Woody Johnson widens search for general manager

Woody Johnson talks to the media during a

Woody Johnson talks to the media during a the Jets' end-of-season press conference. (Jan. 8, 2013) (Credit: David Pokress)

While other NFL teams have begun securing high-profile pieces for their front-office staffs, the Jets appear to be in limbo.

A day after they announced Mike Pettine wouldn't return, ESPN reported Wednesday that their former defensive coordinator had been hired by AFC East rival Buffalo. But before the Jets can announce Pettine's replacement -- or Tony Sparano's successor on offense -- they must get a new general manager in place. Only the Browns and Chiefs also are without one.

After losing out on two potential candidates, owner Woody Johnson has decided to widen his search. Reports Wednesday night said the Jets will interview former Bears general manager Jerry Angelo and Steelers executive Omar Khan Thursday and Seattle executive John Idzik Friday.

Dolphins assistant GM Brian Gaine is reportedly interviewing with the Jets this week. A league source confirmed that Chargers director of player personnel Jimmy Raye III has been given permission to interview with the Jets. But it's unclear whether the interview will take place.

New Chargers GM Tom Telesco told the San Diego Union-Tribune he "absolutely, positively would love [to have Raye] back."

Raye, whose father, Jimmy Raye II, is a former Jets offensive assistant and running backs coach, was one of two finalists for San Diego's GM job. But Wednesday the Chargers announced the hiring of Telesco, formerly the Colts' director of player personnel.

The Jets had asked permission to speak to Telesco this week, according to NFL Network. The Jets also were snubbed by Falcons director of player personnel Dave Caldwell, who took the Jaguars' GM job hours after interviewing at the Jets' facility.

Despite speculation that 49ers director of player personnel Tom Gamble was the front-runner for the Jets, the many additions to the candidate pool suggest Johnson isn't close to naming a GM.

Gaine worked a few years for Bill Parcells in the Jets' college scouting department and as manager of pro player development. He was an aide to Parcells when he coached the Cowboys, and went to Miami after Parcells and Jeff Ireland left Dallas.

Besides Gamble, in-house assistant GM Scott Cohen and Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross still are being considered.

Although Johnson wouldn't discuss specific candidates, he confirmed at Tuesday's news conference that keeping Rex Ryan as coach was a prerequisite for the next GM.

"We're looking at somebody that can guide us to the next level of success and really change the dynamic in a way that yields more consistent success on the field," Johnson said.

" . . . All I can say is that the people we're talking to are exceptionally good and each one of them brings something different, as well as internal candidates. So I'm very encouraged by what I'm seeing so far."

Tebow: No Jets regrets. Tim Tebow deflected questions about his NFL future in an interview on Fox Business Network. The Jets backup quarterback, who is a spokesman for TiVo, maintained he has no regrets about coming to New York.

"I believe everything happens for a reason," Tebow said at an electronics show in Las Vegas. "I don't know what my future holds, but I know who holds my future, and in that there is a lot of peace and a lot of comfort."

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