Jets release backup QB Tim Tebow
The year-long experiment is finally over.
The Jets have released backup quarterback Tim Tebow. The New York Post reports Tebow was told by general manager John Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan Monday morning at the team facility.
“We have a great deal of respect for Tim Tebow,” head coach Rex Ryan said in a statement. “Unfortunately, things did not work out the way we all had hoped. Tim is an extremely hard worker, evident by the shape he came back in this offseason. We wish him the best moving forward.”
Tebow’s release brings to an end a trade which never made much sense in the first place. Tebow was acquired from Denver in March 2012 for a fourth-round draft pick and a swap of sixth- and seventh-round picks. Almost right away the move incited controversy on both sides. Tebow had gained fame in Denver for bursting onto the scene and leading the Broncos to a playoff win.
The evangelical Christian already developed a cult following in his time at the University of Florida, where he won two national titles and a Heisman trophy.
But his NFL abilities were questioned from the start. Denver head coach Josh McDaniels staked his future on drafting Tebow in the first round at 25th overall in 2010. But when former great John Elway took over as team president, he never seemed enamored with the quarterback’s unique skillset and pulled the trade with the Jets despite the successful 2011 season.
From the start in New York his role was hazy. The team held a solo news conference to introduce Tebow, but when camp opened in the fall the coaching staff consistently reiterated Mark Sanchez, who had received a contract extension weeks before the trade, would be the starter.
The team, including new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, said it would use Tebow extensively in Wildcat packages and in the red zone.
When the season began, none of that materialized. And even when Sanchez sputtered late in the season, Greg McElroy got the start when Sanchez was benched. It was speculated the trade was championed by owner Woody Johnson while the coaching staff never wanted the addition.
Idzik would never outright say the team was looking to trade Tebow, but it was widely reported. He did not include Tebow in the quarterback competition in a press conference prior to the draft. With Jacksonville — Tebow’s hometown, where he enjoys massive popularity — saying it had no interest in Tebow, the market seemed all but nonexistent.
The NFL Draft ended on Saturday, and with the selection of West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith in the second round, Tebow was released.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.