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Ryan makes an un-Rex-like decision

Rex Getty Images

The moment news broke of a supposed multi-year extension between the Jets and coach Rex Ryan, I smelled a one-year Band-Aid.  (Not to be confused with a one-year-old Band-Aid, which has an entirely different aroma.)

Based on the report from Brian Costello of the New York Post, that’s exactly what it is.  With no guaranteed money beyond 2015, the Jets have made Rex an on-deck-lame-duck while trying to create the impression that he’s the long-term answer at the coaching position.

He’s not.  At least not yet.  Since the lame-duck approach generally is frowned upon (especially for teams in major media markets), the Jets needed to create the impression that Rex isn’t a lame duck.  But since a one-year Band-Aid extension would have looked like the Jets simply trying to make Rex look not like a lame duck, the addition of non-guaranteed years — trumpeted via leak to a reporter with nearly 2.7 million Twitter followers who said it ties the two sides together for at least three years – creates the impression that the Jets have bought Rex Ryan for the long haul.

They didn’t.  Rex is still coaching for his job in 2014, just like he was in 2013.  If the Jets decide to fire him, they’ll owe him for one year of not coaching, which is what they would have owed him if Rex had been fired on the most recent Black Monday.

Rex benefits from the perception that he isn’t coaching for his job in 2014 like in 2013, even if the reality is that he’s coaching for his job in 2014 like in 2013.  But why not simply take the one-year Band-Aid deal?  As it now stands, Rex has no security — and no leverage.  If he does well the next two years, the Jets own his rights.  If he does poorly in 2014, he has one year of salary as a safety net.

The Rex Ryan best known for brashness and bravado would have said to hell with appearances and taken the one-year Band-Aid deal.  Better yet, he would have gone all in with one year left on his contract, betting on the kind of performance in 2014 that would have made him an attractive free-agent head coach.

We’re not saying Rex made a bad decision.  The Jets provided him with a sizable bird in the hand by extending the guaranteed portion of his deal by a year.  But Rex being Rex would have told the Jets to jam their phony long-term deal sideways and taken his chances with either a one-year extension or no extension at all.

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15 Responses to “Ryan makes an un-Rex-like decision”
  1. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 16, 2014 3:00 PM

    Tryoutforus Rex.

  2. 23rdusernameused says: Jan 16, 2014 3:13 PM

    lose, lose situation for Rex if you ask me, with that junk they have called a “team” in NJ….

  3. gordoom says: Jan 16, 2014 3:15 PM

    I have never seen one man do more with less. Period.

  4. sbmcintosh36 says: Jan 16, 2014 3:28 PM

    The Rex being Rex angle doesn’t factor in the part that he loves coaching this team in the largest media market and has players that absolutely love him, which is why he took the deal.
    He knows he’ll get another job should they fail next year but this is where he wants to be

  5. 6thsense10 says: Jan 16, 2014 3:38 PM

    Rex made the right decision. I don’t know what the extra years are worth but he got at least one year at multiple millions and the team option year which could be worth multiple millions also. Maybe even worth more than he has ever made in a year. He gets let go after this year and he walks with millions.

  6. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 16, 2014 3:42 PM

    I think the Jets just need new leadership in general in the Front Office. Things are just a chaotic mess, and they need to filter that junk out and get somebody that can help them get on the right track with the focus being on more productive issues. There’s just not very much strategic coordination throughout the organization in all aspects.

    To me this deal is just like both sides agreeing to stay in the middle of the road. Not good form to practice in my opinion. Go one way or the other, but don’t stand in the middle of the street and ponder your next move in life for an entire year. The road to the championship isn’t going to find you there, you need to travel down it yourself, but first you have to have the will. And there’s not a lot of will power in NY football right now.

    No guts leads to no glory.

  7. whatjusthapped says: Jan 16, 2014 3:51 PM

    Let him shoot off his mouth again about how the Jets will be in next year’s Superbowl, an annual event for Rex.

  8. jvw1982 says: Jan 16, 2014 4:01 PM

    Rex performance in 2013 was one of the top 5 coaching jobs of the yr, he had zero talent on offense except for a couple of good RB, a rookie QB and zero WR…on D he was thin at CB and LB but still won 8 games, he should have told Woody what he could do with this BS contract…..

  9. ampats says: Jan 16, 2014 4:02 PM

    I gladly admit I enjoy watching the Jets franchise suffer but if Rex was fired I believe it would have been a New York minute for him to get one of the jobs that were open this year. He should have told Idzik to pound sand and wait for his next opportunity with another franchise that is not a dysfunctional as the Jets.

