Joe Namath believes the Rex Ryan era is coming to an end.
"I don't think Rex is going to be back next year," Namath said on "The Michael Kay Show" on ESPN 98.7 FM on Thursday afternoon.
Namath, the most famous quarterback in Jets history, is perplexed as to why the Jets brought back Ryan for this season with a depleted roster. The Jets are devoid of talent, and with a new general manager in the fold, they could have chosen to start over. Instead, they stuck with Ryan, who has two years left on his deal but has missed the playoffs the last two years.
"I can't figure it out either. Really," Namath said about why Ryan was retained with a weak roster to work with. "Honest to goodness I don't want to get negative here, I want to be positive, but I can't fathom the decisions that have been made. I don't understand these things the last couple of seasons. Hopefully Mr. Idzik gets things going and gets some fresh talent in here, but there are a lot of problems."
One of the reasons the Jets roster is lacking talent is due to the recent trade of All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis, as the Jets traded him to the Buccaneers for two draft picks, including the 13th overall pick in Thursday's draft. Namath understood the reasoning but hated to see Revis leave.
"I'm sorry to a see a player of that caliber leave. I gather it had to be done to make sense with the numbers game and everything else," Namath said. "But as a fan I sure don't like it. I'm just sorry we got in that position."
By trading Revis, and gaining an extra first-round pick, the Jets will have the opportunity to bring in two highly ranked players to start the rebuilding process. He's holding out faith that new general manager John Idzik will deliver.
"With John Idzik in there, hopefully he can make the right choices," Namath said. "I know he's getting the input from basically the same people that gave the input to [former GM] Mike Tannenbaum. I don't know what went wrong with the choices we've had. There haven't been any outstanding choices of late, I don't know. You got to get some good picks this year and hope the guys on the roster, given the chance to play, the younger players, just improve."
Even if the Jets draft well Thursday, they still have to resolve their issues at quarterback, as Mark Sanchez is coming off the worst year of his career. Namath believes Sanchez would fare better if he moved on to another team, but he's curious to see how Sanchez plays in new offensive coordinator Mornhinweg's system. He also said that having Tim Tebow around has not helped.
"I think he took a step back [last year] because not only of the players around him, or the lack of players around him, but with the Tim Tebow situation," Namath said. "I don't care how much Mark had said in the past that his focus is not broken, his confidence isn't shattered, it obviously had a negative effect on him no doubt."