The New York Jets' search to find a new general manager seems like it's finally about to come to an end.
Idzik would replace Mike Tannenbaum, who was fired on December 31.
The search for a new general manager has been led by Jed Hughes, a vice chairman with the hiring firm Korn/Ferry International.
Hughes, Woody Johnson and team president Neil Glat went through a lengthy interview process, featuring as many as 10 candidates with varying backgrounds before choosing Idzik. Although Johnson said that Rex Ryan would be involved in the process, reports show that he was not involved in the interviews at all.
So just who is this John Idzik?
According to his bio on the Seahawks' website, his responsibilities in the Seattle front office are varied and far-reaching. While his primary expertise is in contract negotiations and salary cap compliance, he has some experience in player personnel as well.
With Seattle, Idzik oversees player negotiations, the team’s compliance with the NFL salary cap, player personnel transactions, all football operations budgets, staff and team contracts, team travel and most aspects of the day-to-day football operations while also remaining active in player evaluations. In addition, he serves as the club’s primary liaison to the NFL Office and represents the club at League meetings.
Idzik joined the Seahawks right near the end of Mike Holmgren's run as the team's head coach, as the team was completing a stretch of six winning seasons in seven years.
Although the Seahawks struggled to a 9-23 record in 2008 and 2009, Idzik helped overturn the roster and build the Seahawks into the product they are today while coming in considerably below the salary cap.
Idzik has been an NFL executive since 1993 when he was hired as a Pro Personnel Assistant for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He then worked his way up to the Director of Football Administration and ultimately Assistant General Manager, which is the position he held when the Bucs won the Super Bowl in 2002.
After his tenure in Tampa Bay, Idzik spent three seasons as the Senior Director of Football Operations of the Arizona Cardinals where he had a hand in helping build their NFC Championship team of 2008.
Interestingly, Idzik wouldn't be the first member of his family to work for the Jets.
Idzik's father, John J. Idzik, was the Jets' offensive coordinator from 1976-79, overseeing a unit that was transitioning from Joe Namath to Richard Todd.
Although the team struggled during his tenure, Idzik was so well respected that he emerged as a candidate in 1978 for the New York Giants' head coaching job. According to the Associated Press at the time, the other candidates for the job at that time were John Madden, Joe Paterno, Bill Walsh and Dan Reeves.
Idzik does have some background in player personnel, but his main strength in numbers makes him a similar executive to Tannenbaum. For the past five seasons, Tannenbaum had Scott Cohen as his second in command, and Cohen balanced Tannenbaum's financial expertise with his own player personnel background.
Cohen was considered a candidate for the Jets' general manager position, but he was eventually passed up. It is unclear whether Cohen will remain on the Jets' staff or if Idzik would bring in his own assistant general manager.
The entire process has been conducted in relative secrecy with the New York media struggling to get a grasp on the process. At times, there were conflicting reports as to who was interviewing and who was getting second interviews.
Because of Idzik's Seahawks connections, expect speculation to begin about a possible trade for quarterback Matt Flynn, who is stuck behind Russell Wilson in Seattle.
Although Idzik's potential success as a general manager remains to be seen, Jets fans have to be happy with the entire interview process.
Hiring a respected firm like Korn/Ferry turned out to be a terrific first move by the embattled Johnson. It allowed the Jets to cast a wide net in searching for a varied field of candidates.
They thoroughly examined rising young executives, experienced retreads and even dipped into the CFL to explore their options.
The Jets also didn't blink amid manufactured media reports, such as Jay Glazer's intimation that the Jets "couldn't give the job away" despite the fact that highly-qualified candidates were lining up up to interview.
Manish Mehta of the Daily News first reported that the highly-regarded Tom Gamble emerged as an early favorite for the general manager job on January 5, but then on January 8 Jason LaCanfora reported that Gamble's "star was fading."
Misinformation and innuendo like that has been rampant among the Jets beat the past two weeks.
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