The open Jets’ GM position wasn’t highly coveted amongst league executives this past offseason. Former Jet boss Mike Tannenbaum, the supposed ‘salary cap genius’, left a cap mess and an aging roster that most NFL execs wanted no part of. But John Idzik, a career front office assistant ready to head his own show, eventually volunteered for the task.
So far, Idzik’s done his best to completely disassociate himself from Tannenbaum. He’s released TE Josh Baker, LBs Calvin Pace & Bart Scott, NT Sione Pouha, S Eric Smith and OT Jason Smith. He let DE Mike DeVito, RB Shonn Greene, TE Dustin Keller and S LaRon Landry walk in Free Agency. Oh yeah, he traded Revis, too.
Add it all up and there’s 11 of 22 2012 starters gone. Yet John Idzik has yet to actually make any true personnel decisions. That starts tonight.
The Jets were in such dire straights at the conclusion of 2012, had Tannenbaum been retained and that “loyalty factor” been in place, most of those aforementioned players still would have been gone. Everybody knew Pace & Scott weren’t gonna be back. And when you make moves like guaranteeing $12.8 million in 2013 cap space for Mark Sanchez, you’re waving goodbye to many of your future free agents.
But remember something: the NFL is uniquely built on parity. On January 2, 2011 the Seahawks played the Rams on SNF, with the winner entering the playoffs as the NFC West division champs. The Seahawks won 16-6, winning the NFC West, the laughingstock of the NFL at that time, at 7-9.
Fast-forward just over two years later, and it’s the 49ers and Seahawks who are your Vegas preseason favorites to win the 2013 Superbowl, both hailing from the NFC West. They started from the bottom, now the whole team’s here—in just a couple of years.
In the NFL, quick turnarounds are only possible via building through the draft, something the Tannenbaum regime failed at. With picks 9 & 13 overall and 8 selections in total, Idzik & the Jets are locked and loaded. There are plenty of holes to fill. It is Izdik’s time to show his worth and fill them. The moment to get this turnaround started is now.