With the New York Jets floundering at 4-7 with five games remaining in the regular season, the hot seat may be getting hotter for Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum (above).
Owner Woody Johnson promoted Tannenbaum to GM in 2006, and the former salary cap specialist started his new role with a bang, drafting two future multiple-time Pro Bowlers in the first round of his first draft.
There was a time when Tannenbaum’s knack for creating cap room when needed was a valuable skill for a GM to have, but these days in the NFL, there are more restrictions in the salary cap, so Tannenbaum’s leg up has faded.
For seven seasons now, Tannenbaum has been at the helm of the Jets’ football operations, and to his credit, he’s had his fair share of successes in the draft, via trade and in the free agent market.
However, as the guy who buys the groceries, so to speak, he’s going to get the brunt of the criticism for the lack of talent and depth across the board that has plagued the Jets this season.
The Jets are trending in the wrong direction. They’ve taken a step back here in 2012, and barring a miracle run to the playoffs, they will be at home watching the postseason from their couches for the second straight year.
Whether or not it’s fair to put the blame entirely on Mike Tannenbaum, many people believe that he’s the most responsible for the Jets’ regression, which means his job could very much be on the line the last month of the year.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Tannenbaum will be fired. There’s always the possibility the Jets could demote or reassign him to another role in the front office, something they did with Tannenbaum’s predecessor.
Terry Bradway had been the Jets’ GM from 2001 to 2005 before being reassigned to the position of senior personnel executive following Tannenbaum’s promotion in 2006.
Could Woody Johnson double up with Tannenbaum and keep him around in some capacity, even if he’s stripped of his GM duties? It remains to be seen. But it certainly cannot be counted out as a distinct possibility.
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