FLORHAM PARK, New Jersey – It was the end of the John Idzik error on Monday as the Jets general manager was fired after just two years on the job. Also falling on the sword was head coach Rex Ryan, paying the price for a poor team that was handed to him.
Despite Ryan's relatively long tenure with the team, it was the termination of Idzik that will send shockwaves through the organization. He came to the Jets two years ago, preaching prudence and calling the NFL Draft the team's “lifeline.”
Instead, his prudence this past offseason led the Jets to whiff on several prominent free agents and his inability to draft players turned from a “lifeline” into a noose. After four straight seasons without the playoffs, there was little surprise that Ryan would be on the chopping block. But Jets ownership bought Idzik's pragmatic approach two years ago, and have decided to end the relationship with just 32 games as evidence for termination.
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“After extensive thought and reflection about the current state of our football team, this morning I informed Rex Ryan and John Idzik that they will not be returning for the 2015 season," Jets owner Woody Johnson said in a team-released statement. "Both Rex and John made significant contributions to the team, and they have my appreciation and gratitude for their efforts and commitment. Over the years, Rex brought the Jets a bold confidence and a couple of great post-season runs, which all of us will remember.
“I am beginning our search for new football leadership, effective immediately, with guidance and support from respected football experts, including Charley Casserly and Ron Wolf, two Super Bowl winners with decades of valuable experience.
“We will consider all options to improve the Jets.
“Getting the Jets back on track is my top priority, and today’s decisions are important steps towards achieving our goals.”
After a 2013 season where his underrated free agent moves paid dividends and a draft class where five rookie starters emerge, Idzik's star quickly began to fade. His second season in New York saw a lackluster free agency period and a very poor draft. With his team struggling and with just one win on their record at the time, Idzik's midseason press conference in late October likely determined his fate.
In the press conference, which included a 19-minute opening monologue, Idzik didn't provide any type of vision or hope for Jets fans. And while he took full responsibility for the roster assembled, those words sealed his fate, leaving Johnson little choice but to fire the unpopular general manager.