The Jets are reaching out to potential GM candidates while exploring ways to keep current GM Mike Tannenbaum in a cap management role, according to league sources.
The Jets are trying to beef up their front office, particularly in personnel, given their failing in the draft and free agency in recent years. But owner Woody Johnson is looking for a way to keep Tannenbaum in a different capacity, primarily as a negotiator/cap guy, sources said. The team has quietly reached out to potential candidates to gauge interest in the bizarre arrangement, including approaching Mike Maccagnan, Houston's director of college scouting.
As expected, candidates have significant issues with the parameters, sources said. Tannenbaum has created many of the Jets issues with bloated contracts given to players like Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes, to name two, coupled with cap mismanagement that has left New York in a difficult plight heading into 2013. Furthermore, Tannenbaum has shared a very close relationship with Johnson, which naturally would be a red flag for someone joining the Jets from the outside.
Several potential GM candidates -- men expected to garner interviews for soon-to-be-open general manager jobs -- said they would never consider taking the Jets job under these circumstances and doubted that any strong candidate would.
"That's totally ridiculous," one exec said. "Only the Jets."
In the end, Johnson might have to bite the bullet and part with Tannenbaum in order to land a someone highly qualified for the position.