The Jets’ thorough search for a new general manager is nearly over.
Woody Johnson appears to have zeroed in on Seahawks vice president of football administration John Idzik, who is expected to be offered the job to replace the recently fired Mike Tannenbaum. The Jets, who interviewed at least 10 candidates in the past three weeks, were poised to offer the position to Idzik as early as Thursday night, according to ESPN.
Idzik had a second interview Wednesday before flying back to Seattle.
He was part of the second wave of candidates to interview with Johnson, team president Neil Glat and executive search firm head Jed Hughes last week. Johnson & Co. expanded the candidate pool after top choice David Caldwell chose the Jaguars G.M. job.
Johnson narrowed the list down to Idzik and Steelers’ executive Omar Khan, both of whom have specialized in contract negotiations and salary cap navigation. A source told the News that the Jets hadn't reached out to Khan as of Thursday night.
Former G.M.s Jerry Angelo, Ted Sundquist and in-house candidate Scott Cohen were also in consideration after the first round of interviews.
The prevailing belief entering the search process was that the Jets, whose roster is in desperate need of a makeover, would choose a G.M. with a personnel/scouting background like Caldwell.
The Daily News has learned that former Saints and Dolphins general manager Randy Mueller also interviewed for the job. Mueller, who’s spent the past few years with the Chargers, was the Executive of the Year in 2000 and had the strong personnel background to match the profile of what the Jets appeared to be lacking.
In all, the Jets interviewed three candidates (Mueller, Angelo and former Broncos’ executive Ted Sundquist) with prior general manager experience, but it looks like Johnson will go with Idzik, whose business and operations acumen is the strongest part of his resume. Idzik and Glat previously had previous dealings when Glat worked for the league office.
One source that knows Idzik described him as “smart, honest (and) tough” and revealed that the Seahawks executive had spent time this season on the college scouting trail.
The next significant step will be what Idzik decides to do to revamp the Jets’ personnel department. Johnson said last week that the new general manager, not Rex Ryan, will have final say on personnel matters. Ryan wasn’t involved for much of the search process in the past few weeks.
Idzik, who has a math degree from Dartmouth, isn’t a clone of Tannenbaum, who was largely viewed as a cap specialist despite spending six years in the pro personnel department. Idzik played college football before coaching two seasons (as a grad assistant at Duke and wide receivers coach at SUNY Buffalo).
Idzik was a player personnel assistant for the Buccaneers before rising up the ranks to assistant general manager during his 11 seasons with Tampa Bay. He spent three years as the senior director of operations with the Cardinals before joining the Seahawks in 2007.
One of Idzik’s former colleagues with the Buccaneers told the News that he spent plenty of time with coaches and the personnel each week watching game film to get a better grasp on the roster.
Idzik has ties to the Jets. His father, John, was an assistant for Walt Michaels in the late 70s.
I would be happy with this hire, sounds like hes a good candidate.Its not like anyone knows how these guys will do until they actually get the job.
If the Jets don't end up with Idzik or Kahn we will know without question that this organization couldn't give this job away.
Woody has basically opened the vault for any serious candidate and if he fails to land one of these guys it will prove how far we've fallen.
My hope is that tomorrow we wake up with the news that Idzak has been hired. If not, we've wet the bed again.
Please tell me that I got this wrong.....
We interviewed personnel guys, and seemed to be going that route...
We brought in a lawyer from the Patriots to discuss organizational arrangement....
None of the personnel guys made the short list to be GM or even got a call back, and the search expanded to include Angelo, Sundquist, Mueller and other previously fired gm's.
Did the Patriots torpedo us again? Does anyone believe it likely that Mumbles, or def Kraft, would NOT have told the lawyer to give us bad advice?
Report: Seahawks' John Idzik 'clear front-runner' to be Jets GM
Published: January 18, 2013 12:08 AM
By KIMBERLEY A. MARTIN firstname.lastname@example.org
It appears the Jets have found their man. Only one question remains: Does John Idzik want the job?
The Seahawks executive has emerged as the "clear front-runner" for the Jets' vacant general manager position, according to ESPN. The report also indicated the Jets could offer Idzik a contract "as early as" Thursday night, but a person with knowledge of the situation said a hire would not be made official at that time.
Idzik, the Seahawks' vice president of football administration, has experience with salary-cap negotiations and scouting -- a plus for the Jets, a team that hasn't displayed the most sound judgment when it comes to personnel decisions.
A former wide receiver at Dartmouth, Idzik coached in various capacities with Duke, SUNY Buffalo and Scotland's Aberdeen Oilers in the British American Football League. During his time as Tampa Bay's assistant GM, he helped build the roster of the Buccaneers team that won the Super Bowl 10 years ago. He also helped shape the 2008 NFC champion Cardinals as their senior director of football operations for three seasons. His father, John, was a Jets assistant coach from 1977-79.
Idzik, who flew in earlier this week for his second interview with the Jets, is back in Seattle.
The Jets initially seemed interested in candidates with strong personnel backgrounds, reportedly offering former Falcons executive Dave Caldwell a $1-million housing allowance as part of the contract they drew up. But Caldwell chose the Jaguars' general manager job instead. In recent days, the Jets' applicant pool grew to include candidates known best for their salary-cap expertise. But Idzik strikes a balance between both worlds.
The Jets have yet to inform other candidates of their plans.