Mike Tannenbaum isn’t the General Manager of the Jets any more, but he has some advice for his replacement.
On NFL Network Sunday, Tannenbaum said that he thought John Idzik should hold onto the coach hired on Tannenbaum’s watch. The “word on the street” has changed considerably from when Rex Ryan reportedly told his team that it looked like he was getting fired and Tannenbaum believes that’s the best thing for the development of quarterback Geno Smith.
“If they would make a change with Rex, presumably they’ll bring in another offensive coach, so that would give Geno Smith three offensive coordinators in three seasons. Dana Holgorsen last year at West Virginia, Marty Mornhinweg this year and then whoever would be the new offensive coach next year. If you do that, now you have to bring in a 3-4 defensive coordinator, because that defense has played well — they have a lot of the pieces, so to me this decision’s going to come back to the development of Geno,” Tannenbaum said.
The importance of developing Smith doesn’t mean that Tannenbaum thinks the team should part ways with the quarterback he traded up to pick fifth overall in the 2009 draft. Mark Sanchez has been written off as an option in 2014 for the Jets, but Tannenbaum makes a case for keeping him around that has nothing to do with the potential for future Buttfumbles.
“I think going into next year having them both under contract is actually a position of strength and, again, if you keep Rex and presumably coach Mornhinweg, that gives you some continuity,” Tannenbaum said. “Even though Sanchez didn’t play this year, he learned the system and that probably would give them the best chance to be successful in 2014.”
If you ignore the money owed to Sanchez, that argument is easier to swallow. As it stands, though, the Jets will owe Sanchez a $9 million salary and $2 million roster bonus for 2014 thanks to Tannenbaum’s handiwork and that’s simply too much for a quarterback with Sanchez’s track record on a team that has plenty of other holes to fill. It seems much likelier that Sanchez, Santonio Holmes and other vestiges of Tannenbaum’s tenure are shuffled aside while Ryan returns for at least one more year.