John Idzik

Jaguars Hire Tom Gamble, Part Ways With John Idzik

Jacksonville’s Urban Meyer-led operation continues to take shape, and a familiar face has resumed working with GM Trent Baalke in the front office. The Jaguars hired former 49ers assistant GM Tom Gamble, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio tweets.

Baalke and Gamble were together in San Francisco for several years, and the latter will return to right-hand-man status in an NFL front office. Gamble spent last season with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes.

Shad Khan interviewed Gamble for the GM job Dave Caldwell landed in 2013. Gamble ended up with the Eagles that year but spent most of his modern NFL tenure with the 49ers. Baalke and Gamble worked together in San Francisco from 2005-12 and again from 2015-16, with Gamble holding titles of assistant GM and director of player personnel. Baalke has not specified Gamble’s current title.

Gamble’s arrival coincides with the departure of former Jets GM John Idzik, who had been working in the Jags’ front office since 2015. Operating as special assistant to the GM with an emphasis on salary cap-related responsibilities, Idzik will follow Caldwell out of Jacksonville, Mike Garafolo of tweets. Idzik, who served as Jets GM from 2013-14, has been an NFL exec since 1996.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Idzik, Fitzpatrick, Steelers

Former Jets general manager John Idzik will be headed back to New York this weekend when his current team, the Jaguars, takes on his former team. The current special assistant won’t be talking to the media, but Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post wonders if the executive will feel a bit jealous at his former employer’s current success.

Of course, some in the organization recognize Idzik’s contribution to this current squad.

“I’m sure Idzik wants to come here and just stick it in our [butts],’’ said linebacker Trevor Reilly. “I would, too, if I was him. But he drafted me. He drafted a lot of us in here. You always say you hope for the best for the guy, but obviously not this week. I don’t think Idzik’s a bad guy. I’m grateful he drafted me. I might not be here if he didn’t.

“Some of the moves we’ve made this season I’m assuming Mike [Maccagnan] would credit Idzik for — for clearing cap space the last two seasons. So, in that aspect, I guess we as a team can thank Idzik for clearing all that cap space. I think we were $25 million under the cap last year.’’

Let’s check out some more notes from the AFC…

AFC East Notes: Wayne, Jets, Bills

There was a mixed reaction among league executives to reports that veteran wideout Reggie Wayne visited the Patriots, tweets Albert Breer of the NFL Network.

“He’ll be in great shape – always takes car of himself,” said one AFC executive. “Tremendous pro and teammate. Health has been issue past two years. Great hands and routes. Did not have a lot left in his legs last year and struggled. Will struggle vs press – very savvy vs zone. New England has history of getting some production out of players like him.”

“Possession guy with hands and savviness but loss of speed and explosiveness evident,” said another AFC exec. “Maybe as a role player, but don’t see him as a starter solution.”

Let’s check out some more notes from around the AFC East…

  • Colts coach Chuck Pagano was thrilled that Wayne may get an opportunity to play this season. “I think that’s great for Reg,” Pagano said (via’s Mike Wells on Twitter). “Happy they’re looking at him and there’s an opportunity.”
  • While John Idzik‘s tenure with the Jets has certainly been scrutinized, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News writes that he may have found a pair of diamonds in the rough. Cornerback Marcus Williams and wideout Quincy Enunwa were both under-the-radar pickups by the former general manager, and the players are set to contribute in 2015.
  • Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus has continued to complain about his contract situation, and Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News has some of the player’s comments following last night’s game. “They’re making it hard,” said Dareus, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract. “And it’s just really making me unhappy. I feel like they don’t really want me here…We’re still waiting. I feel like they don’t want me here as bad as I want to be here, as bad as the fans and my team wants me here. I feel like they’re saying, ‘Whatever. You come a dime a dozen.’”

AFC Notes: Broncos, Idzik, Jags, S. Smith

In a Wednesday mailbag, a reader asked Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post why the Broncos didn’t make more of a push to sign La’el Collins. According to Renck, the lack of a resolution for Collins’ potential criminal case gave Denver pause during the draft — the team shied away from him in the seventh round more because of that uncertainty, not because of the lineman’s vow that he wouldn’t report if he was drafted on Day 3.

Once Collins became a free agent, he narrowed his choices rather quickly to teams with proven quarterbacks, coaches and line coaches. Denver offered all of those things, but Collins didn’t want to play in cold weather and wanted a team close to home, leading him to the Cowboys.

