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Thursday, January 24, 2013
Is Rex Ryan now a lame duck?

By James Walker

The New York Jets do not have a quality quarterback, they’re about $19 million over the cap, and the owner wants to trade the best player on the team.

Does all this make Jets head coach Rex Ryan a lame duck in 2013?

Ryan enters next season on the hot seat after back-to-back non-winning seasons. The outspoken coach survived the mess while his former general manager, Mike Tannenbaum, did not. Ryan now is in a must-win situation with no excuses.

Yet, everything the Jets are doing shows the team is ready for a major rebuild. New York is in the process of gutting the roster under new general manager John Idzik. The Jets will cut a lot of veteran talent this offseason to get under the salary cap, and pending free agents such as safety LaRon Landry, tight end Dustin Keller and 1,000-yard rusher Shonn Greene may not return. The Jets are handcuffed with the cap this year and will not be major players in free agency. That puts Ryan in a very tough spot to try to win with a rebuilding team.

This week's news that New York is shopping star cornerback Darrelle Revis was the most telling. How do you think Ryan feels about the Jets looking to trade their best player?

Jets ownership appears convinced they have no chance of keeping Revis beyond next season. From that perspective, it makes sense to get something for the cornerback now.

However, Ryan may be shaking his head behind closed doors wondering if he has a legitimate chance to succeed with New York's thinning roster. It could be playoffs or bust in 2013 for Ryan to keep his job -- and the odds appear stacked against him.