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Rex Ryan: Jets owner wanted to keep me for 20 years

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Rex Ryan saw last year what the rest of us did: The curious inaction of the Jets' front office doomed him in his final season in Gotham.

The new Bills coach spoke frankly about the end of his six-year run with the Jets in an interview to air next week on HBO's Real Sports.

"I knew we weren't gonna have a good team when we never did anything in free agency," Ryan told Andrea Kremer. "I knew that."

Every game, all season

Ryan said he was "100 percent" certain he was done before the Jets played a down last season. He remains extremely close with team owner Woody Johnson and believes the media "wouldn't allow" Johnson to keep Ryan and after the team fired unpopular general manager John Idzik.

"We talk like brothers. I know Woody never wanted to fire me," Ryan said. "I could've been his coach for 20 years, that's what Woody wanted. There's no question Woody wanted that."

If you watched HBO's tease before the season premiere of Hard Knocks on Tuesday, you know that Ryan gets emotional talking about his exit from New York. At one point in the interview he stands up to collect himself.

Is it just me, or is it not totally crazy to think that the door is slightly open for Ryan to one day return to the Jets? We haven't seen that since the days of George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin in New York, but Ryan's relationship with the owner -- and his flair for the dramatic -- shouldn't be overlooked.

File this interview away for future reference. Ryan's sit down with Real Sports premieres next Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast features the gang sharing their takeaways on the start of the preseason.

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