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Optimism Remains Hard to Find Around Jets

Offensive coordinator interviews begin before a general manager has been hired

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Sanchez's presence is one of several obstacles the Jets have to work around right now.

    The search for a new Jets general manager has moved into its third week and it's only becoming more clear that it isn't a job that people are clamoring to accept. 

    Monday brought a report that David Caldwell turned down an offer that included $1 million in a housing allowance on top of his other salary so that he could take the G.M. job in Jacksonville. While it's true that $1 million doesn't go all that far in terms of housing in these parts, it's a pretty good sign that the Jets will have to go above and beyond other teams to bring in quality talent. 

    Since Caldwell has been in Jacksonville, he has fired coach Mike Mularkey and made it clear that Tim Tebow won't be coming back to town unless he's visiting his folks. Whoever winds up becoming the Jets' G.M. isn't going to have the same freedom, since Woody Johnson is requiring him to keep Rex Ryan as the coach and since it was clear last season that Tebow came at the exclusive whim of the owner with no thought to the impact on the football team. They probably won't have the chance to dump Mark Sanchez either as the massive cap hit incurred for moving on would make it hard to build the rest of the team. 

    It's a topic that caught the eye of the New Yorker, where the Jets are used as a case study in the dangers of letting sunk costs determine decision making. The Jets' investment of time and money into Sanchez makes it more likely that they'll give him another chance even though giving him that chance makes another season much more likely. 

    One way to remedy that would be by making a smart hire at offensive coordinator, a process the Jets have started even though they still don't have a general manager in place. The relative merits of reported candidates like Cam Cameron, Pat Shurmur, Pep Hamilton and Marty Mornhinweg could be debated for quite some time, but the guy who winds up with the job is going to be the guy with the least other options. 

    He'd be choosing to come to a team with almost no offensive talent and a head coach who may just be biding his time before getting fired next year, two things that don't do much for job security or the prospect of advancement. And if you throw having Sanchez forced upon you on top of all the rest of that, the job just becomes that much less appealing.

    They say that things are darkest before the dawn, which may be the one piece of hope to cling to when it comes to the Jets. It's just a question of whether or not the Jets have actually reached total darkness yet.   

    Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

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