I came across a year old article about John Idzik first published by Newsday shortly before the 2013 NFL draft. It contains insight from a variety of sources who have worked most closely with John Idzik prior to the Jets hiring him. I do not post this in order to defend or attack Mr. Idzik. These quotes are simply presented to afford everyone, during the current raging Idzik Wars, a means of perhaps better understanding what the Jets GM is doing and why. Make your own judgments whether the Idzik described here is a good or bad thing for the Jets. You can find the full text of the article here.
Idzik's response when asked by Newsday whether he had any concerns about being viewed negatively if he traded Revis:
"I don't look at it like that. I never look at it as how I am being viewed. That does not enter my mind, to be honest. It is really all about the Jets and any decision we make, especially those of very high magnitude, we are going to put a lot of thought into. We are going to do what is best for the New York Jets.
Idzik's response nearly 20 years ago when Tampa Bay public relations man Chip Namias was talking to Idzik about something that Idzik was recommending, and Namias jokingly said to Idzik, "Jeez, I don't know if that will be very popular. You could lose your job." Idzik got dead serious, and replied:
If I ever do something that's in the best interests of this football team and it costs me my job, that's fine, because it's not about me. It's never about me. It's about what's best for this football team and what will make them a winner. If I had to do something for this team that I knew would help us but that I would lose my job, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
Former Cardinals GM Rod Graves, who hired Idzik in 2004, on Idzik:
John will be very methodical in how he acts, and you will not see him flying by the seat of his pants. He will think things out very carefully. John is extremely thorough, and he has a big benefit in having worked on the scouting end of it, in the administrative end of it and on the salary-cap end of it. He's very creative in finding solutions to salary-cap problems and all the complexities of the cap and contracts.
In 2004, two years into the career of former Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin, it was Idzik who urged Graves to renegotiate Boldin's contract rather than risk letting him get to free agency. Graves didn't necessarily want to make that move. Says Graves:
I remember vividly a conversation we had about Anquan, because he was such a playmaker. We were trying to make a decision at that stage as to whether or not we were going to bite off the apple for a new contract. Once we signed that deal, it took a year or two, but we felt like we had a great deal in our pockets. I give John credit for having the vision and foresight to understand what the [contract] numbers meant for us then and down the road.
Dartmouth coach Buddy Teevens, where Idzik played college football:
John's personality is very even-keeled, so it's tough to rattle him or ruffle him. He's very prepared, and, given the environment, I think his personality fits the needs of the job. He'll do his research, do his homework, establish the relationship and get the job done. He's a grinder.
Seahawks GM John Schneider on Idzik:
I met him a long time ago as a pro scout, so I know he was scouting before he got into the whole cap stuff. He did the cap stuff because when the cap came into effect he was the smartest man in the building to negotiate contracts. Those guys tend to get [pigeonholed].
He's an incredibly smart, very patient football man. He's one of those guys that, when you talk about general managing, people don't necessarily understand what that term is. It's not just evaluating talent, it's working with every department, budgets in every department, managing people, evaluating people, doctors, trainers, scouts. There's a lot that goes into it and he's seen it all. He has all the experience. He's never a guy who panics or gets frustrated. He's a real even-keeled guy and that's the thing, in my opinion, why he's going to be so successful there.