Of course, given today’s news on Ryan Clady‘s torn ACL, the Broncos may be regretting not rolling the dice on Collins with one of their seventh-round picks.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Former Jets general manager John Idzik, hired back in February as a consultant by the Jaguars, has been named to a full-time position of special assistant to the general manager, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. “He’ll do a little bit of everything,” GM Dave Caldwell said of Idzik. “He’s a great cultural fit for us. He has a great understanding of the salary cap and the different ways to do a contract.” As O’Halloran writes, the Jags also promoted Chris Polian to director of player personnel and Chris Driggers to director of pro personnel.
  • Ravens wideout Steve Smith said he didn’t really contemplate retiring after last season, but he knows he won’t play forever, or even until he’s 40, like Jerry Rice (Twitter links via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun). Smith turned 36 earlier this month.
  • Browns third-round running back Duke Johnson wasn’t in attendance when the team’s OTAs got underway this week. However, according to Mary Kay Cabot of, it’s because of a personal matter rather than anything contract-related. Johnson is the only one of Cleveland’s 12 draftees who remains unsigned.
  • Titans running back Bishop Sankey was a bit of a disappointment in his rookie season, but the Titans are betting he’ll be better following some offseason strength training, Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean writes.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Jaguars To Hire John Idzik As Consultant

The Jaguars are expected to hire former Jets GM John Idzik as a consultant, a source tells Adam Schefter of (on Twitter). Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (on Twitter) hears from a source that Idzik will focus on focus on the salary cap and cash spending. Idzik will consult Tim Walsh, the team’s Director of Football Administration, in the Jags’ salary cap department, O’Halloran tweets.

The position sounds well-suited to Idzik, who made his name as a cap guru with the Seahawks but fell flat as the GM of the Jets. Idzik isn’t the most popular guy in the New York area, but recently Seahawks GM John Schneider told the press that he doesn’t think Idzik got a fair shake in New York.

I felt bad for him. I think that, it’s just my personal opinion that you should be able to hire a head coach,” the Seattle GM said back in January.

After two bad seasons in New York, it’ll be a while – if ever – before we see Idzik land another GM job in the NFL. However, this job will give him the opportunity to get back to doing what he does best. Rich Cimini of hears that he won’t have any involvement in player evaluation.

Jets Notes: Revis, Quinn, Bowles, Idzik

On Tuesday at media day, Darrelle Revis was asked it must be like for a Jets fan to watch him play on game’s biggest stage after making a name for himself for his first six seasons in New York. Revis didn’t have much in the way of consolation for fans of Gang Green. “€œIt’€™s not really my fault,” Revis said, according to Mike Petraglia of “I didn’€™t make the call. Management made the call at that time and they felt it was best to get rid of me. So that’€™s the situation. That’€™s how I look at it.” More on the Jets..

  • The Jets were heavily interested in Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn for their head coaching vacancy, but they were never completely convinced that they were No. 1 on his wish list, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News writes. Meanwhile, Todd Bowles clicked with new GM Mike Maccagnan and owner Woody Johnson felt comfortable with the former Cardinals defensive coordinator.
  • Seahawks GM John Schneider doesn’t think that John Idzik got a fair shake in New York. “I felt bad for him. I think that, it’s just my personal opinion that you should be able to hire a head coach,” the Seattle GM said, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post (on Twitter).
  • Veteran tight ends coach Jimmie Johnson told some coaching colleagues that he’s joining the Jets staff to coach their tight ends, according to Adam Caplan of (on Twitter).
  • Three offensive position coaches have been named to Bowles’ coaching staff according to an announcement on Tuesday — Steve Marshall as offensive line coach, Kevin Patullo as quarterbacks coach, and Marcel Shipp as running backs coach.

Jets To Fire Rex Ryan, John Idzik

MONDAY, 7:30am: The Jets have officially informed Ryan he has been fired, tweets Jay Glazer of FOX Sports. The Jets themselves have confirmed as much (via Twitter), adding that Idzik’s firing has been made official as well.

SUNDAY, 11:10pm: Not that this should come as much of a surprise as Black Monday approaches in the NFL, but the Jets and owner Woody Johnson are prepared to fire head coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik, according to Chris Mortenson of ESPN (via Twitter).

Mortenson writes that Idzik will be fired as expected, and that Johnson will not keep Ryan hanging as to wait on the next general manager to decide that.

In the recent days, Pro Football Rumors has monitored the situation with the Jets’ head coach and front office very closely, constantly updating on the hirings Johnson has made and the general feeling surrounding both Ryan and Idzik.

Ryan was 45-50 as head coach of the Jets, including this disastrous 2014 season which saw the team win only four games. In his first two seasons, Ryan and quarterback Mark Sanchez won four road playoff games en route to back-to-back appearances in the AFC Championship game.

It was reported over the weekend that Johnson’s consultants had already made calls concerning available coach and general manager candidates, so the move does not come as a shock.

Ryan will be a highly desired coach on the open market this offseason, according to Jason Fitzgerald of (via Twitter). Fitzgerald does believe Ryan will do better long term if he sits out a year before coming back to coaching.

A PFR poll tallied in mid-October had a majority of readers believing Ryan would most likely be working in TV in 2015, but a significant number thought he would still be coaching in the NFL somewhere, with those votes split amongst a few teams.

Atlanta seems like the obvious fit, and after being embarrassed today against the Panthers and failing to make the playoffs, Mike Smith could be out as head coach there. Owner Arthur Blank reportedly considered Ryan a front runner back when that job was open in the first place.

Idzik’s tenure with the Jets was far less celebrated, lasting only two seasons with the team. It would be difficult to imagine him achieving another general manager job in the NFL anytime soon, but he could go back to Seattle – where he had past success – or pursue another front office job with an NFL team.

