Let’s Step on the General Manager Carousel …

Brian Bassett , TheJetsBlog.com

The Jets are likely looking to see if they can do better than their current GM and the biggest beef is that the man at the top needs more football acumen.  That while Tannenbaum’s lawyerly and accounting savvy ways have been good for the team, that they won’t matter if they can’t match value to talent.  One of Mike Tannenbaum’s biggest strength might be getting the best value in trades and such, his draft history from 2008-2010 should now be paying the biggest dividends on the team, and his evaluation has just not lived up to what the Jets need.

Mike Tannenbaum has also had to live with Rex Ryan — who for as good a football evaluator as he might be — seems to get his accelerator pedal stuck to the floor with players and can miss his evaulations on what really matters when talent translates to money and draft picks.  The Jets might feel like they need a strong hand at talent evaluation — but I have to wonder if it’s not necessarily because Tannenbaum have it … but because Rex Ryan is so go-go-go with players once he likes them.  He needs someone strong enough from a evaluation standpoint to tell him no.  While I love QC, the Quinton Coples draft day story about Rex Ryan is a perfect example of this.

While the Jets might have pulled out of the tailspin with their more recent draft classes, Tannenbaum’s tenure is still up in the air as the Jets slide to their first losing season since 2007.  If the Jets are going to look at a new general manager, that’s fine by me, but they have to really consider what dead wood they are going to cut out of the organization in the process.  For the Jets to “re-assign” Mike Tannenbaum inside the organization, I think that would be a big mistake.  Ari Nissim is a very competent person at his job and he can handle the contract and “look-ahead” stuff for future cap years just fine.  Tannenbaum isn’t such of a “Beautiful Mind” that he’s the only one on the planet who can make these numbers align.  If the Jets keep Tannenbaum AND Bradway — both guys who had been GM of this team at one time inside the organization while bringing in new blood — it could be a fatal mistake.

It was awkward, but made more sense with Bradway, since Tannenbaum was so young.  Honestly, I feel like if the Jets were to move on but keep Tannenbaum in the organization, it would be worse than just letting him continue to be GM.  Woody Johnson seems to fear giving his GM too much power, a notion which seems absurd when you consider Johnson’s knowledge of the game.

If the Jets are truly looking into making a change at the GM spot, then here’s some potential names that came to mind that the Jets might look into.  We’ll update this list later as more names become available.

The Inside Job

Scott Cohen — It’s hard to know who might be the in-house candidate for the Jets, but if I had to put my money on anyone, it would be Scott Cohen.  Cohen started as a scout and even played sports collegiately at Dickinson and has worked for a number of other organizations (most notably the Eagles) where he was the Director of Pro Personnel before taking on the Assistant GM spot with the Jets.  I get the sense that he and Ryan are friendly, so that’s good.  Cohen has done talent evaluation for pro players and for the draft for years already and might be a smart in-house promotion for the Jets.  

Outside In

Joey Clinkscales — It’s an apocryphal tale, but one that’s often told about the Jets 2008 draft class was that the scouting department and Eric Mangini were at loggerheads over who the Jets pick should be.  Mangini wanted Gholston, and the scouting department wanted CB Leodis McKelvin.  Tannenbaum let Mangini win and the rest is history.  McKelvin has had an up and down career, but he’s been far better than Gholston, and would have cemented a very solid CB tandem for the Jets across from Revis that they then chased for two more years before landing Cromartie via trade — and which is going to cost the team a ton of money next year. The man at the head of the collegiate scouting department of course is Joey Clinkscales and who is now working for the Raiders as of this year.  Would the Jets want to bring Clinkscales back?  If so, I’d have to imagine that the Jets would do so at the cost of some others in the organization that Clinkscales would feel like need to be culled from his own personal experience …

Up And Comers

Mike Maccagnan — If the Jets opt to get some fresh blood, Mike Maccagnan might be a good choice.  He’s overseen a great few draft classes in Texas, and seems to go for the motor player more than the talent.  That might complement Rex Ryan well.  Mac has spent most of his career inside the Texans organization as a scout and could be someone who’s seem what it’s like to build a franchise from the bottom up.

Eric DeCosta — Scoring Eric DeCosta would like be taking home the hottest girl at the party and doing so by prying her off the arm of another guy.  DeCosta has been promised the GMship when (and if) Ozzie Newsome retires and the Ravens have set up a contract for DeCosta with that in mind.  DeCosta seems like the NFL’s next “can’t miss” GM – so would likely command more from a decision-making perspective.  DeCosta has done a great job of helping run the Ravens and has learned at the knee of one of the best in the business.  DeCosta has history with Ryan from their Baltimore days, and has worked his way up inside the Ravens organization.

Second Chances

Ted Sundquist — Sundquist was the GM for the Broncos during the Shanahan years and did a good job of assembling talent around the organization with the team getting to the 13-3 high water mark in 2005.  Sundquist was let go when the team moved on to the failed Josh McDaniels experiment.

Marty Hurney — Hurney of course was fired mid-season this year from the Panthers once Carolina started on a 1-5 slide to begin the 2012 season and Cam Newton had a tough start of the year.  Hurney presided over the organization for ten years  and Jerry Richardson the owner of the Panthers who is known as a ‘bottom line guy’ fired Hurney for not seeing the team as a playoff contender out of the gate.  Hurney is known as a tireless and exhaustive evaluator of talent around the league.

Not Yet Available

Tom Heckert — It’s hard to know how deep the Eagles Browns will cut this offseason … but could Tom Heckert be released?  If so, he might be an interesting candidate for the Jets as they look to re-tool.  Of course the thought is that he’ll want more latitude than a team like the Jets seem to be willing to give any potential GM they hire.