Rex Ryan's Bizarre Ink Raises Questions about Jets' Future

4 years ago

The New York Jets crashed and burned this season, which resulted in the firing of general manager Mike Tannenbaum on Monday.  But that's not the most talked about NFL story right now.

There's also been talk that Jets' QB Mark Sanchez could be traded (along with his high profile back-up Tim Tebow).

Again - not headline news. Just when you thought that life with the Jets couldn't get any more bizarre, comes news that controversial coach Rex Ryan has been sporting a bizarre tattoo that may hold some clues to the franchise's future.

What, you may be asking, makes Ryan's ink so newsworthy? The fact that the tattoo is of a woman who appears to be Ryan's wife is not so startling. But she's wearing nothing more than a green jersey with Sanchez's No. 6 on it and appears to  be kneeling in a pose made famous by Tebow (aka Tebowing).

The New York Daily News posted a photo Friday of Ryan sunbathing at a Paradise Island hotel in the Bahamas. In addition to the aforementioned tattoo, the photo shows  another one of a shamrock featuring the names of Ryan's wife, Michelle, and children, Payton and Seth. When approached by Daily News reporter about the bizarre ink, Ryan is said to have uttered an expletive before storming off.

At this point, it's unclear whether the ink is permanent, or if the woman in the tattoo is paying tribute to or mocking Tebow. Regardless of the answers, Ryan's vacation tat is the most-talked about NFL story right now.

Frustrated Jets' fans know that Ryan is staunchly loyal to Sanchez.The hunky quarterback was drafted by the Jets fifth overall out of USC in 2009, four months after Ryan was hired as coach. Most fans had been pleading for Ryan to bench the struggling quarterback, who has led the NFL in turnovers the last two years, long before he finally did late in the season. Ryan once said, however, that Sanchez would be his quarterback for as long as he's the head coach. Maybe now we know why.

Fans also know that Ryan doesn't think too highly of Tebow, at least as a player.The coach barely used the headliner all year and promoted third-string Greg McElroy over Tebow when finally giving Sanchez the hook.

Jets owner Woody Johnson said in a statement earlier this week that Ryan will remain the team's head coach. If Sanchez also stays with the Jets next season, will it be because of the $8.25 million guarantee in his contract or Ryan's tattoo?

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