Jets Notes: Idzik, Wolf, Casserly, Wilkerson

The Jets have an 8 A.M. meeting scheduled for tomorrow, reports Brian Costello of the New York Post (via Twitter). Any changes the team plans on making should be announced by that time.

Here is a look at some of those potential changes and the fallout that will come from them:

  • While John Idzik seems like a very good bet to be fired now that the Jets’ season is over, he has left his successor in a position to succeed, writes Seth Walder of the New York Daily News. The next general manager will take over a team that will be flushed with cap space, and the job could actually be an attractive situation for a potential candidate.
  • Former Packers’ general manager Ron Wolf will be joining Charlie Casserly on the Jets’ staff as a consultant, confirms Rich Cimini of (via Twitter). Wolf and Casserly will assist Woody Johnson in the search for the next general manager and head coach.
  • Casserly could be interested in Vikings’ George Paton as a candidate for the general manager job, writes Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (via Twitter).
  • One of the first orders of business for the Jets’ next general manager will be to begin negotiations with Muhammad Wilkerson on a long-term contract, writes Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (via Twitter). La Canfora says it would be unlikely that he plays out his fifth-year option.

AFC East Notes: Rex, Dolphins, Patriots

We’ve already passed along the news of front office executive Nick Caserio’s extension with the Patriots and a batch of Jets notes, but there’s more news from the AFC East…

  • As we’ve heard, the Jets are expected to fire GM John Idzik this week, but Rex Ryan might still have a chance to save his job. According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, the Jets are open to letting the club’s next general manager decide Ryan’s fate. Ryan hasn’t been told that he’s fired, but he’s already cleared out his office. And per Jay Glazer of Fox Sports (link via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk), New York contacted Ryan’s agent to determine the interest of a separate client in the Jets job, so it would be a surprise to see Ryan return.
  • Sources tell Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald that Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle’s performance will be assessed after season, leading to speculation that he could be let go. Head coach Joe Philbin declined to give Coyle a vote of confidence last week after it was announced that Philbin would return to Miami in 2015. Under Coyle’s leadership, the Fins finished 10th in defensive DVOA, but 19th in weighted DVOA, meaning the unit got weaker as the year progressed. In a separate piece, Salguero speculates that Ryan could be a fit as the club’s new DC.
  • As Joel Corry of CBS Sports points out (on Twitter), Patriots quarterback Tom Brady‘s base salaries for 2015-17, which total $24MM, are now guaranteed for injury and skill because he’s on New England’s roster for Week 17.
  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe lauds the work done by Bill Belichick, noting that Patriots head man has excelled both in his coaching responsibilities and his front office role. While allowing that this year’s draft class hasn’t produced much so far, Volin writes that nearly every free agent signing or trade orchestrated by Belichick has worked out this season.
  • Deep into his Sunday notes piece, Volin rounds up the various performance escalators that are on the line for several key Patriots today.
  • After speaking with agent Brian Ayrault, Florio reports (via Twitter) that Ayrault won’t be taking a job with the Bills. Florio had speculated as much earlier in the day.

Jets Notes: Idzik, Ryan, GM Candidates

The 3-12 Jets will take on the Dolphins later today, and it’s probably the last contest general manager John Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan will enjoy under the employ of Gang Green. According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (Twitter link), owner Woody Johnson is expected to “hit the reset button,” and start the search for the duo’s replacements tomorrow. Ryan could be fired tonight, tweets Ian Rapoport of, who says Ryan is so sure he’s being axed that he’s been joking about it with colleagues. Here’s more from New York.

  • While Idzik was regarded as more of a financial whiz when he was hired, the Jets are expected to find a more personnel-driven general manager this time around, says Rapoport (link via his colleague Connor Orr). Before Idzik was selected, New York sought football men like Dave Caldwell (who took the Jaguars job instead), but most were leery of the Jets’ difficult cap situation. The problem during this hiring cycle, says Rapoport, might NY’s lack of a quarterback — one GM candidate has reportedly “expressed some nervousness” about Geno Smith and the lack of talent at the position.
  • Rapoport also tosses out (via Twitter) some names to look for when the Jets do begin their GM search. George Paton (Vikings), Ryan Pace (Saints), Trent Kirchner (Seahawks), Will McClay (Cowboys) are all candidates to be interviewed by New York, although Brian Costello notes (Twitter link) that the Jets were interested in Paton during their last GM hiring, but Paton turned them down.
  • Mehta adds (via Twitter) yet another potential general manger candidate: Chris Ballard of the Chiefs. However, insiders feel that Ballard would prefer join the Bears in the event that position is opened.
  • As Rich Cimini of writes, the new Jets GM will have a top-six draft pick and more than $40MM in cap space to work with, meaning that the job could be viewed as attractive through the right lens. However, the new hire will have a lot of work to do in order to reshape a roster that lacks impact talent, and Cimini provides a to-do list that includes finding a franchise quarterback, making a decision on Percy Harvin, and adding cornerback depth.