A Jets road win this past Sunday over the equally bad Titans might have been a feel-good and resilient moment. But for a 3-11 team that has now won just twice since the season opener, it might not be enough to save its general manager, who might just have one foot out the door already.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a highly placed team source told Metro New York on Tuesday that Jets general manager John Idzik is “50-50” to return to the team for 2015. It is Idzik who has taken the blame for much of this year's dismal record, fair or not. And it might be Idzik who finds himself looking for a new job.
Billboards, banners unfurled at games and a website bearing his name are just a number of ways that fans are calling for his firing, this after just two years on the job. The message is apparently reaching owner Woody Johnson and there is a clear level of dissatisfaction right now at the top levels of the Jets organization.
“No one knows what [Woody] is thinking right now but he isn't happy with the direction at all, or vision,” the source told Metro. “What I will say is that it is 50-50 if John returns right now. Don't think for a moment that Woody doesn't hear the fans. It is tough on him, he's taking it personally. No one is working harder than this guy.
“It hasn't been easy selling tickets or PSL (Personal Seat Licenses) with this record. The Jets can't lose more fans right now and if keeping John means losing more fans, than it will be a tough choice. Woody knows that. He gets that the fans are really upset.”
Brought into the organization to replace Mike Tannenbaum, the former general manager who pieced together a team that twice was within the game of a Super Bowl, Idzik's original appeal was his thoughtful approach. Idzik promised competition, something that has been a bit more lip service than reality, and he repeatedly has said he'd emphasize the draft when building a team.
Instead, a faux quarterback competition this summer and a lack of return in the draft has spurred the birth of FireJohnIdzik.com and planes flying over practices.
The source did say that Idzik is liked within the organization, contrary to reports, and that there is a sizable following for him and his vision within the organization.
“He gets blamed for the draft but no one gives him credit for trading for Chris Ivory, the trade for Percy [Harvin] or some of those moves. Every team has a couple signings that are bad,” the source said.“Blame John for this season, go ahead. But then give him the credit for last year too.”
The Jets were 8-8 last year, beating expectations in Idzik's first season overseeing the team.
“That no one knows what Woody is going to do at this point is not a good sign. It shows that there is genuine concern over the direction of this team,” the source said.“There has been no public display of confidence right now from Woody within this organization for John. The same thing happened a couple years ago when changes were made.”