Could One Player Determine Mike Tannenbaum’s Fate?


Sep 25, 2011; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum during the game against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

The last few years have been up and down for Mike Tannenbaum. For all the good picks in the draft he has made, there have been a fair number of busts as well. A guy named Gholston comes to mind, for example.

If you aren’t convinced, Mike also drafted Vladimir Ducasse recently.

The trade for Tim Tebow brought the offseason for the Jets to a head. If there has ever been a polarizing issue to hit the Gang Green, this is it. As such, a lot of people believe that this could potentially be Mike Tannenbaum’s final year with the Jets, if things don’t go well

I submit that this is true, but not because of Tim Tebow. There is another guy that could determine Mike’s fate, all by himself. Turn the page to find out who.

October 2, 2011; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Jets tackle Wayne Hunter (78) against the Baltimore Ravens at M

Wayne Hunter. Yes, Wayne Hunter, every defensive end’s dream, every Jets fan’s nightmare.

You can’t take away from Mike, the players he has acquired this offseason. He worked hard to improve the Jets pass rush, a dire need. He added safety help through the draft, as well as with veterans Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry. They may have acquired the steal of the draft in Demario Davis.

Even the coaching changes have been solid. Acquring Karl Dunbar to work with the defensive line, with the success he has had in his past, was a great move.

But, the offensive line is projected to go into the season exactly the same as it did last year. And that could be a problem.

The reasons for feeling this way is obvious. We all watched Wayne Hunter play in 2011, we know how terrible he played.

The Jets have recommitted to the ground and pound, which puts a premium on the play of the offensive line. The new offensive line coach believes in Wayne Hunter. When Hunter was a free agent, Tony Sparano was interested in acquiring him to play in Miami. Clearly, these two see something in Wayne Hunter.

Could this faith be part of the reason that Tannenbaum didn’t really improve the position this offseason? Maybe. Are these guys right about Hunter? Obviously we will find out soon enough.

They had better be right, or it could cost Mike Tannenbaum his job.

That’s a lot of responsibility on one player. Especially that player.