- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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The New York Jets locked up coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum with contract extensions through 2014, the team announced Friday.
The timing is sure to raise eyebrows, considering three of the Jets' best players -- cornerback Darrelle Revis, center Nick Mangold and linebacker David Harris -- have been trying for months to negotiate long-term extensions. Revis is so disgruntled that he's strongly weighing a training-camp holdout.
The Tannenbaum deal was completed in June, but it wasn't announced until Friday, when word of Ryan's extension had leaked to the media. Tannenbaum, one of the league's top young executives, received a five-year contract when he was hired in 2006 as the GM. He enhanced his résumé in recent years with several big personnel moves, including the draft-day trade for quarterback Mark Sanchez in 2009.
Wanting to keep Ryan on equal footing with Tannenbaum, owner Woody Johnson added two years to Ryan's contract, ensuring his coach-GM tandem will stay together for at least five years -- unless, of course, somebody gets fired.
"Our franchise is heading in the right direction and I believe that continuity is important," Johnson said in a statement. "Mike and Rex have demonstrated the passion, commitment, and expertise to get us to our ultimate goal: winning a Super Bowl."
Ryan's original deal was four years, $11.5 million.
It isn't clear if Ryan approached management about re-working his contract or vice versa. Coming off last season's unexpected playoff run, the popular coach was in a strong position for bargaining.
It might seem unusual to extend a coach after one season, but it's not unprecedented for the Jets. Johnson extended Herm Edwards after making the playoffs in 2001. Interestingly, he didn't do it for Eric Mangini after he reached the playoffs as a rookie coach in 2006.
Ryan and Tannenbaum are a bit of an odd couple, but Ryan believes that's what makes the relationship work so well.
"I have a great general manager that balances me out," he told an interviewer recently. "He has so much attention to detail, where I might be, 'Ah, don't worry about that [crap], it's overrated.' He's perfect; he's right there for me. ... I'm more big picture and, 'We're going to do things by blunt-force trauma.' Mike balances me out. He's articulate, he's everything. He's an amazing guy. Together, we're a heck of a team."
20hBy Ian O'Connor