Rival exec: Johnson’s Tebow claims are ‘revisionist history’
This past summer, Jets owner Woody Johnson couldn’t have “too much” of Tim Tebow. Now, he has backpedaled to the point he reportedly is saying the backup quarterback was “forced” on him.
Speaking to former Jets general manager candidate Ted Sundquist, ESPN New York reports Johnson told Sundquist during the interview process that last March’s trade for Tebow was something he agreed to begrudgingly. The report also drew the conclusion that Johnson is blaming Mike Tannenbaum, who was fired as general manager earlier this month, for pulling the trigger on the trade.
The change in tone from Johnson, who told CNBC this summer “you can never have too much Tebow,” is puzzling. One league executive calls it a “serious organizational issue at the heart of the Jets culture.” The source spoke to Metro on the condition of anonymity because he is part of the front office staff of one of the Jets’ rivals and is not allowed to make public statements.
“I’m not sure if, with all due respect, that what Mr. Johnson is saying adds up. He’s saying that a general manager and members of player personnel are forcing a player on him — that being Tebow. But isn’t that what a general manager does? Why would it be forced?” the league executive told Metro. “To me, that’s where it doesn’t add up, unless he’s saying that he feels all player movements should be run by him. If that’s the case, he’s truly meddling to Jerry Jones and Al Davis proportions.
“But to say ‘forced’ is absurd. Did Tannenbaum force Jason Taylor on the owner? How about Plaxico Burress? Was he forced? This looks like classic scapegoat to me because the Jets had no plan for Tebow when they brought him in, didn’t adjust to his skillset and now are trying to make the guy they just fired look bad. Plain and simple.”
The league executive, part of the front office of an AFC team, wasn’t buying the spin from Johnson to Sundquist.
“To me, [Johnson] was and is trying to distance himself from the trade by casting it on Tannenbaum,” the source said. “It’s unfair because Tannenbaum has been pure class in all of this. It’s a shame really.
“It is revisionist history.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer for all your offseason news.