COMMENTARY | In the next few days, someone is going to take over the front office of the New York Jets. Whether it's Tom Gamble, Marc Ross, Jerry Angelo or another of the hot names on the GM circuit, there's going to be a new sheriff in town. Rex Ryan be damned.
And the job starts immediately. The NFL Combine is only a few weeks away in February, followed by the start of the league year and negotiating periods in March, the NFL Draft in April and then mini-camps. There's a lot of prep work to do before then to properly evaluate one of the league's most dysfunctional and underachieving teams over the past two seasons.
I want the new GM to succeed, if for no other reason than to see my father-in-law (a diehard Jets fan) retire the phrase "No pride" from his in-game and post-game assessments. So here are a few suggestions:
Call John Schneider the first day on the job. Like the new Jets GM, Schneider, the Seattle Seahawks general manager, has a quarterback problem. The two front office execs can help each other. Matt Flynn for Mark Sanchez. Maybe throw in a conditional pick in 2014 (no more than a fourth, please). The sales pitch? The numbers work. Seattle head coach Pete Carroll and Sanchez together again. Seattle can even cut Sanchez in 2014 for a substantial cap savings.
In turn, New York Jets fans get two years of a guy who can throw the ball more than 12 yards downfield for the same price they'd be paying The Sanchise for a single year. And, if the new GM is able to pull of that coup, his next call should be to ...
Make Tom Clements the new offensive coordinator. This coup would require even more magic than the first thing on the list. I know Norv Turner is getting all the buzz with Tony Sporano now gone, but I'm not convinced. Instead, look to Green Bay: the place where Flynn became a hot commodity and where Aaron Rodgers currently reigns as the preeminent NFL QB.
Clements might be the OC for the Packers, but let's face it: head coach Mike McCarthy calls the plays, with Rodgers acting as the No. 2. Clements is essentially a rubber stamp on play calling. The New York job gives him free reign over the offense, a quarterback he's familiar with, and some decent pieces on the line and in the backfield.
Convince owner Woody Johnson to bite the bullet on Santonio Holmes. There are some obvious cap casualties coming: releasing Jason Smith, Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, Sione Pouha, Eric Smith and Tim Tebow will free up over $36 million. Holmes is one more name I'd add to that list, but it's not as easy as it sounds.
Cutting Holmes would result in a net cap savings ($1.25 million), but it would also require The Woodster to hand over a king's ransom ($11.25 million in guaranteed salary) for nothing in return. However, the demons that Holmes has cast upon this organization -- from the front office to the locker room to the fans in the stands -- need to be exorcized.
Make the draft about athleticism. The Jets need playmakers on both sides of the ball. They need to keep all their picks and get quicker, stronger and dynamic. Georgia LB/DE Jarvis Jones would look great in green. USC wideout Robert Woods might be around in Round 2. And so on. It's way too early to mock, but you get the idea.
Rebuilding the Jets is no easy task; we haven't even gotten into how to deal with Rex and the maelstrom that is the New York media circus. But there are pieces, there is opportunity. With a little creativity (and a lot of luck), 2013 can be a springboard instead of a plank.
James Moffat has 10-plus years of journalism expertise, writing for daily print and online publications.
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