Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

January 4, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Rich Cimini

Rich Cimini
  (3:02 PM)

Greetings, everyone. No game to talk about today, but that never stopped us from a good chat. So let's begin.

Rich (New Jersey)

Hi Rich, Will Scott Cohen be the new Jets gm or who are the Jets interested in outside the organization and what are the odds they will sign on?

Rich Cimini
  (3:03 PM)

Scott is definitely a candidate. He's well-liked inside the organization. From a PR standpoint, though, it might be a tough sell because he was here when things went bad. But I wouldn't rule him out.

Matt (CA)

Why are you here? NY ain't in the playoffs.

Rich Cimini
  (3:04 PM)

I could ask you the same question.

Jack (Denton, TX)

Hi Rich, a lot of fans are talking about the Jets trading for Alex Smith or Mike Flynn, but can they really afford to invest so much of their cap in the QB position between what's owed Sanchez and what they would have to pay one of those guys?

Rich Cimini
  (3:06 PM)

It's a good point you raise. Whether Sanchez is here or not, they already have $12.8M in cap space allotted to QB position, not counting Tebow and McElroy. How much higher can they go? It's a tough spot.

IRA (Staten Island)

Rich < If Gamble gets the GM job its a safe bet A. Smith could come in and maybe Rex will not be the HC. If Cohen or any of the other candidates get the job i say Moore is the QB. By hook or crook i just can;t see Sanchez back. Your thoughts?

Rich Cimini
  (3:08 PM)

Yes, the Smith speculation will be intense if Gamble gets the job. But, remember, they went after Peyton Manning and drafted Kaepernick, so obviously there wasn't total belief in Smith. I think there's an 80 pct chance Sanchez is back.

Sal (San Diego)

Hi Rich...Do you suspect Tannenbaum was misplaced from the start? He always struck me as a financial and negotiating genius (given my love for Curtis Martin I will always respect him for putting together the "Poison Pill" that got Cumar traded to us) yet he never seemed much of a talent evaluator....And on that same note, you wonder if he took much more of the blame than deserved because it has always seemed that he leaned toward drafting players his head coach wanted rather than the one he truly thought was best for the team....your thoughts?

Rich Cimini
  (3:10 PM)

Excellent points, Sal. I'm not a Tannenbaum apologist, but he was in a no-win situation. When things went well in 09, 10, he didn't get credit for bringing in the talent. When things went bad, he got blamed for being a numbers guy who didn't know talent.

Ron (NY)

Rich, say hypothetically the St. Louis Rams want to move up in the draft. Could you see the Jets as a trading partner and as a condition of swapping 1st round picks, the Rams have to take back Sanchez? The Rams do have plenty of cap space and you have to think the Jets would do that trade in a heart beat.

Rich Cimini
  (3:10 PM)

Why would the Rams want Sanchez? Because of Schotty? He's trying to fix one QB, he doesn't need another.

Mike (NY)

Just when you think the Jets can't be anymore of a joke, I see Ryan having a tattoo of his wife in a Sanchez jersey in the newspaper. First of all this is creepy. Secondly, I guess that reporter had something when he asked that question to Ryan about his fatal attraction to Mark Sanchez.

Rich Cimini
  (3:12 PM)

Believe me, that "reporter" had no idea what he was talking about. He just likes to hear himself talk.

Ben (NY)

Rich, I still can't get my head around that Sanchez extension. There is only two reasons why you would do that. One reason is because he earned and played at a high level which he obviously didn't. The second is to create cap space, which there was no need to. They didn't sign any skill position players with that cap space and they could have cut him after this season and owed him nothing. Again, just baffling.

Rich Cimini
  (3:13 PM)

I'm with you, Ben. I ripped that deal when it happened and people killed me because, after the Jets' spin doctors went to work, there was this sentiment that the Jets made a great deal. It was a bad deal. Yeah, it created $6M+ in cap space, but they never used it.

Bill (NY)

Rich, with the 9th pick this year do you think the Jets draft defense and finally find their pass rusher. I like what the Jets have with Wilkerson and Coples, but they still need that outside pass rusher.

Rich Cimini
  (3:16 PM)

I haven't studied it that closely yet, but I think QB, OLB, RB and OT have to be big needs.

Darsh (CT/University Park)

Howdy Rich. Based on your own judgement, which of these candidates do you think is most likely to be the new GM? Marc Ross, Dave Caldwell, Tom Gamble, John Dorsey, Tom Heckert. Also, there's no serious chance that Scott Cohen will get the job...right? I think hiring from in-house in this scenario would be a perfect same-ol-jets type of move.

