Published July 30, 2010
NEW YORK – Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum will be together at least five more years, hoping to deliver the New York Jets a Super Bowl.
The Jets signed the bold and brash Ryan to a two-year contract extension Friday, and gave the wheeling-and-dealing Tannenbaum a five-year extension — keeping the coach and general manager with the franchise through the 2014 season.
The team announced both deals two days before it reports for training camp in Cortland, N.Y., although Tannenbaum's was signed last month.
"Our franchise is heading in the right direction and I believe that continuity is important," owner Woody Johnson said in a statement. "Mike and Rex have demonstrated the passion, commitment, and expertise to get us to our ultimate goal: winning a Super Bowl."
Ryan received his extension after just one season as coach, leading the Jets to a 9-7 regular-season record and within one game of the Super Bowl. When Johnson hired Ryan in January 2009, it was with the hope the new coach could bring a new identity to a franchise lacking one.
Ryan certainly delivered the moment he opened his mouth for the first time at his introductory news conference, declaring that the Jets would meet President Barack Obama someday as Super Bowl champions.
Ryan hasn't stopped since, again saying this offseason that his team is bound for a title. The son of former NFL coach Buddy Ryan installed a defense that ranked No. 1 in the league last season — just as he said it would — as well as a winning attitude.
While his sometimes outrageous statements have annoyed some around the league, they have also helped make the Jets an entertaining team. So much so, that HBO and NFL Films deemed them intriguing enough to feature on "Hard Knocks" this summer.
Tannenbaum, the team's general manager since 2006, also has a lot to do with the attention the team has received. He has earned a reputation as one of the league's most active general managers, bringing in big stars such as Brett Favre, LaDainian Tomlinson, Thomas Jones, Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie.
Tannenbaum, who has been with the organization since 1997, has also made several shrewd draft selections that have become core parts of the team, including Mark Sanchez, Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold, D'Brickashaw Ferguson and David Harris.
He has also had to make tough — and sometimes unpopular — decisions over the last few years. Those have included releasing the popular Chad Pennington to make way for Favre, cutting Jones after he rushed for a career-high 1,402 yards, releasing Pro Bowl left guard Alan Faneca and trading the versatile Leon Washington, who was coming off a serious knee injury but was one of New York's most valuable offensive weapons.
This has been a particularly busy offseason for Tannenbaum, one in which the Jets always seemed to be in the news. Whether it was trading for Holmes and Cromartie, signing Tomlinson or cutting or dealing popular veterans, Tannenbaum has been unafraid to take chances.
He is also in the midst of contract squabbles with Revis and Mangold, with both publicly acknowledging their unhappiness with the ways talks have gone. Harris is also looking for an extension.
With camp set to open Sunday, it is unclear if Revis — wanting to become the highest-paid cornerback in the league — will report on time. Mangold has said he will be there, despite still wanting a new deal.