  10. nfloracle says: Jan 16, 2014 4:03 PM

    Au contraire, mon frère, I think Rex knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s grown tremendously in the job in terms of being more careful with what he says without compromising his integrity and being true to himself. How he managed an 8-8 season with the players he had to work with is a minor miracle… and if his extension is loaded with incentives for next season, I expect Ryan to cash in quite a few big bucks.

    The NFL would be a far less interesting sport to follow without Rex as head coach of the NY Jets. The Jets and Rex and the NFL are branded together at the hip in a multitude of good ways.

    Some call it a circus… I think the Jets/Ryan show is much closer to Cirque du Soleil’s unique and fascinating to watch mixture of art and street entertainment.

    Here’s wishing Rex a great upcoming season.

  11. zeke2517 says: Jan 16, 2014 4:13 PM

    I disagree. I think that Rex has demonstrated an uncanny belief in himself, one which would lead him to say, “I don’t need no stinkin’ long term contract!”

    And we shall see if he’s right.

  12. itsunclepauley says: Jan 16, 2014 4:48 PM

    Rex being Rex would have been what?

    Perhaps you know more about Rex being himself than he does.

    Rex is a great coach, and whether he’s fired this year or next year, he’ll become a head coach again immediately.

    Rex’s first year, he had a great roster, which made him bold, and success emboldened him further. Take away the roster and what happened? Boldness blew up in his face. Rex learned something, and now he’s adjusted and moved forward.

    I think the guy has learned a lot about exactly what it takes to be a HC over the last few years, and I think he’s getting better. If Rex gets fired, I would not be at all surprised to see his career take the Belichick arc: fired (run out of town) from the first HC gig, and then go build a dynasty somewhere else. Yeah, I think he’s that good. Nobody doubts his football acumen — that’s never been a question. Now he needs to get the rest of it together, and he can be truly great.

    I find it funny that all of the trolls who said last offseason that the Jets would be the worst team in the league are the same ones now supposedly laughing that he got an extension.

    I’ll take Rex over any coach in the league not named Belichick or Harbaugh, period.

  13. pftstory says: Jan 16, 2014 5:46 PM

    The whole charade is stupid. You can’t have a lame duck coach why? The players won’t play for you because you won’t be back? But you will be back if the team does well. So wy wouldn’t they pay for you unless you were a bad coach and therefore shouldn’t be back. Or if the team has a god season, the coach can choose to walk. In which case he is not a lame duck. He is a coach he left on his own accord. (for a better deal elsewhere?) But really unless ownership was not going to commit to the coach after a good season, why would he walk?
    So its all a dance about nothing.
    Before the extension, Ryan would not be back if the Jets did not improve. Post extension, Ryan will not be back if the Jets do not improve. No change. So if he was a lame duck before the extension, he is a lame duck after.
    Des Ryan or any coach and any front office not know this? Do any of the players who might not play hard for a lame duck coach not know this?
    Of course they do.

    I submit it has nothing to do with lame duck status. It is simply an insurance policy agreed to by both sides. The coach can’t hold the team hostage if he goes 15-1 as his contract expires, in exchange the coach gets an extra years pay as opposed to havng to find a paycheck immediately if he goes 4-12.

  14. fanasaurus says: Jan 16, 2014 7:24 PM

    Let me start by saying that Rex Ryan is a great defensive coach. As it stands he is not a good head coach. Can anyone name one longtime great head coach who was a loud mouth blow hard. Just like his father, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. As one of the all time great head coaches says “when you win say little, when you lose say less”.

  15. jetfan74 says: Jan 16, 2014 8:44 PM

    It’s really enough already with the blow hard stuff and he can’t coach, only coordinate. If this yr alone hasn’t shown all the deaf dumb and blind that he is the real deal and has grown as a person and head coach than nothing will ever convince the ignorant trolls on here. The contract is simple in the terms of, if you get the job done, you get to keep your job. For those who can’t understand that EVERY head coach has spent pretty much all of their years focused on one side of the ball, here is a little bit of level headed thinking. That’s why they hire the best possible mind for the other side of the ball. Just look at the offseason hires this year. Rex is so bad that he is starting his own coaching tree. Pettine has an interview in Cleveland after being on his own after just one year. Haters gonna hate but our guys love their HC and the vast majority of the fans do too!!!!

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