The partnership of Tebow and the Jets always seemed a bit odd, with Sanchez having been established as the starter coming into the start of the season. When things were at their bleakest offensively for New York, Tebow remained on the bench. Ryan never seemed to want Tebow, with Woody Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum instead stumping for the quarterback.
While Tebow's days with the Jets appear to be numbered, new general manager John Idzik has not completely written him out of the team's future (h/t Seth Walder of New York Daily News):
“Tim, as you know, 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,” Idzik said during a conference call with season-ticket holders. “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.”
At first, it would seem a rather odd statement for the organization to make, considering it's no secret that the team and player would both be happier parting ways. Upon giving it more thought, it makes quite a bit of sense for the Jets to back Tebow publicly.
The trade market for the former Heisman Trophy winner will continue to be rather thin. It's far from a guarantee that the Jets will be able to find a suitor before the 2013 season kicks off. They could choose to cut him, of course, but the Jets have reportedly indicated that that isn't an option at this stage (h/t Adam Schefter of ESPN).
The draft class is very weak, but it seems a much smarter gamble for teams looking for a QB to hitch their wagons behind a rookie rather than Tebow. Putting him under center would mean a shift in an entire offensive game plan, which could possibly work down the road. It's still a huge risk to take considering Tebow will be 26 in August.
There's no sense in continuing to burn the bridge between Tebow and the Jets.
It's likely that simply cutting him will be the next move for the team. Letting that be known to other teams isn't very smart, though. New York, at the very least, needs to give the perception that it has no plans to release Tebow. Doing otherwise would kill whatever trade value he has left. Teams would simply be able to wait until he becomes available and give up nothing for him.
With a new regime in place, the Jets might be able to convince teams around the league that Tebow could actually play a role in the team's fortunes next season.
While that is almost certainly not the case, New York needs to make every effort to publicly get behind the beleaguered QB.