Baltimore Ravens' defensive coodinator Rex Ryan has accepted a four-year contract offer to become the head coach of the New York Jets, according to a report on ESPN.com.
The Jets are expected to introduce Ryan as their new head coach in a press conference on Wednesday. Ryan's deal is believed to be similar to the four-year $11.5 million contract Steve Spagnuolo received from the St. Louis Rams over the weekend, Newsday is reporting.
The Ravens defensive coordinator became available after Baltimore lost to Pittsburgh 32-25 in the AFC championship. Ryan was offered the deal formally about an hour after the game ended, according to ESPN.
The 46-year-old Ryan would replace the fired Eric Mangini and take over a team that started last season 8-3, but missed the playoffs with quarterback Brett Favre after a late-season collapse.
It became apparent that Ryan was at the top of the Jets’ list of candidates when several other teams filled their coaching vacancies and New York’s remained open. The Jets needed Baltimore’s season to end before they could offer him the job.
ESPN reported Sunday night that the Jets notified the other candidates, including offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, of their decision to hire Ryan as coach.
Baltimore has been ranked in the top six in total yardage allowed under Ryan, including second overall this season while leading the NFL with 34 takeaways.
Baltimore coach John Harbaugh had high praise for Ryan after the Ravens fell a win short of the Super Bowl.
“He should have an opportunity to be a head coach soon,” Harbaugh said, “and he’s deserving of it.”
Ryan, who also interviewed for the St. Louis Rams job, impressed the Jets when he met for several hours with team officials earlier this month.
If hired, this would be the first head coaching job for Ryan, who is said to be well liked among his players because of his straightforward, no-nonsense style.
The Jets interviewed at least five other candidates, including Arizona assistant head coach/offensive line coach Russ Grimm, Indianapolis defensive coordinator Ron Meeks, New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and fired Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski.