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Hermy told to hit the road...so this writer says


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Take a powder, Herm is told

Johnson grew tired of coach's complaints about his contract



January 7, 2006

It was at about 8:30 Thursday night that the compensation package needed to essentially trade coach Herman Edwards from the Jets to the Chiefs was agreed upon by executives from both teams. But the ultimate decision to release Edwards from his contract was actually years in the making.

Even if the Jets and Chiefs hadn't worked out a deal for Edwards, there is no guarantee the Jets would have retained him as head coach, despite the fact that he had two years remaining on his contract.

According to three people familiar with the Jets' situation, Edwards' repeated complaints about being one of the NFL's lower-paid coaches - which dated to the months leading up to Edwards' agreement to a contract extension after the 2003 season - were a consistent source of tension between the coach and owner Woody Johnson.

Once Edwards made it clear that he wanted another contract extension after a 4-12 season - partly to put him more in line with other higher-paid coaches and partly to guard against being fired if the team were to struggle amid sweeping changes to the offense - Johnson became so frustrated that he now sees Edwards' departure as the best thing for the Jets, according to people familiar with the situation.

Johnson also was said to be furious about being taken to task in 2003 for not offering more public support to Edwards; he believes Edwards played a role in generating the criticism.

"Woody and [Edwards] were at opposite ends of the spectrum, and they have been for a while," a person familiar with the Jets' situation said.

Another source said the Jets were expecting a contract proposal from Edwards' agent, Gary O'Hagan, once the season ended and that they would have considered their options. But chances were slim that a new agreement would have been reached.

Johnson has declined all interview requests. Edwards is expected to make his first public comments once he agrees to a contract that it is believed will pay him about $4 million a year, doubling his Jets salary. He is expected to be introduced at a Kansas City news conference Monday. Jets general manager Terry Bradway declined comment.

Friends and associates of Edwards said he was frustrated, upset and confused about his status in the days leading up to Thursday's agreement to allow him to speak with Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson about joining the team and working out a new contract.

Edwards had publicly vowed to continue as the Jets' coach, but he never guaranteed he'd be back. That, coupled with the Chiefs' opening, created the perfect storm for his departure.

"This is best for everyone," one person familiar with the Jets' situation said.

The intrigue over Edwards began with a telephone call from Peterson to Bradway on Tuesday, about 24 hours after Dick Vermeil's news conference announcing his retirement from the Chiefs. Peterson asked if the Jets would be interested in allowing Edwards to pursue the Kansas City job, and the Jets indicated they would be open to the idea, as long as there was adequate compensation.

The Jets initially demanded a first-round draft pick, although they knew that was highly unlikely, given that Edwards didn't have a winning record and that Vermeil, who had won one Super Bowl and coached in another, fetched second- and third-round picks when the Chiefs brought him out of retirement in 2001.

Two people familiar with the Chiefs' situation said the team was reluctant to part with any draft picks, as they previously had given up two for Vermeil and a first-round pick for quarterback Trent Green.

The teams talked again briefly Wednesday, but Peterson was tied up most of the day interviewing Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Fassel, the former Giants head coach. They again met for several hours Thursday.

But the Jets were becoming frustrated at the slow pace of the negotiations, largely because they knew they would have to hire a new coach once Edwards was released from his contract. They couldn't begin the interviewing process until Edwards' situation was resolved.

So Bradway informed Chiefs officials early Thursday afternoon that if they wanted to strike a deal, they had until 6 p.m. to do so. At about 5:45, Bradway and Peterson spoke again, agreeing on a fourth-round pick.

The teams spoke back-and-forth until about 8:30 p.m., by which time they had agreed that the deal could go through, as long as Edwards was able to reach agreement with the Chiefs. The NFL then signed off on the deal, and the announcement was made late Friday morning on the Chiefs' Web site. The Jets issued a statement early Friday afternoon.

For the record

Comparing Herman Edwards' record with other Jets coaches, only three of whom finished .500 or better (including postseason):

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The only problem with this is that before Vermeil retired and Said Herm should be coach of the year for the way he handled the season, there were rumors during the middle of the season about Herm to KC. Those have to start from somewhere and it didn't come from Woody or the Jets.

No one will ever know the whole truth. He's moved on. Now I just pray the Jets sign a quality coach and do not settle for a Haslett or Tice.

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You and Guns are the only ones to figure that out. :D

Right back at ya. Although I don't quite feel like one compared to the Sh#t you guys went through

rbl for what you and others like JetFanFL went through to get to where you were, there is no reason to be modest whatsoever.

As for my Artillery officer rear end, I commend both of you guys for what you both did.

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