New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan is reportedly resigned to only a one year contract extension that would run his deal through the 2015 season, if he gets one at all. It has been reported that the Jets and Rex Ryan are working on extending his contract, but Ryan and John Idzik weren't willing to discuss details at the team's season-ending press conference on Tuesday. Ryan's current contract runs through the end of the 2014 season.
It is rare for an NFL head coach to ever enter a season as a true "lame duck" without another year under contract following the conclusion of the season. As such, it is believed that the New York Jets and Rex Ryan are working on a contract extension, but only one additional year. That will run the contract for Rex Ryan through the end of the 2015 NFL season. The reluctance of Woody Johnson, John Idzik and the Jets to go beyond that is understandable and sets up 2014 as a true make-or-break year for Rex Ryan.
Ian Rapoport and Kim Jones have reported that the Jets are open to a one year extension with Rex Ryan:
"We won’t get into any contract talks or anything like that. But Rex and I talk every day. We’re joined at the hip. We have been since I arrived," John Idzik answered when pressed about an extension for Rex Ryan. "Certainly, the topic that is going to come up next is our staff."
Of course, tied to Rex Ryan and his contract situation are his assistants and their deals. Most notably, Dennis Thurman is among the assistants on staff whose contracts have expired. Expect Thurman to generate some interest around the NFL as a defensive coordinator candidate – linebackers coach Brian VanGorder has already been poached by Notre Dame to be their new defensive coordinator. Last season, both Bob Sutton and Mike Pettine moved on to take defensive coordinator jobs with the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills, respectively.
While Ryan was unwilling to make a specific statement on the status of Dennis Thurman, he hinted that he wants him back and expects the rest of the Jets hierarchy to take care of that quickly:
"Well again, I think when you look at it, just like I won’t discuss my contract, I’m certainly not going to discuss Dennis’ or anybody else’s contract. I think we all know how I feel about Dennis. I think Dennis has done a great job along with all the other coaches," Ryan explained on Tuesday. "I think it would be pretty clear what the Jets think of our coaches here in the next few days."
Expect the Jets to do their best to keep Dennis Thurman around for another season. It would likely be in the best interest of Thurman as well, as a second season working directly with Rex Ryan coordinating the defense should see his individual role increase a bit. That should elevate him once he does decide that he is interested in moving on and making his own mark as a defensive coordinator.
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