Super Bowls may not be won in March, but general manager John Idzik’s rigid and methodical style already is wearing thin within the walls at One Jets Drive after the Giants out-smarted and out-maneuvered him to land free-agent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on Monday.
The Jets, in desperate need of a quality cornerback, squandered a golden opportunity to lock up Rodgers-Cromartie, who was the best available player at his position. DRC visited the Jets Friday and Saturday, but Idzik, whose deliberate style has drawn criticism across the league and within his own organization since the start of free agency last week, couldn’t close the deal.
One member of the organization admitted that Idzik “operates on his own time and schedule.”
“It’s unbelievable,” the Jets source incredulously told the Daily News.
The Giants pounced on the chance to sign the 27-year-old Rodgers-Cromartie, who came off a standout season with the Broncos. The Jets, who have $27.9 million of salary cap space, according to NFLPA records, made a desperate 11th-hour offer, but it was too late. DRC had already agreed to play for the other team in town.
It was the latest example of an inexperienced general manager’s run through free agency.
The Jets had a glaring need in the secondary after cutting Antonio Cromartie last week. DRC, a press, man-to-man cover corner, would have been an ideal replacement in Rex Ryan’s defensive scheme. Sources close to Ryan admitted that he wasn’t pleased at all that the Jets couldn’t land DRC.
The Jets’ top three cornerbacks — Dee Milliner, Kyle Wilson and Darrin Walls—aren’t scaring anyone. Cromartie, who visited the Cardinals last week, is still available, but there are concerns about his decline in production last season due to a nagging hip ailment. According to Cromartie, who will turn 30 next month, the Jets didn’t even give him an option to come back at a reduced rate before cutting him.
Idzik made a run at cornerback Vontae Davis at the outset of free agency, but the GM’s lack of flexibility in negotiations prompted the Jets to miss out on the cornerback, according to sources. Idzik didn’t return a message from The News seeking comment about the matter.
High-level Jets personnel also had discussions with the Darrelle Revis camp, but Idzik specifically wasn’t involved in those talks, according to sources. He wasn’t interested in bringing back the most indispensable piece of Ryan’s defense from 2009-2012.
Idzik’s methods haven’t just become grating within the building. People across the league describe him as a stubborn negotiator who has difficulty finalizing deals.
It took two months to complete in-house free-agent tight end Jeff Cumberland’s relatively straightforward three-year contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.
One league source said Idzik works at “glacial speed.” Another person who has dealt with Idzik through the years says he’s “way too deliberate” and has difficulty meeting in the middle for deals.
“They’re slow,” said a person who negotiated with the Jets in the past week. “John’s going to be very meticulous. He’s going to allow the market to come to him rather than him go out and create the market.”
The Jets, coming off an 8-8 season, are not in all-in mode like the Broncos, but they supposedly have a win-now mind-set. They’re not entering a rebuilding season. Ryan can’t afford to miss the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season.
Idzik promised an aggressive approach to free agency, according to his co-workers, but the Jets have done little except add wide receiver Eric Decker, a solid addition to a poor wide receiving corps, and made a lateral move, at best, by replacing right tackle Austin Howard with Breno Giacomini.
Some player reps felt like the Jets had questionable practices when the league’s three-day negotiating window opened 10 days ago. “There was interest… but at what level?” said one agent, who spoke to the Jets brass during free agency. “It wasn’t the level that they had led on.”
The Jets brass actually apologized to at least one player-rep after the team misled him in their interest level, according to a source.
Idzik has attended at least two Pro Days since the start of free agency. Although that doesn’t necessarily preclude him from closing a deal, it has interfered with the free-agent visit schedules.
Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was originally going to visit the team’s Florham Park facility last Friday, but Idzik’s decision to go to Texas Tech Pro Day precluded the player from making the trip. Sanders eventually signed with the Broncos.
Idzik didn’t return a message from the News about the matter.
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Source : http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/jets/glacial-idzik-toasted-jets-gm-ripped-cb-article-1.1725044