Sources: Jets testing GM waters

Updated: December 25, 2012, 1:48 AM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

Mike Tannenbaum's days as the New York Jets' general manager could be numbered.

The Jets have quietly begun to reach out to potential candidates, including Houston Texans director of college scouting Mike Maccagnan, CBS Sports reported Monday. A league source confirmed the Jets have sent out feelers.

Tannenbaum, who has two years remaining on his contract, has come under fire in recent weeks as the season has unraveled. Tannenbaum is well regarded by owner Woody Johnson in the area of cap management, and Johnson would like to retain him in that role, the CBS Sports report said.

A Jets spokesman declined to comment on the report, citing organizational policy. The team won't comment on potential moves until after the season.

The Jets might try to restructure their front office, bringing in a personnel guru to work in conjunction with Tannenbaum, sources said. One potential hang-up is the matter of final say; it might be hard to attract a top candidate if Tannenbaum maintains a prominent role.

Coach Rex Ryan, speaking on his weekly radio spot on ESPN New York 98.7, declined to speculate on how he'd feel working for a new general manager.

"That's a huge what-if right there," Ryan said. "Quite honestly, my thing is we have one game left in the regular season. If my focus is anywhere else, I'm not setting this team up for success. Obviously, what happens in the future, after that, it's debatable."

Since Tannenbaum was promoted to GM in 2006, the Jets are 57-54, plus four playoff victories. They reached back-to-back AFC Championship Games in 2009 and 2010, but they've gone 14-17 since the second title-game appearance.

Their current 6-9 record, combined with the ill-fated Tim Tebow trade and a questionable contract extension for quarterback Mark Sanchez, has put Tannenbaum on the hot seat. He has declined recent interview requests, wanting to wait until after the season before he addresses the media.

Johnson, too, said recently he will wait until the season is over before commenting.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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