Rich Cimini
  (3:17 PM)

I'd say the favorites are Gamble and Heckert. Next tier, I'd say Dorsey and Caldwell, followed by Ross and Cohen.

Geoff (Livingston, NJ)

Now that Scott Pioli has been fired by the Chiefs, do you think he could get an interview by the Jets?

Rich Cimini
  (3:19 PM)

I don't see that. Too much bad history between him/Pats and Jets. I think he'll go to Atl or sit out the year.

Rich Cimini
  (3:19 PM)

I don't see that. Too much bad history between him/Pats and Jets. I think he'll go to Atl or sit out the year.

mike (brooklyn)

Is Ryans job safe? It seems like they are going to let the GM make all the coaching moves

Rich Cimini
  (3:20 PM)

I still think Ryan is safe -- unless he and the GM butt heads.

Mike (NYC)

Rich, it's all a mess. This tatoo has been on him for probably a while now, but it just illustrates a point that's been painfully obvious over the last couple of years. Rex is just not management material. He's gotta go. Not because of the tatoo (but it itself is so dumb), but because of what it represents...ANOTHER BAD DECISION.

Rich Cimini
  (3:21 PM)

You're right, a bad decision, symbolic of poor management skills. But I don't think he deserves to be fired over it.

mike (brooklyn)

You think Jets will sign Matt Moore in the offseason? Or do you see them drafting a qb.... Ryan Nassib seems to be climbing in the draft. He may have good value in the 2nd

Rich Cimini
  (3:24 PM)

You're right, Nassib could go as high as the 2nd. Smart kid, well-coached, tough, strong enough arm, decent mobility.

Peter (NJ)

Rich, both Charlie Casserly and Peter King addressed the Jets and Mark Sanchez on their respected media platforms. Each said they would flat out release Sanchez an take the cap hit. Peter King specifically said it makes no sense to keep him on the roster as a backup even with the cap hit and Casserly said Sanchez doesn't have the arm talent. Usually I don't agree with eating money but lets face it both of these guys are right. Sanchez is a lost cause and frankly he is not a leader and whatever respect he had left from his teammates is basically gone.

Rich Cimini
  (3:28 PM)

He'd be a $12.8M backup, which makes no sense. If they traded him, picking up most of the guarantee, the cap charge would be about $14M. tough call, but I agree, it would be hard for him to go back to that stadium

Joe Dunbar (Seaford, NY)

Hey Rich, love your work on ESPN New York. My question pertains to your opinion of the media. I don't need you to single anyone out, but I wonder what you make of so much focus on TMZ-style stories all season long with Tim Tebow. I find it ironic that the writers complained to the PFWA about a lack of an end-of-season press conference when the writers themselves have taken the privilege of having access for granted by failing to provide any level of insight beyond the same old stories. Do you feel the writers have fulfilled their obligation to the true fans of the team this year? Thanks for all your hard work!

Rich Cimini
  (3:31 PM)

Joe, I disagree on a couple of things. There were no TMZ style stories with Tebow. The only farce of a story was when he ran shirtless through the rain. That, I admit, was stretching it. Every other story was legitimate. The numbers show that a lot of people were reading the stories. The writers complained about the press conf because the Jets broke a rule. After a long discussion with the Jets, in which they admitted they could've handled it better, we (meaning the PFWA) decided they didn't violate the spirit of the rule.

Frank (NJ)

Rich, I don't understand how a line from a year ago can have three pro bowlers and then this year have none. Also ever since Mangold signed that extension it seems his play has been slipping. I know last year he had the high ankle sprain but this season I don't think he had any injury.

Rich Cimini
  (3:32 PM)

The Pro Bowl isn't always an accurate barometer of talent, but I agree that Mangold slipped a bit. Brick slipped in '11, but rallied this year.

Danny Bx Newyork [via mobile]

Do you think Mark can be fixed by New OC

Rich Cimini
  (3:32 PM)

Fixed? Maybe the new OC can fix him to the point of him being a middle of the road QB.

Ray (Hoboken)

Why isn't Brian Gaine in the GM mix in your view?? Also, haven't heard his name anywhere else. Have you?

Rich Cimini
  (3:34 PM)

Excellent question. He'd be a good hire. Parcells guys. Knows the division. Helped clean up the Miami cap issues. Good people skills, which is a must in the job. A NY guy. He'd love to come home. I wonder if Jed the head hunter is doing his homework.

David (Myrtle Beach, SC)

Rich, how much will it hinder the Jets in their GM search if they insist on Ryan staying as head coach?

Rich Cimini
  (3:34 PM)

It could shrink the pool, that's for sure.

