Jets fire head coach Eric Mangini

The New York Jets officially canned Eric Mangini after the team failed to make the playoffs.

Eric ManginiThe clincher was the Jets’ 24-17 loss to Miami on Sunday that gave the Dolphins the AFC East title.

“We don’t take this decision lightly,” Jets owner Woody Johnson said at a Monday morning news conference. “We respect Eric for what he’s done but we want to build on the successful foundation he has laid.”

Mangini, 37, was 23-26 in three seasons with the Jets, including 0-1 in the playoffs.

“For the current New York Jets organization, we’ve made the decision to move on,” Johnson said. “It’s a judgment call.”

The Jets acquired Brett Favre before the season started and ran off to an 8-3 start. But losses to Denver, at San Francisco, at Seattle and to Miami over the final four weeks left New York outside of the playoffs for the second straight season.

Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said Monday the organization wants the 39-year-old Favre to return for 2009 and fulfill the final year of his contract.

There was an interesting tidbit on the bottom line of ESPN News Sunday night that said Favre didn’t have fun playing for the Jets this year because he was often scolded in front of the team by Mangini for making poor decisions and bad throws. Don’t know if Mangini’s release will mean Favre will stay, but it probably couldn’t hurt.

It’s amazing how just three years ago Mangini was highly regarded and was considered one of the bright young minds in football. Now he’s out of a job. I’m sure many Jet fans won’t miss his emotionless, expressionless body language on the sidelines.

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