Right call on Rex Ryan's contract

Jets head coach Rex Ryan, left, speaks with

Jets head coach Rex Ryan, left, speaks with general manager John Idzik during Day 2 of team minicamp at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (June 12, 2013) (Credit: James Escher)

The Jets removed a potentially major distraction this past week by extending Rex Ryan's contract through at least the 2015 season. Less than a month after telling a raucous locker room after the Jets' season-ending win over the Dolphins in Miami, team owner Woody Johnson put his money where his mouth is by making sure Ryan didn't go into next season as a lame duck.

Ryan may not have received the long-term extension he might have wanted, but the extension can at least give both sides some breathing room as Ryan embarks on Year 2 of his partnership with general manager John Idzik.

It seemed like a good bet heading into the 2013 regular season that Ryan would part ways with the Jets, who were clearly in a rebuilding mode with Idzik at the controls of the personnel operation. But the two men, both sons of former Jets assistant coaches, shared unique bonds as the season progressed. And by finishing 8-8 with a rookie quarterback and a revamped defense, Ryan proved he could coach up his young team and make it more competitive than almost anyone outside the locker room might have imagined.

Now he gets to go into next season without the constant speculation about his future. And should things come apart for some reason in 2014, then Johnson and Idzik still have the flexibility to make a change if it becomes necessary.

We suspect that won't be the case, because Ryan has the unswerving allegiance of his players, and with plenty of inspired play from so many of his younger players, it stands to reason this team will remain competitive in 2014. It's certainly a gamble worth taking for a coach who did a good job under adverse circumstances.

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