NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was a common refrain after Rex Ryan signed a multi-year contract extension this offseason: if the New York Jets don’t make the playoffs in 2014, well, it was nice knowing you.
But Ryan won’t be operating under any such guillotine, according to Kristian Dyer of Metro New York. He’ll have a legitimate shot to stick around on his new contract, postseason or not.
“Rex isn’t on any hot seat and there is no playoff mandate even though he thinks and management thinks we can make the playoffs. That’s the goal every year,” a team source told Metro. “But it isn’t postseason or bust for him. There are a lot of factors that go into it.”
The contract is loaded with playoff-based incentives and Ryan’s salary is only guaranteed through 2015, multiple reports said after the deal was announced in January. Ryan had one year remaining on a contract he reworked in 2010.
Ryan was lauded for leading the team to an 8-8 record in 2013 despite many in the media predicting New York would be among the bottom of the barrel in the NFL.
Metro’s source said there’s “an understanding” that Ryan is “very much in the second year of a rebuilding project.” The Jets are hoping quarterback Geno Smith takes the next step following an up-and-down rookie season. Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick was added this offseason to mentor and possibly challenge Smith for the starting job.
“(It) isn’t as simple as, ‘Make the playoffs or you get fired, Rex,’” the source told Metro. “It isn’t that simple. There’s a good working relationship with (general manager John Idzik), they get along very well and Rex is clearly on John’s page. To say that he’s on thin ice or there’s a playoff mandate simply isn’t true. Far more goes into the decision than that. He won’t be judged solely on the basis of if he led the team to the playoffs or not.”
Ryan is 42-38 in five seasons and 4-2 in the postseason with the Jets. He started his tenure with consecutive AFC Championship game appearances but has missed the playoffs the past three seasons.
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