's GM" in the sense that Cowher would likely nab him as the general manager for his team, if he returned to the NFL.
To have that kind of connection to a person of Cowher's magnitude has paid dividends for his reputation. Khan, however, is not a total package as a GM. He is primarily the guy who negotiates contracts and balances budgets—not the one out on the scouting trail or evaluating players. With the Steelers, GM Kevin Colbert was the primary "talent guy."
There are some merits to the Jets going after a "numbers guy," because of their messy cap situation—they are currently $20 million over budget (before any moves are made). That being said, if the Jets were to go with Idzik or Khan, they might want to pair him with a solid personnel guy.
Jack Mula/Dark Horse
One interesting thought on that report came from Chris Gross of TurnOnTheJets.com, who suggested that they could pair Mula with one of their candidates.
Mula served as a type of scouting advisor in NE. Perhaps he is brought in similar role to work alongside Idzik, Khan who are stronger w cap.
— Chris Gross (@CGROSS97) January 16, 2013
Of course, another possibility remains. Perhaps none of the names we're hearing right now as "finalists" will ultimately end up with the job. That certainly is feasible since we're still hearing new names associated with the job every day, it seems.
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.
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