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Rex Ryan reportedly would welcome firing by Jets

  • By Kevin Patra NFL.com
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New York Jets coach Rex Ryan might want out of the circus.

Citing unnamed sources, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported Friday that Ryan has suggested to "anyone who would listen" that he'd prefer being fired if owner Woody Johnson doesn't rectify the player personnel and coaching issues on offense.

"If Woody's not willing to do what it takes to fix the team, then (Ryan) knows he's better off being fired," a team source told Mehta. "If Woody is willing to eat some money and spend to get us out of this mess, then it's worth staying."

Some of that money Johnson would have to eat would be paid to first-year offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. There also is the question of what to do about quarterback Mark Sanchez, whose enormous guaranteed contract will be a hindrance to any major overhaul.

Mehta also reported that regardless of the concerns, Ryan will not quit.

The timing of the report is interesting, with "Black Monday" looming just four days away, when several NFL coaches are sure to be fired. This could be Ryan setting up a pre-emptive defense of the Jets' poor season or merely a note to management pointing out the team's biggest area of concern in a not-so-subtle way.

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The Jets' offense is in need of retooling -- that was clear even before it lost its most dynamic player, wide receiver Santonio Holmes. Changes are near inevitable this offseason. The Daily News report indicates Ryan wants an offensive overhaul. However, unless Johnson promoted Sparano to head coach, that would happen if he fired Ryan anyway. The question is how much (if anything) Johnson will be willing to pay to start anew. Will he appease Ryan and change coordinators, fire him and his entire staff, or tell his employees to zip it and make it work?

If Ryan is fired, he would be one of the most sought-after coaches on the market. Yes, his bravado might turn off some suitors, but his coaching capability is unquestioned. And even if he didn't land one of the several coaching jobs that would open up, he'd be No. 1 on everyone's list for a defensive coordinator.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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