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Jets fire GM Tannenbaum; Ryan stays

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Posted Dec. 31, 2012 @ 9:37 a.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

Jets owner Woody Johnson announced Monday that GM Mike Tannenbaum will not return in 2013.

Tannenbaum took his post as the team’s GM in 2006 and was at the helm when the Jets went to back-to-back AFC championship games. Tannenbaum joined the team in 1997 as its director of player contract negotiations. 

In the team’s statement, Johnson said a search for a new GM will begin immediately, and that Jed Hughes of Korn/Ferry will lead the process.

The Jets have disappointed the past two seasons though, punctuated by a 6-10 mark in 2012. Johnson said in a statement, though, that head coach Rex Ryan will remain for 2013.

“Rex Ryan will remain the Head Coach of our football team. I believe that he has the passion, the talent, and the drive to successfully lead our team,” Johnson said.

Tannenbaum released the following statement: 

"I want to thank Woody and his entire family for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime -- serving as the General Manager of the New York Jets for seven years.

"I am incredibly grateful to have been a part of rebuilding a winning tradition for Jets fans over the past 15 years. My days with Coach Parcells through my years as General Manager of the team that went to back-to-back AFC Championship games have been the fulfillment of a dream I have had since I was a little kid and I'll always be grateful to Woody, the two head coaches, Rex and Eric, as well as all of the players, staff and the entire organization for this opportunity.

"While of course it is disappointing to not achieve the ultimate goal of winning a championship, I am incredibly proud of our overall winning record and success. I feel very fortunate to have been the general manager who drafted cornerstone players during a period that yielded four playoff victories and 22 Pro Bowl appearances.

"I appreciate that it is rare for someone to stay with one organization with such a wide range of responsibilities for so many years. My time with the Jets will always be special to me and my family and it has prepared me well for whatever comes next.

"There are champions on this team that haven’t been crowned yet. I am confident that the base we've established will allow the New York Jets to continue a winning tradition for years to come and I wish everyone in the organization the best of luck."

The way we see it

A big move had to be made after a disastrous 2012 season, and Tannenbaum is the first to go. While his draft picks have generally been solid, including most recently Quinton Coples and Muhammad Wilkerson, the Jets’ contract problems were too much, and that’s supposed to be Tannenbaum’s specialty. The Jets are stuck with $8.25 million for Mark Sanchez next season and have to figure out what to do with Tim Tebow after a bad trade for him last season. The personnel on this club simply did not match the rest of the league, especially on offense, and that lands on Tannenbaum.

As for Ryan, it's not a surprise that he is staying — as bad as the team has been over the past two seasons, Ryan is widely regarded as a good coach, though he certainly is not absolved of all blame. With a new GM coming in, Ryan will need to have a good showing in 2013.

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