General manager John Idzik opened the door for speculation on the controversial signal-caller’s future with the organization during a Monday conference call with season-ticket holders.
According to CBS New York and the Associated Press, the first-year GM had this to say of Tebow:
He’s currently on our roster. What we’re doing is we’re trying to increase competition at that position and positions across the board, so we’re going to let the competition play out. We’re going to see who we’re able to bring on board and let it play out this offseason and into training camp. So I think that’ll be healthy for all concerned, including Tim.
It’s unclear if Idzik is stating that the Jets are going to give the beleaguered quarterback another chance, or if he is attempting to do whatever he can in order to drive Tebow’s value up for a possible deal.
Considering incumbent starter Mark Sanchez, backup Greg McElroy, 2012 training camp cut Matt Simms, veteran David Garrard (the Jets are reportedly nearing a deal with the 35-year-old) and a potential draft pick or free agent could all possibly be vying for the starting gig in 2013, it’s hard to see why the franchise would try to retain Tebow.
Perhaps Gang Green wasn’t able to find any suitors at the NFL Scouting Combine, but feel that giving the underutilized QB a chance to show his stuff in the offseason could pique the interest of at least one team in the NFL.
Tebow becomes eligible to be traded on March 12, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Jets hang on to the 25-year-old for at least another week. Anything far beyond that seems too much a stretch and impractical.
Had New York attempted to play up the former Florida star’s value toward the end of last season, it may have made seeking a transaction this offseason much easier.
Instead, coach Rex Ryan elected to promote third-stringer McElroy to starter when Sanchez was struggling, and then disrespected Tebow again by naming Sanchez the Week 17 QB after the Alabama product suffered a concussion.
Tebow finished the campaign having completed 6-of-8 passes for 39 yards and rushed 32 times for 102 yards.
It would be beyond a shock if he winds up sticking with the Jets in 2013, and it’s likely Idzik’s comments to the ticket holders were nothing more than hollow statements meant to drum up Tebow's value.