In 1997, the current general manager of the New York Jets, Mike Tannenbaum, was brought into the organization by the big Tuna himself, Bill Parcells. Tannenbaum, a Tulane Law School graduate, was brought in to manage the team's salary cap and handle contract negotiations.
Fast forward nine years and Tannenbaum goes from director of player contract negotiations to Jets' general manager.
There is no doubt that Tannenbaum is at the forefront in crunching salary cap numbers and negotiating contracts, but the problem is, Tannenbaum doesn't have a real football background.
How can he be considered a talent evaluator (which is one of the primary responsibilities of a GM), if he doesn't know what to look for in a player?
Yes, Tannenbaum has made some good moves as general manager of the Jets. He did complete a trade which brought in Braylon Edwards from the Cleveland Browns after three games into the 2009 season. He also was able to acquire former Super Bowl MVP, Santonio Holmes for a fifth round draft pick in 2010.
Unfortunately for Tannenbaum, the NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" type of business. Sure, the Jets did make it two consecutive AFC Championship games in 2009 and 2010, but failing to make the playoffs in 2011, the clock began ticking on Tannenbaum's career as the Jets' GM.
With the Jets struggling mightily through Weeks 1 and 2 of the preseason, gaping holes on the offensive line and injuries at the wide receiver position have dominated headlines in New York. That and, oh yeah, who can forget? Tim Tebow.
Tannenbaum brought Tebow in during the offseason, highlighting the team's only move on offense worth noting. The issue is, the Jets have a quarterback already who they just signed to an extension.
Where was the move to add depth to what was and has been a weak offensive line? What about adding a playmaker on offense, preferably someone to play opposite Holmes? These are the questions Tannenbaum will continue to face if the team doesn't perform well as the season gets underway.
One option is former Jet, Kareem McKenzie. McKenzie is currently a free agent who is in good health and looking to sign with a team as soon as possible. There's a cost effective option that math wizard Mike Tannenbaum shouldn't wait to pursue. You have to believe that McKenzie could come right in and send Wayne Hunter to the bench, thus alleviating the pressure on Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene.
Will Tannenbaum reach out to other teams in search of a trade to bolster the wide receiving unit or possibly strengthen the offensive line? It's obvious that the answers to the Jets problems aren't going to come from within, so the answer is quite simple-- he better.
Otherwise, it may be Tannenbaum who ends up a free agent in about five months.
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