From what he hear, Edwards wants his current contract extended. He has two years left, but wants the stability of a four-year contract. If Edwards did get a contract extension, it would be his second following a losing season. He received an extension following the Jets 6-10 season in 2003.
The clearest picture of what Edwards is thinking, was painted by William Rhoden in the New York Times on Friday.
"Some advice for Edwards: If the Kansas City job opens and the Chiefs are interested, you had better listen, and if offered the job, you had better go. The Spinners once sang "love don't love nobody," and neither does an N.F.L. front office. Edwards received mercy this season. That's it. He has two years left on his contract, but the Jets will need four years, at least, to complete a turnaround."
Rhoden likely got his information from Edwards. If Edwards thinks the Jets need four years to complete a turnaround, that is bizarre. In the salary-cap era, no team should take four years to get their act together. The salary cap has created a parity-laden league.
Edwards likely doesn't want to go through a bad season next year, and then be put in a poor bargaining position after the 2006 season, with just one year left on his deal.
According to a person familiar with Edwards thinking, the coach feels that if he goes to a team like the Chiefs, he would get a four or five- year deal, so he wants his current Jets contract to be extended to a similar length.
So what should Jets owner Woody Johnson do? While Edwards wasn't dealt the best hand this year, he also didn't do a great job. It's probably a big mistake to give a coach, coming off a 4-12 season, a contract extension. Edwards seems to be negotiating through the media, another reason Johnson should probably not give into his demands. If Edwards wants to go to Kansas City or Oakland, and the Jets can get draft picks in return, they should probably let him walk.
"Meanwhile, the Jets and Edwards are at an impasse," continued Rhoden. "The team owner, Woody Johnson, doesn't want to make a commitment to Edwards for four seasons; Edwards doesn't want to make a commitment to the Jets for only two." If Johnson gives Edwards his second contract extension following a losing season, that will hurt the owners image around the league and with Jets fans.
It just doesn't make a lot of sense to give into Edwards demands.
The coach was asked about his future following the Jets 30-26 win over Buffalo.
"I think there are a lot of uncertainties right now, but I think the thing we'll do is we'll huddle up at the proper time with the organization and decide what direction we are in," said Edwards. "We'll try to do what is right for this football team."
And what is right for the football, is probably to let Edwards walk if he doesn't back off his demands, and promote offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger to head coach.
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