The contract includes one additional guaranteed year through 2015 and future unguaranteed years, Rapoport was told. Sources informed of the extension labeled it "window dressing," serving both as the short-term extension New York wanted while appearing, superficially, like a long-term pact for Rex.
New York has the option to get out of the contract before it concludes, but the extension essentially lifts Ryan's lame-duck status for next season.
Before Thursday, Ryan had one year left on his current deal and wasn't expected to receive the long-term agreement he coveted on the heels of an 8-8 campaign that left Gang Green out of the playoffs for a third consecutive season.
Instead, the Jets are opting for a dose of continuity, retaining the fiery leader who held the locker room together in 2013 despite season-long rumors he'd be sent packing.
It's a wise move for a Jets team that continued to shine on defense this season with a core of young talent that should allow New York to compete for years to come. It's hard to blame Ryan -- one of the game's brightest defensive minds -- for the team's milquetoast offense, wholly absent of weapons and guided by an uneven quarterback prospect in Geno Smith.
During a month that's seen too many teams reboot the machine with uninspiring coaching hires, the Jets have come to appreciate what they have in Rex.