Rex Ryan reportedly would welcome firing by Jets

By Kevin Patra
Updated: Dec. 28, 2012 at 06:47 a.m.

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan might want out of the circus.

Citing unnamed sources, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported on Friday that Ryan has suggested to "anyone who would listen" he would prefer being fired if owner Woody Johnson doesn't rectify the player personnel and coaching issues on offense.

"If Woody's not willing to do what it takes to fix the team, then (Ryan) knows he's better off being fired," a team source told Mehta. "If Woody is willing to eat some money and spend to get us out of this mess, then it's worth staying."

Some of that money Johnson would have to eat would be paid to first-year offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. There is also the question of what to do about quarterback Mark Sanchez, whose enormous guaranteed contract will be a hindrance to any major overhaul.

Mehta also reports that regardless of the concerns, Ryan will not quit.

The timing of the report is interesting, with "Black Monday" looming four days away, when several NFL coaches are sure to be fired. This could be Ryan setting up a pre-emptive defense of the Jets' poor season, or merely a note to management pointing out the team's biggest area of concern in a not-so-subtle way.

The Jets' offense is in need of retooling -- that was clear even before it lost its most dynamic player in Santonio Holmes. Changes are near inevitable this offseason. The Daily News report indicates the coach wants an offensive overhaul. However, unless Johnson promoted Sparano to head coach, that would happen if he fired Ryan anyway. The question is how much (if anything) Johnson will be willing to pay to start anew. Will he appease Ryan and change coordinators, fire him an his entire staff, or tell his employees to zip it and make it work?

If Ryan is fired, he would be one of the most sought-after coaches on the market. Yes, his bravado may turn off some suitors, but his coaching capability is unquestioned. And even if he didn't land one of the several coaching jobs that would open up, he'd be No. 1 on everyone's list for a defensive coordinator.