The New York Jets' season is nearly over. The behind-the-scenes games are just getting started.
Rex Ryan would welcome being fired as Jets coach if owner Woody Johnson doesn't revamp the team's offensive staff and personnel, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. The story sure looks like a power play from Ryan. The disgruntled defensive coach is playing offense.
Numerous scenarios were laid out in the report, and they didn't get on the page by accident. A possible buyout of Ryan's contract could make both parties happy. Sources also said Ryan would be "amenable" to working in television for a year. Really. Maybe he'll replace Jon Gruden at ESPN. (Kidding. I think.)
"The million-dollar question is how much dead money is Woody willing to absorb for 2013 with front office, coaches and players?" a source told Mehta. "If Woody's not willing to spend, then (Ryan) would want out. He'd be a lame duck. Anybody would want out."
There are a lot of potential motivations for this report coming out. Some might see it as Ryan trying to make a potential firing look better. (The "I wanted out anyway" approach.) We suspect something much different.
Johnson probably doesn't want to fire Ryan, and Ryan knows it. Ryan doesn't want to leave either, but he wants things done a certain way.
The Jets' front office and offense remain a mess, but Ryan is a good head coach overall and has a reasonable salary. He has been good for the organization. Ryan wants changes to the offensive staff (so long, Tony Sparano) and it sure sounds like he wants more help on personnel. Ryan also wants Johnson ready to spend big, as if that always solved problems.
Despite the Jets' record, Ryan still has leverage and power within the organization. He's trying to exercise that power through the media.
This looks like a pre-emptive strike by Rex before the real fun starts Monday.
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.