The NFL regular season is over, but the circus has not left town in New York.
The coach and the owner of the New York Jets are out of town this week. (The New York Daily News cover Thursday: Rex on the beach. Owner Woody Johnson returns Friday.) The assistants under Rex Ryan remain in limbo, with offensive coordinator Tony Sparano expected to be showed the door. Ryan has been assured he's keeping his job, but his power surely will be diminished.
ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini reported that Ryan will not be involved whatsoever in interviews to determine the next general manager. That reportedly is making Ryan "anxious" and raising doubts again about his future. He could be working for a relative stranger who has no use for him long term, like Lovie Smith did in Chicago last year under general manager Phil Emery.
Everything is backwards. The same website reported that Ryan is interested in Norv Torner as the Jets' next offensive coordinator. Even though Sparano remains in place. The Jets' mess has even filtered down to the folks that cover them. The Sparano story has ESPN on tilt.
"While many fans and media have speculated that Sparano will be fired after one season with the Jets, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press the Jets have not made a decision on the status of Sparano," the story reads on ESPNNewYork.com.
That "media speculation" was a strong report from ESPN's top NFL reporter.
Meanwhile, Ryan should have control of his own coaching staff. That's in his contract. Yet he told his staff his hands are tied, likely until the team has a new GM.
This franchise desperately needs a direction. Ryan insists he doesn't want out, but he probably should.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.