As first, the size of the Jets’ G.M. search prompted some league insiders to say, essentially, “Jed Hughes must be getting paid by the hour. Or maybe by the interview.”
But Hughes, the veteran NFL headhunter hired by owner Woody Johnson to find a successor to Mike Tannenbaum, isn’t merely milking the billion-dollar bosom of a Band-Aid heir. Hughes is genuinely having trouble finding a good candidate to take the job.
The Jets wanted Dave Caldwell, who picked the Jaguars. Then the Jets wanted Tom Telesco, who bolted to San Diego. (See what I did there? Yeah, I know it was lame.)
When candidates who have options opt to go elsewhere, that’s a problem.
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News updates the ever-expanding search. The current candidates are Dolphins assistant G.M. Brian Gaine, Chargers director of player personnel Jimmy Raye, Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross, 49ers director of player personnel Tom Gamble, Steelers director of football and business administration Omar Khan, Montreal Alouettes G.M. Jim Popp, Seahawks V.P. of football administration John Idzik, and Jets assistant G.M. Scott Cohen.
Former Browns and Eagles G.M. Tom Heckert previously canceled an interview, Ravens assistant G.M. Eric DeCosta resisted overtures from the Jets, former Bills, Panthers, and Colts G.M. Bill Polian wasn’t interested in the job (it’s not clear how interested the job was in him).
Mehta confirms that Gamble’s interview didn’t go well, prompting the one-time frontrunner to fall off the map completely.
Apart from referring to the decision to fire the G.M. and keep the head coach as “unconventional,” Mehta otherwise avoids the most obvious impediment to filling the job: the ongoing presence of Rex Ryan on the payroll.
Whatever the specific reason, the fact that Ryan remains the constant in a sea of turmoil isn’t making it any easier to find a new G.M. It could be Rex, it could be the circumstance, it could be a combination of those and other factors.
In the end, it could be that Johnson has no choice but to put Ryan in charge, with a G.M. who isn’t a supervisor of the coach but his toady.