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NY Jets Mike Tannenbaum's Tenure as GM Lacks Discipline

Updated on May 23, 2012


Mike Tannenbaum was hired by the Jets on February 19, 1997. His first title was director of player contract negotiations. He was a salary-cap guru who showed a lot of promise with enormous potential, and he crunched numbers better than anyone. As a result, Tannenbaum eventually became senior vice president of football operations and assistant general manager. We can only begin to be critical of him and his decision-making from the time he took over as general manager in 2006.

From 2006 to 2011, he had selected 33 players in the draft. Of those 33, 19 remain, which include six from last year. This leaves 13 players that were selected in the five years prior to 2011. In 2010, he made four selections and while it's still too early to tell, they have made little to no impact at all. Tannenbaum took three players in 09, trading up for Mark Sanchez. Had he been patient, The Jets could have landed Tim Tebow the following year, instead of recently giving up a fourth-round pick to acquire him. Also in 09, Tannenbaum selected Shonne Green, who's a very physical player and because of that, has been injury prone. In 2008, of total a six picks, only Dustin Keller remains. More noticeably, Vernon Gholston was taken 6th in the 1st round and is one of the biggest busts in NFL draft history.

His first two drafts in 06 and 07 could be the reasons why the Jets are presently relevant but there are still some inconsistencies. He drafted four players in 2007, traded up for Darrelle Revis, who as of right now is unhappy with his contract, and the team is facing another potential holdout. In my opinion, paying a substantial amount of money for a corner in today's NFL is a huge mistake. David Harris was selected in the 2nd round that year. In 06, D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold were chosen in the 1st round, but only three out of those 10 picks are still on the roster. Of the 33 players Tannenbaum has drafted, Revis, Ferguson, and Mangold have made the pro bowl and are still on the team. Leon Washington, picked in 06, made the pro bowl as a kick returner and now plays for Seattle. It's tough to pick a pro bowl caliber player in the draft but for a team that boasts so much, they sure haven't been too consistent. For example they’ve only made the playoffs three times in his six seasons, and the guy responsible for orchestrating the team seems to go unnoticed when the Jets are under fire.

Philosophy? I don't think he has one, unless his mission is to seize players with a checkered past to destroy chemistry and get rid of the one's that helped create that team unity in the first place. Shaun Ellis, Jericho Cotchery, Brad Smith, Braylon Edwards, Ben Hartsock, Tony Richardson, Damien Woody, Thomas Jones, and Alan Faneca all contributed to deep playoff runs but were exiled due to age or a courtship of Nnamdi Asomugha. Still, their experience and camaraderie is hard to replace. Instead, Tannenbaum goes after guys who make the news for the wrong reasons like Plaxico Burress, Santonio Holmes, and Antonio Cromartie and then appears to gloat about acquiring talent without giving up much. The problem is they end up sacrificing a lot more in team chemistry and there are reasons why they were available in the first place. He now makes an about face and trades for Tebow, a move I really like. This changes the culture of the team and seems to flip flop more than Mitt Romney, but he probably doesn't deserve all the credit if he succeeds for bringing him in. Owner Woody Johnson and Rex Ryan most likely helped pull the trigger on Tebow.

The year he was anointed gm, he hired first year head coach Eric Mangini, a close friend who coached with the New England Patriots. Mangini tried to incorporate that Patriot way of professionalism and ultra secretive approach which is the polar opposite of current head coach Rex Ryan's no holds barred style. Now, after last year's team turmoil ending with feuds and bickering, they want to revert back to keeping their mouth shut with no more guarantees of Super Bowls and bringing in Jesus Christ Himself, Tim Tebow. Christ, who's running this show, or was Timmy hired to be CEO too.

Some people might think Tannenbaum is the devil, considering how he mishandles relationships with former players. I know it's a business but this guy needs a public relations consultant, looking at the way he made Chad Pennington look in the Brett Favre trade. Pennington is one of the nicest guys and as classy as it gets in the way he went about the whole thing and, go figure, made them pay at the end of that season. Let's not forget Pete Kendall, Chris Baker, and Leon Washington who management made promises to contractually but never followed through with. Long time Jets players, Shaun Ellis and Jericho Cotchery, played their hearts out for the team but were unceremoniously let go. Washington's wife even stated how happy she was that they were leaving the team and sarcastically tweeted "Good Luck paying the 20 people due contracts @ the end of the season. Lol," and "Thank You Jesus for getting us out of here." Not too long before Tebow came to town, the Jets signed Drew Stanton with the promise of being the backup quarterback to Mark Sanchez. Obviously Drew should have known that when making deals with the devil, promises will be broken. Stanton was traded to the Colts for a 6th round pick.

The hiring of his 2nd head coach, Rex Ryan, has delivered the most success in a 3 year span for this long suffering franchise. The well documented back to back championship game appearances in Ryan's first two years were a major accomplishment for this floundering franchise. Most of that credit, I believe, goes to the not so clairvoyant Ryan and not so much Mike Tannenbaum and the front office. His ability to see what transpires on the field is second to none and a freak when it comes to defensive schemes and blitz packages. The offense, on the other hand, has an ever-changing identity and instability similar to how this gm operates. Maybe it's time to start building through the draft and once in awhile trading down instead of trading up. Stockpile picks and keep your promises or don't make any. Take a cue from big brother, I mean big blue on what a little discipline can do for you. Two Super Bowl titles, two division titles for the Giants within the time frame Tannenbaum took control of the Jets. No Super Bowls and no division titles and that my friends, sums it up right there.

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