MEL31602 (Syracuse, NY)

I know its a little early, but what do you think the jets should do in this year's draft. Everyone will kill them if they take a defensive player like Te'o, but i feel like he may be a safer pick than a wr or rb. plus those players usually take a while to get adjusted into the league, and I think the skill players are better than people think, especially if Braylon sticks around. Holmes, Hill, and Kerley are a nice trio, and Cumberland has shown potential to replace Keller if he leaves. RB they are pretty set too with Powell and McKnight. So would it really be that bad if the Jets sought to replace their slow and old LBS early in the draft instead of taking a skill player?

Rich Cimini
  (3:36 PM)

The Jets need play makers on offense and a pass rusher, pure and simple. There's no point in drafting Te'o -- unless there's a scheme change.


Do you see them resigning Greene, and if not is something they would address via the draft or f/a? BTW, great work this season and great questions during press conferences.

Rich Cimini
  (3:36 PM)

Thanks, D. I don't see Greene back. He'll want to be paid like a No. 1 back, but he's not a No. 1 back.

Jim (Bridgewater)

Rich, if the rumors are true that Norv wants nothing to do with the Jets, what other names are you hearing as potential candidates?

Rich Cimini
  (3:37 PM)

You're right, i can't see Norv wanting to come here -- unless they blew him away with money. I've heard they reached out to Cam Cameron.

kman (nyc)

Rich, can the Jets dump Holmes? Is his salary guaranteed for a third year? That's insane if true.

Rich Cimini
  (3:38 PM)

Welcome to the Jets' insanity. Yes, he has a $7.5M guarantee for 2013. Tone Time lives.

Marco (Bloomfield, NY)

Could Pouha get cut to save cap room? He's older and coming off a bad back. A 34 year old NT with a bad back is troubling...

Rich Cimini
  (3:39 PM)

I don't know if it makes a lot of sense to cut Po'uha. They'd save $3.8M on the cap, but they'd still get stuck with $2.3M in dead money.

Ami (London)

Have you or any of the media ever asked Mark Sanchez how much time he spends studying film? It often looked like he had no idea what opposite defenses were doing. the best ones, like Brady/Manning are film study rats.

Rich Cimini
  (3:41 PM)

Obviously, I wasn't in the film room with him, but from everything I'm told, he's a hard worker. That's not his problem. Look, I could sit in the film room for 10 yrs a day and that wouldn't make me a QB. Comes down to talent and instinct.

Greg (Woodcliff Lake)

Hi Rich, my question is about the OLB position. I don't think it gets enough attention because of the state of the offense. Do you think they are going to need two new starters? Can you see Calvin Pace taking a serious pay cut to return? Common sense tells us 11.5 million is far too much for him.

Rich Cimini
  (3:42 PM)

There's no way Pace will be on the roster at $11.5M. They'd save $8.6M by cutting him, and that's what they intend to do. I doubt he'd be receptive to a pay cut. I'm sure he'd much rather be a free agent.

John (New York)

Rich, great job with the chat. How do you read into the fact that Woody barely even gave Rex a vote of confidence. Waiting until the 4th paragraph of the press release, and only saying "will remain", didn't even say "will be our coach in 2013". Was his ambiguity intentional?

Rich Cimini
  (3:44 PM)

We're thinking alike because I wrote this on the day it happened. It certainly wasn't a loud endorsement; he buried the lead, as we say in the biz. That said, he did say it: Rex will remain. If he lets the new GM fire him, he'd come off as a total liar.

Champoholic (Brantford, Ontario)

Do you ever get frustrated when your colleagues who cover the New York Jets choose to focus on everything else but football knowledge and information when talking to players and coaches and writing articles? It seems like the people in the game focus on the technical aspects like X's and O's but everybody who covers it is more into gossip. Huge disconnect there in my opinion.

Rich Cimini
  (3:45 PM)

No frustration whatsoever. We all abide by the same premise: We all try to report the news. If it's a tattoo, so be it. If it's the ineffectiveness of Rex's third-down blitz package, we'll write that.


Rich, I only watched the Rich Kotite years from across the country, there was no 24/7 coverage back then like there is today. How does this mess of a team compare, not just on the field but off the field too? I have never been so ashamed of this team as I have this year. Never

Rich Cimini
  (3:47 PM)

That's a pretty strong statement. Remember, the Jets were 1-15. A few years later, their coach walked out on them (Belichick). A year later, another coach (Groh) walked out on them -- although he was nudged out the door. That's pretty dysfunctional, too.

