New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, whose job appeared to be in danger late in the season, signed a contract extension Thursday, the team confirmed.
Ryan won’t be a lame-duck coach next season. He signed a multiyear extension through at least 2016, league and team sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. However, it’s a complex deal that doesn’t offer as much security as it appears.
The contract is based heavily on incentives for postseason victories. There’s a wrinkle in that the deal isn’t fully guaranteed after 2015, according to a league source, meaning the Jets could fire Ryan without having to eat a huge amount of money.
The Jets didn’t release any details regarding the extension. Ryan had one year remaining on a deal he reworked in 2010, which paid him about $3 million annually.
“I’m no different than any of our fans: I’m an ordinary guy that’s been given an unbelievable opportunity,” Ryan said in a statement released by the team. “I’ve said all along, ‘I’m glad to be a Jet. I’m happy to be a Jet.’ That’s never changed. I know what we all want and we’re striving to get there. But it’s not about me. We’re already into our off-season planning. There are a lot of areas where we can improve and we can’t wait to get this thing rolling.”
Team owner Woody Johnson announced immediately after the Jets’ season-ending win in Miami that Ryan would return in 2014, but both sides sidestepped questions on how — or whether — Ryan’s contract would be addressed.
Initially, the team wanted to make it a one-year extension, but Ryan wanted multiple years, a league source said. Ryan was bothered at times last season with the perception that he was a lame-duck coach, according to people close to him. His job status was a storyline throughout the season.
In the end, the sides reached a compromise.
Ryan received the multiyear extension he coveted, at least on paper, with a chance to make additional money by winning in the postseason. The team also got what it wanted, essentially committing guaranteed money only through 2015 with the provision it may have to pay more if Ryan starts winning playoff games again.
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