This offseason has given us an interesting light on the New York Jets organization and how much authority John Idzik has on building the roster, versus if he's just a puppet of Rex Ryan. When Idzik was hired, many weren't sure if Ryan would really be calling the shots. Idzik stressed a consensus-based decision making process, which many people criticized.
We saw with the Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie offer that Idzik has the final say over contract offers, despite what Ryan may want for the team. Obviously, they have different priorities. Ryan needs to win now, and Idzik needs to build a sustainable roster, as far as winning is concerned. This seems to be confirmed with what's currently going on regarding DeSean Jackson:
UPDATE: Jets no longer favorite. Woody Johnson & Rex Ryan want DeSean Jackson. Idzik is reluctant. Would rather draft a WR like Lee or Cooks— DYST Now (@DYST_Now) March 29, 2014
As for the Jets, they aren't out of it to land DeSean Jackson. They just aren't sure if they'd rather go WR in the draft or sign Desean.— DYST Now (@DYST_Now) March 29, 2014
This makes sense. Ryan wants to go all-in because his job depends on it, and Johnson likes Jackson because he's flashy and a playmaker and that sells tickets. Idzik, however, needs to weigh the team's needs down the line. Does he give Jackson a ton of money and risk him flaming out? Would it be better to get a young receiver like Brandin Cooks that potentially provides the same skill set as Jackson for a fraction of the price and headache? It's more complicated than just "He's a good player, so sign him."
The dynamic at work here is extremely interesting and we're seeing a power struggle at work. So far, outside of the Darrelle Revis fiasco, Johnson has been good at letting Idzik work. Idzik has been trying to get Ryan the players he wants, but not at the pace Ryan would obviously like. The only thing we, and Ryan/Johnson, can do at this point is to take a leap of faith that Idzik's internal risk/reward calculator is functioning well. For all we know, he may ultimately conclude the team needs to go after Jackson. Let's hope he knows what he's doing. Let's hope Johnson's made the right choice in choosing him to run the team.