The Jets' thorough search for a new general manager is nearly over.

Woody Johnson appears to have zeroed in on Seahawks vice president of football administration John Idzik, who is expected to be offered the job to replace the fired Mike Tannenbaum. The Jets, who interviewed at least 10 candidates in the past three weeks, were poised to offer the position to Idzik as early as Thursday night, according to ESPN.



Idzik had a second interview Wednesday before flying back to Seattle.

He was part of the second wave of candidates to interview with Johnson, team president Neil Glat and executive search firm head Jed Hughes last week. Johnson and company expanded the candidate pool after top choice David Caldwell chose the Jaguars GM job.

Johnson narrowed the list to Idzik and Steelers' executive Omar Khan, both of whom specialize in contract negotiations and salary cap navigation. Former NFL GMs Jerry Angelo, Ted Sundquist and in-house candidate Scott Cohen were also considered after the first round of interviews.

The prevailing belief entering the search process was that the Jets, whose roster desperately needs a makeover, would choose a GM with a personnel/scouting background, like Caldwell.

The Daily News has learned that former Saints and Dolphins GM Randy Mueller also interviewed for the job. Mueller, who spent the past few years with the Chargers, was the Sporting News' Executive of the Year with New Orleans in 2000 and had the strong personnel background that the Jets appeared to be lacking.

In all, the Jets interviewed three candidates (Mueller, Angelo and Sundquist) with prior general manager experience, but it looks like Johnson will go with Idzik, whose business and operations acumen is the strongest part of his resume. Idzik and Glat had previous dealings when Glat worked for the league office.

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