The circus finally pulls up its tents on Sunday afternoon and it's not a moment too soon.
This Jets season feels like it has been going on for five years and the finale against the Bills is one that can only be met with grim resignation after a season stuffed with all the indignities the Jets managed to stuff into this one. It doesn't matter that you saw it coming a million miles away because the way the Jets turned every bad turn into something much worse made even mere mediocrity feel like the gutter.
It's a trend that shows no sign of stopping. Friday's Daily News blares "Rex Wants Out" on its back page, teasing an article about Rex Ryan desiring termination from the Jets if Woody Johnson doesn't open up the bank accounts to fix the team's offense.
Ryan's people obviously leaked the story because he's painted as an innocent bystander to the Jets season rather than the guy whose job responsibilities include everything that he's said to be upset about. Ryan will deny it in his Friday press conference while saying that he obviously wants to get better before next season, but he should deny it because it makes him look like a fool.
Ryan apparently wants a new offensive coordinator to replace Tony Sparano, which is fair enough but it's hard to draw some line in the sand over a guy that you hired a year ago while promising to take on a more active role in running the offense. A better quarterback is something everyone associated with the Jets wants, but Ryan's the only one who has chosen not to give a quarterback who won a playoff game last year even one chance to play the position.
The coup de grace of the ridiculousness of this gambit by Ryan is that whoever's speaking for him makes it clear that Ryan won't quit if Johnson doesn't fulfill his desires. They actually float the idea of a buyout on the final two years of his contract, which would obviously work out well for Ryan but it's not such a great idea for Johnson to pay a coach so he can go work for one of the teams trying to beat you.
The best solution for the Jets is the one that Ryan promised last season and failed to deliver this year. If he'd step up and be a real head coach, one that takes responsibility and action on both sides of the ball, it might actually make a difference in the team's results.
Instead, it's all about half-steps and big words that lead nowhere. That goes up the ladder as the team is reportedly planning to keep Mike Tannenbaum as a cap management guy while trying to convince someone else of ability to become general manager despite a hierarchy that clearly doesn't make any sense.
The Jets need someone to take charge and run the football side of the shop much more than they need any particular coaching staff change or upgrade at any position. They need someone to stand up and be accountable for everything on the team because the last two years of buck passing isn't going to lead to any better results.
Ryan should want to be that guy because he has talked like that guy since his first day on the job. The latest signal is that he doesn't actually want to back them up, either because he knows he can't or because he's gotten tired of dealing with an obviously dysfunctional organizational structure.
Either way, it looks like cutting and running and that's not an attractive look for anybody.