Jets hire Seahawks exec John Idzik to be GM

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 18, 2013 at 9:34 pm •  Published: January 18, 2013
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NEW YORK (AP) — John Idzik will try to turn things around for the troubled New York Jets.

Woody Johnson believes he's up to the massive task.

The Jets hired the Seattle Seahawks executive to be their general manager Friday, completing an interview process that began two weeks ago and included 10 candidates.

The 52-year-old Idzik, the Seahawks' vice president of football administration, was selected by Johnson and team president Neil Glat.

He beat out Pittsburgh executive Omar Khan and Jets assistant GM Scott Cohen, among others, for the job that opened when the Jets fired Mike Tannenbaum on Dec. 31 after seven seasons.

Idzik's primary strengths include managing salaries and the salary cap, but has also worked in player personnel — a unique combination that attracted the Jets. He has been with the Seahawks the past six seasons after previously working in the front offices of Tampa Bay and Arizona.

"It has been very enlightening getting to know Mr. Woody Johnson, Rex Ryan and Neil Glat and I am very grateful for them making me feel very welcomed as a member of the Jets family," Idzik said in a statement issued by the team. "I am eager to get started building on the foundation that is already in place."

Idzik will be formally introduced at a news conference next Thursday at the team's facility in Florham Park, N.J.

Idzik will have the final say on all personnel decisions, while Ryan's status in the decisionmaking process will not change from what it had been in his first four seasons.

Both Idzik and Ryan will attend Senior Bowl workouts in Mobile, Ala., early next week. Ryan met with Idzik late in the process, with the two discussing their football philosophies — but Ryan had no influence on the hiring.

The Jets were the last of seven teams needing to fill their GM spot this offseason after Cleveland hired Michael Lombardi for their vacancy earlier Friday. New York used Jed Hughes of Korn/Ferry International to aid them in the search, which began on Jan. 4 and included Tom Gamble, David Caldwell, Jerry Angelo, Marc Ross, Ted Sundquist, Brian Gaine and Randy Mueller as candidates.

Johnson, Glat and Hughes were present for all interviews, while Ira Akselrad, president of The Johnson Company, Inc., was in for several of them.

"After a thorough search in which we met many qualified and outstanding candidates, it was clear to me that John was the right choice," Johnson said in a statement.

Idzik, who has a math degree from Dartmouth, will face immediate challenges with the Jets. He will have to make decisions on whether to keep quarterbacks Mark Sanchez, who is due $8.25 million in guarantees next season and would cost the Jets a $17.1 million cap hit if they cut him, and Tim Tebow, who is not expected back after one disappointing and unproductive season.

New York is also about $19 million over the salary cap, but could quickly get under by releasing a few veteran starters such as linebackers Bart Scott and Calvin Pace. The Jets have several starters scheduled to become unrestricted free agents, including safeties LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell, defensive lineman Mike DeVito, running back Shonn Greene, offensive linemen Brandon Moore and Matt Slauson, wide receiver Braylon Edwards and kicker Nick Folk.

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