Even removing the hype, Tebow showed real promise with the Denver Broncos last year. Tebow re-energized that team and provided a spark in the fourth quarter that seemed unbeatable at the time.
Clearly, though, Tebow had a lot of work to do. He failed to complete even 50 percent of his throws, and he struggled to put points on the board. Tebow supporters often point out that he only had six interceptions last season. The real reason for this low number is simply that Tebow was so inaccurate, not even defensive backs could get to the ball.
What Tebow did show was leadership and surprising deep-ball accuracy. While Tebow clearly needed more time to develop, he looked like he could be a starter in the NFL.
Unfortunately for Tebow, he was sent to the one franchise that guarantees his downfall as an NFL quarterback.
First of all, Tebow will almost certainly start at least a few games this season for the Jets. While this fact might be taken for granted, it's absolutely paramount in talking about Tebow.
The New York Jets are an absolute mess in every sense of the word. They have perhaps the worst offense in the NFL, with no legitimate wide receivers, a struggling offensive line and an overrated backfield.
Worse is the Jets are filled with dysfunction, starting with owner Woody Johnson. Johnson has never met media coverage he didn't like, which seems to be a common theme among Jets' personnel. Rex Ryan, Santonio Holmes and even Tebow himself share this narcissism.
With a horrendous supporting cast and a dysfunctional locker room, Tebow can't succeed in New York.
The strong running game and dynamic receiving corps that so often bailed Tebow out last year are nowhere to be found in New York. The offense ranked 22nd in rushing last season.
With no significant personnel changes, the Jets can expect another year of mediocrity from their backfield.
Meanwhile, the Jets' receiving corps is better suited to a quick-paced short passing game that Tebow has proven to be unable to execute. Tebow lacks a Demaryius Thomas or an Eric Decker on this roster—a player who can go up and get the ball at its highest point.
While a poor surrounding cast will definitely hamper Tebow in New York, it is the media circus that will ultimately doom his career.
What Tebow needed was a chance to learn quietly. Tebow needed a franchise that would discourage the endless speculation that has characterized his tenure with the Jets.
Tebow was clearly not ready to be an unchallenged starter, but he could be a quality backup in a vertical passing attack right now. Being the clear backup and learning behind an established NFL quarterback—not Kyle Orton—could have paid major dividends for Tebow.
Tebow instead has become the ringmaster of the biggest media circus to hit the NFL in years. Where Tebow's career needed a step back into anonymity, he was instead cursed with even greater fame.
At this point, why should Tebow change what he's doing? His current style was good enough to make him a media darling as well as to thrust him into a chance to start for the Jets.
And that is really why Tebow will fail. The unending media coverage and chance to contribute for the Jets is an affirmation that Tebow has already developed. Because of this Tebow is no longer expected to develop further.
A few years down the road when Tebow has washed out of the NFL, we can look back and point to this trade as his undoing. Tebow will become just another promising young quarterback to be chewed up and spit out by Woody Johnson and the New York Jets.