- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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After searching for more than two weeks, the New York Jets are poised to name their next general manager. They will hire Mike Tannenbaum's replacement as early as Thursday, according to league sources.
The front-runners are John Idzik and Omar Khan, front-office executives from the Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers, respectively, sources said. Jets assistant GM Scott Cohen also is considered a finalist.
Idzik and Khan were brought back for second interviews this week. In fact, Idzik was scheduled to meet Wednesday with team officials. Khan's second interview occurred Tuesday.
The Jets have interviewed no fewer than nine candidates, only two of whom have GM experience -- Jerry Angelo and Ted Sundquist, formerly of the Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos, respectively. Angelo has been involved in follow-up discussions with the team, but he hasn't been invited back for a second interview.
Because they've talked to so many candidates in a seemingly meandering search, the Jets have come under criticism from those who believe it's an unattractive job. Sources close to the search, however, said from the outset it could take three weeks.
The Jets decided to expand the search after interviewing the top four names on their list, including former Atlanta Falcons director of player personnel Dave Caldwell. They were reportedly prepared to offer him a $1 million housing allowance, but Caldwell was hired by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
CBSSports.com had earlier reported that the Jets would hire a new GM by Thursday.
Idzik and Khan weren't among the first round of interviews.
The Jets also changed their objective along the way. The initial goal was to hire a GM with a strong scouting background, but Idzik and Khan are experts in salary-cap management and contract negotiations. If the Jets go in that direction, it could mean a greater say in personnel for coach Rex Ryan.
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said Khan shouldn't be stereotyped as a cap guy.
"He's very knowledgeable about how this business works -- I mean the football business, not just the business side of it," Colbert told reporters Wednesday in Pittsburgh. "He's been very strong in salary-cap administration, but he's also observed and learned a lot about how the player personnel side of things works. We think he's ready and, if he gets the opportunity, good for him."
1mEric D. Williams