The handwriting was on the wall when Jets owner Woody Johnson hired Neil Glat to serve as the team’s new president. Instantly, Johnson had a confidant with league-office chops to supplant Tannenbaum, who always seemed to be a member of the football operations when things were going well and a member of the owner’s inner circle when things weren’t.
After Glat’s arrival, Tannenbaum necessarily was ousted from the inner circle — and now he has been ousted from the organization.
In hindsight, the strongest hint that Tannenbaum would be terminated and not reassigned came on Sunday, when Johnson didn’t attend the season-ending game at Buffalo. Johnson easily could have ducked coach Rex Ryan if Ryan were getting the boot; it’s much harder for the owner to not have to face the G.M. in the suites if the owner knows what he plans to do with the G.M. as soon as the season has ended.
With Tannenbaum out (which from the perspective of hiring a new G.M. is better than having him simply demoted), the next question becomes whether Ryan will want to be involved in the search for a new G.M. — or whether Ryan will try to secure more power. Way back in 2001, former coach Herm Edwards and former G.M. Terry Bradway routinely battled over turf, with Bradway signing players that he thought would help the team and Edwards simply not using them. The wrong G.M. hire could create the same mess, 12 years later.
That’s why the best move would have been to press the reset button. Though it’s not Rex’s fault that the team lacks talent, Rex has a responsibility to get the most out of the talent he has.
And he hasn’t.