In a move that surprised no one, the Jets released their rarely used, barely seen, back-up quarterback Tim Tebow.
A year ago the Jets introduced their shiny new acquisition from the Denver Broncos in a press conference that had as much hype as if it were the Super Bowl. Their starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, whom Jets Coach Rex Ryan had once dubbed “the Sanchise” as if he were a top franchise player, had just signed a lucrative new contract. Suddenly he was stuck in a QB controversy—a distraction the team did not need but owner Woody Johnson was willing to pay for.
“I don’t think you can ever have too much Tebow,” the owner said on CNBC last August.
In his Jets jersey, Tebow threw eight passes and completed six of them, carried the ball 32 times for 102 yards, and never scored a TD. He made a bigger splash when he ran shirtless in the rain at training camp in Cortland.
A former Heisman Trophy winner at Florida, Tebow has ended up costing the Jets $1.5 million in salary for his last season, another $2.5 million that the Broncos needed to satisfy the terms of the trade, and another $1.5 million to the Broncos this year per the contract. And also a fourth-round draft pick. On the plus side, the Jets clear $1 million in salary cap space. The misuse of funds along with a lackluster 6-10 season apparently also cost General Manager Mike Tannenbaum his job.
“Each year, we’ll make 200-plus transactions,” Tannenbaum told ESPNNewYork.com. “Some worked out, some didn’t.”
On New Year’s Eve, Tannenbaum was sacked. He was replaced by John Idzik, who made headlines last week by letting go of Darrelle Revis, considered the best cornerback in the NFL. Revis is now a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.
In the recent NFL draft, the Jets picked Geno Smith, a West Virginia quarterback, in the second round. The acquisition pushed Tebow to the sixth position on the Jets’ QB depth chart, following in the footsteps of Sanchez, Smith, David Garrard, Greg McElroy and Matt Simms. Though carrying half a dozen quarterbacks on the roster would surely make for interesting sports columns in the back pages of the tabloids, the Jets decided to give Tebow the bad news in person yesterday when he showed up to work out at the team’s facility in Florham Park, N.J.
In a press release from the Jets, Ryan, who is in the last year of his contract, reiterated what was already known. “Things did not work out the way we all had hoped,” his statement read.
The era of Tebowmania at the Meadowlands has officially come to a merciful end.