New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan entered the 2013 season with his job hanging by a thread, but his team performed well above expectations, and he is now being rewarded with a multiyear contract extension, the team confirmed on Thursday:
ESPN's Adam Schefter was the first to break the news:
Jets and head coach Rex Ryan have reached agreement on a multi-year extension, according to team and league sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 16, 2014
Schefter also reported details of the length of the deal:
Rex Ryan had 1 year left on deal. His agreed-to extension is for multi years. That ties Ryan to Jets for at least 3 more years, maybe more.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 16, 2014
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com had insight on some of the financial terms and length of the deal:
Rex Ryan is set to make $3.3M in 2014, the final year of his deal. Source says Ryan’s new deal allows the Jets option to escape early.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 16, 2014
Source on Rex Ryan’s new extension: “window dressing.” I.E.: short-term extension #Jets wanted, looks like long-term extension Rex wanted— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 16, 2014
Often, coaches contracts are guaranteed, which leads to Chud making $10.5M once he fired. Rex’s new deal is not all guaranteed, I’m told— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 16, 2014
Full terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed, although ESPN.com is reporting that it is based heavily on incentives, which would be triggered in the event of postseason victories.
Although the Jets missed the playoffs for the third consecutive year under Ryan, they finished 8-8 against all odds. New York's defense continued to progress, and it often had to pick up the slack for a moribund offense led by rookie quarterback Geno Smith.
The 8-8 finish marked the Jets' fourth .500 season or better in five years under Ryan. The extension seems like a vote of confidence, but Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post suggests that Ryan will have to lead the Jets to the postseason in 2014 to see it through:
Reported extension for Rex is the right thing to do, but I can't see him keeping his job beyond 2014 if the Jets don't make the playoffs.— Bart Hubbuch (@HubbuchNYP) January 16, 2014
After coaching Gang Green to the AFC Championship Game in both 2009 and 2010, Ryan was regarded as one of the NFL's top coaches. That perception changed as the Jets plummeted to a 6-10 record in 2012, but Ryan received high marks this season for what he was able to accomplish with a dismal offense.
Will Rex Ryan be fired if the Jets miss the playoffs in 2014?
Making the playoffs is almost always the expectation in New York, but that wasn't necessarily the case entering 2013. Ryan and the Jets surprised a lot of people, and New York general manager John Idzik was extremely complimentary of the job Ryan did, per Marc Sessler of NFL.com.
"To finish the way we did, in our estimation, a playoff-type atmosphere for us, guys responded," Idzik said. "Suffice it to say, we're very happy with Rex as our coach."
For Ryan and the Jets to take the next step in 2014, though, Idzik needs to make some waves. New York ranked No. 31 in passing yardage and No. 29 in scoring, which means that Smith clearly needs some weapons around him.
The Jets hold the No. 18 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, and the success of that selection could very well mean the difference between Ryan coaching the team in 2015 or coaching elsewhere.
For now, at least, Ryan appears to be the Jets' guy.
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