John Idzik front-runner for Jets GM

Updated: January 18, 2013, 2:23 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Seattle Seahawks executive John Idzik has emerged as the clear front-runner to become the New York Jets' general manager and could be offered the job as early as Thursday night, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Pittsburgh Steelers executive Omar Khan is the other finalist for the job, according to league sources.

Idzik and Khan both were brought back for second interviews this week.

The Jets have changed their objective during their two-week search to find a replacement for GM Mike Tannenbaum, who was fired Dec. 31. 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.

Idzik's strengths include managing salaries and the salary cap, but he has also worked in player personnel. He has been with the Seahawks the past six seasons after previously working in the front office for Tampa Bay and Arizona.

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.

Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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