City Sports Report

Woody and the Jets

Victoria's Secret PINK Model Jessica Hart Attends The Jets Game To Celebrate The NFL Victoria's Secret PINK Collection

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson did not waste time cleaning house. Even before the dreary 2014 season ended he made it clear that there would be a shakeup, as he hired longtime NFL insiders Charley Casserly and Ron Wolf to head a search committee.

Once Jets head coach Rex Ryan learned of their hiring he started cleaning out his office and more or less admitted to the media that he knew that he was a goner. To his immense credit, Rex remained upbeat to the end, and as had been the case throughout his six-year tenure with Gang Green, refused to criticize either his players or the front office who did not give him a lot of talent to work with the last four years. My guess is that Atlanta Falcons owner and Flushing native Arthur Blank will make Rex an offer he can’t refuse.

Woody showed that he wasn’t an out of touch rich owner at his year-end press conference. He basically admitted that he made a big mistake hiring John Idzik to be the Jets general manager two years ago but denied that the large group of fans who took out billboards and hired planes to fly over the Jets’ Florham Park, NJ practice facility, affected his decision. I have a feeling that Woody is not being entirely truthful about that.

He conceded that Idzik didn’t do the Jets any favors by keeping the team some $20 million under the NFL team salary cap for 2014, although he did say that Idzik’s thinking was to have some money in reserve in case something unforeseen happened during the season. Idzik was able to use some of those rainy-day funds to acquire wide receiver Perry Harvin from the Seattle Seahawks but by that time the Jets were 1-7 and a playoff berth was a pipedream.

Buffalo Bills head coach and Bronx native Doug Marrone opted out of his contract on New Year’s Eve. He may not have been happy in Buffalo but no one leaves a $4 million a year job unless they are guaranteed to land elsewhere. My guess is that Marrone’s agents made it clear to friends of Charley Casserly and Ron Wolf that their client would be amenable to changing teams. The Jets did not want to be accused of tampering so it’s safe to assume that proxies were used in a manner similar to that of sensitive international diplomacy initiatives.

I am also going to guess that an agency such as IMG, which to sports is what the William Morris Agency is to entertainment, will put together a general manager/head coach package for the Jets so that it doesn’t matter whether the Jets hire a head coach before a general manager or vice versa because everyone will be on the same page unlike the Idzik-Ryan debacle.

Woody Johnson was careful to refer to potential general manager candidates as “he or she” at his press briefing. I thought that Johnson might be inclined to interview former Oakland Raiders CEO and current CBS Sports NFL personality Amy Trask for the job but her name has not surfaced in any subsequent reports. Trask grew up in the LA suburb of Brentwood but her parents grew up in Queens.

Johnson also took some heat for saying that he would be glad to have onetime Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis rejoin the team in the future. Johnson had a torturous business relationship with Revis because of his inclinations to always renegotiate his contract. John Idzik did not want to anger his boss by trying to re-sign Revis after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers parted ways with him because of cost. That turned out to be a major blunder. Woody was merely saying that he did not harbor a grudge against the talented cornerback and understood that business is business. Some Mr. Magoo types in the media who were looking for a nonexistent story tried to accuse Johnson of tampering since Revis is currently a member of the New England Patriots.

Written by Lloyd Carroll

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