Omar Khan's name has entered the mix for the Jets in their general manager search. Khan is Pittsburgh's Director of Football and Business Administration. In addition to having other responsibilities, he is the team's chief negotiator and runs the cap. He spent four prior years with the New Orelans Saints where he had roles assisting offensive coaches and pro scouts, which gives him a degree of football experience.
After the Mike Tannenbaum experience blew up in the Jets' face, a lot of fans are understandably reluctant to see the team look at another capologist. I'm going to do my best to explain why I think Khan is a good candidate despite these valid concerns. Reason number one would be the quality of their work. Tannenbaum might be a cap specialist, but he's terrible at it. The Jets are around $20 million over the cap with bad contracts all over the place and holes all over the roster. The Steelers are $10 million over the cap themselves, but they should be able to get under it without gutting the roster. They have a very good team built. They don't have Mark Sanchez type contracts that litter what the Jets have. There's a difference between the two cap situations. When you have used up your cap space and have as many holes as the Jets have, you have done a bad job with the cap. When you have used up your cap space and have a team as good as the Steelers, you have maximized your resources.
I understand that people would in an ideal world want a general manager with more of a personnel background. For what it is worth, Khan did do some personnel work in New Orleans. There are also indications he had a hand it in with the Steelers to some extent. This article by former NFL quarterback and current football analyst Brock Huard says he deserves credit for Pittsburgh uncovering Ike Taylor and Larry Foote. It isn't just about the skills the general manager has. It is also about the staff he surrounds himself with. Think about it. A general manager has to deal with so many big picture things, college scouting, pro scouting, negotiations, dealing with the cap, thinking for the future, etc. He can't know it all. He has to delegate much of the heavy lifting to others. Khan is probably going to bring in people from the Steelers to help with player evaluation. He won't lean on Terry Bradway. He will want people he knows.
If you don't believe me that Khan is a stellar candidate who has done a great job assembling a roster while keeping top end talent at sensible prices, go to a better source. SB Nation's Steelers blog, Behind the Steel Curtain, has this to say about Khan's interview with the Jets.
While all would wish him the best personally, every person associated with the Steelers organization will be praying Khan oversleeps and misses his scheduled interview time.