Bob (Newark, NJ)

Other than J. Smith, Scott and Pace who are some other Jets that may be a salary cap reducing cut? Is there anyone else on the roster that if we cut can give us some cap relief?

Rich Cimini
  (3:48 PM)

Eric Smith will be cut. Maybe Po'uha. There will be other, lesser players.

Josh (syracuse ny)

who cares what tattoo he has really , im a jet fan and i could care less about that and the fact that he has not addressed the media , whats the big deal , you already know the answers to the questions anyway .

Rich Cimini
  (3:50 PM)

You're wrong, Josh. The coach has an obligation to address the media after the season. if he doesn't want to answer certain questions, that's his right. It shows the Jets are hiding something. The tattoo, in itself, isn't a big deal, but it's all part of the whole circus.

Lisa (Jersey Shore)

What's the likely timetable on a GM hire? Next week or two?

Rich Cimini
  (3:51 PM)

Yeah, I think that's a fair timetable. I was told 3-4 weeks, but I don't expect it to go that long.

Aaron (Syracuse, NY)

Hey Rich, great work this year as usual! couple questions: 1. is there a chance rex could still be fired despite the statement from Woody that he will remain? Perhaps if Rex's presense is hampering the GM search it will make woody reconsider? 2. besides norv turner, who are the "hot" names to replace Sparano assuming he is fired?

Rich Cimini
  (3:52 PM)

After 23 years of covering this team, I'd never say never. Sure, I think there's a chance Rex could be gone, but I think Woody would've done it already if he wanted to.

Porky (Harding Avenue)

Hi Rich, In all seriousness, do you think it's ethical for media outlets to follow a man while he's on vacation with his family and use zoom lenses to film his half-naked body on a beach? I've watched sports in this town for over 25 years, and I have never seen anything like this.

Rich Cimini
  (3:53 PM)

It's an interesting debate. I admit, it's a bit sleazy, but he's a public figure in a public place. The Jets could've avoided everything by just having the news conference on Monday.

Zahra (Long Island)

Hi Rich, who do you see the jets giving the franchise tag to?

Rich Cimini
  (3:54 PM)

Wait, you mean they have a franchise player?

Kicky (44 Morgan Place)

Isn't this talk about Mark Sanchez's "$17 million cap hit" just a lot of hot air? I mean, even if they keep him, he's going to cost about $13 million against the cap, so the difference between cutting him and keeping him isn't really $17 million but $4 million, right?

Rich Cimini
  (3:54 PM)

Right. Plus you'd have to pay to replace him.

Scot (Washington, DC )

I saw you say on Twitter earlier that there's no way Pioli would consider coming to the Jets. Seriously? Even if Woody opened up the piggybank? Despite his lack of success in KC, I think the Jets should try to get him.

Rich Cimini
  (3:55 PM)

He did a bad job in KC.

Dec (Ireland)

Rich, seems that Gamble is the team's preferred choice for new GM. What's your gut feeling ? Or too early to call? btw I'll take a pass on that sweater you were wearing when you presented Yeremiah Bell with his media award (courtesy of Jane McManus' twitpic).

Rich Cimini
  (3:57 PM)

OK, so that wasn't my best sweater, you're right. Gamble has some strong recommendations, mostly from Polian. He's been around the league, works for a quality franchise. I wouldn't say he's the preferred choice just yet. His agent probably told a reporter he's the preferred choice, that's how it works with these things.

Paul (Erie)

Rich, What is the upside of Heckert? Three losing years in Cleveland and the roster he left behind is really not all that good!

Rich Cimini
  (3:57 PM)

I agree, I wouldn't go that route, but I hear the Jets like him.

Jeff (San Diego)

The Jets look like such a mess from an outside. Why would GM candidates view this organization as a good opportunity?

Rich Cimini
  (3:58 PM)

Money. New York market. Ego -- chance to be the guy that gets it done.

Matt (DC)

Can we expect to have Holmes and Revis back and healthy for the 2013 season? Any other injury updates of importance?

Rich Cimini
  (3:59 PM)

Hold the optimism on Holmes. He's got a long way to go and he might not be ready until training camp.

Jerod (Ohio)

Rich, from what you've written, the GM search is being done with due diligence and they're targeting some really strong candidates from highly successful organizations. Is this a step in the right direction?

Rich Cimini
  (4:00 PM)

They're targeting all the guys that other teams are targeting. I could've put together that list. In fact, I did --on my blog Monday.

Rich Cimini
  (4:01 PM)

Sorry, folks, I'm out of time. Thanks for great question, as usual. Who would've thought we'd be talking about tattoos? Have a great weekend and we'll do this again soon. Rich