Tim Tebow Disaster Symbolic of Jets Flying Below Mediocrity

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 22:  Quarterbacks Tim Tebow #15 and Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets before the start of their game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on November 22, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

If Jeopardy! decided to include the New York Jets as a topic to quiz contestants about, the team would fall under the category of "Words That Start With the Letter D."

First and foremost is the disaster that was the team's decision to trade for Tim Tebow.

With the Jets sitting at 3-6 earlier this season, general manager Mike Tannenbaum defended the decision—and claims that it was his decision alone (h/t ESPN):

It 100 percent came from this department. Do I talk to Woody all the time? Absolutely, but it was our call.

Our view of the trade was, he's a weapon, there's no doubt about it. We brought him in as an additional weapon for our offense...That was the vision and the thought process for making the trade.

We're 3-6. That's the lens I'm viewing everything through. We're 3-6, and he's done some good things. I hope he'll contribute more over the last seven games.

Well, Tebow certainly hasn't contributed more, but Tebow has left his mark on the team.

Tebow's mere presence on the sidelines has reduced Mark Sanchez to the level of a mediocre backup quarterback in the NFL.

Rex Ryan can say whatever he wants, but his refusal to give Tebow any meaningful playing time proves that he wasn't on board with the move from the start.

If he was, Rex wouldn't have made a fool of himself on a weekly basis by answering, "Mark Sanchez gives this team the best chance to win," when asked when Tebow-Time was starting, despite the mounting evidence that Sanchez couldn't get the job done.

That's the sign of a delusional head coach.

But that's only one of the more recently added rings to the circus that is the New York Jets.

With Sanchez coming off of a subpar season in 2011, the team rewarded him with a five-year, $58.25 million contract extension (h/t ESPN).

Of course, that bought about another defense mounted by Tannenbaum:

We've won a lot of football games with Mark as the staring quarterback of the New York Jets and that's what really concerned us. It's not a projection, it's not a hope, it's not an incremental leap of faith. Here's a three-year body of work.

That said, we don't have blinders on. It has to get better and it will get better. We think he'll become more consistent. Taking a long view of things, we're excited and encouraged by the trajectory of Mark's career.

So let's get this straight.

The Jets admitted that Sanchez "has to get better," yet instead of waiting to see evidence of improvement, the team chose to pay him handsomely.

For those wondering, that's the same Mark Sanchez that the Jets believed in so much that the team openly tried to replace him with Peyton Manning this past offseason before handing out that extension.

"When a first-ballot, Hall-of-Fame quarterback becomes available, you look into it," Tannenbaum told reporters.

Actually, Mike, teams that believe in its starting quarterback don't look into it.

I didn't see the Patriots, Giants, Falcons, Saints or Packers reaching out to Peyton Manning.

Wait, what was that?

Those are elite NFL franchises?

Isn't that the goal of the Jets? To be one of the elite franchises in the NFL?

If it's not, then I don't know what everyone is doing there in the first place.

But we shouldn't be surprised by any of this, of course.

This is the same franchise that handed Santonio Holmes a five-year, $50 million contract extension prior to the 2011 season...a decision that ultimately cost the team the services of Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery and Brad Smith.

The Jets have made a habit out of rewarding—er—overpaying for mediocrity.

This is a franchise that likes to thump it's chest over making two consecutive AFC Championship games.

Memo to the Jets: YOU LOST THEM BOTH. Nobody is impressed.

So now, with the ship sinking, the Jets supposedly are looking to cut ties with both Sanchez and Tebow, according to the New York Daily News.

With the same triumvirate of decision makers—Ryan, Tannenbaum and owner Woody Johnson—overseeing things, why should anyone expect this to end well?

After all, the lengthy track record that they have to fall back on is filled with another "D word," perhaps the most damning of them all.



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