Tim Tebow's Career in Jeopardy If Jets Refuse to Trade or Release Him

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIMarch 11, 2013

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 30: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets looks on from the sideline during an NFL game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 30, 2012 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The time for Tim Tebow to get out of New York is now. Unless, of course, he's decided he's done with his NFL career. Then, by all means, it's the place to stay.

The Jets made plenty of noise last year when they traded for Tebow, and it was believed that Mark Sanchez's job was no longer secure. Despite leading the Jets to the playoffs his first two years on the job, a disappointing 2011 was all New York needed to put Sanchez on the fence.

But if 2011 was bad, 2012 was horrid.

The Jets were 6-9 when Sanchez was under center. The fourth-year quarterback averaged less than 200 passing yards a game while tossing 18 interceptions and 13 touchdowns. But he was still named the starter for 15 games last season. The starter for that one game he missed? Not Tim Tebow, but Greg McElroy.

It was as tumultuous a season as it could get for Tebow, as he spent more time on special teams than he did on offense. And he was never allowed to do the one thing he was called in to do: give Sanchez competition for his job.

After such a polarizing year, it seemed inevitable that Tebow would be leaving the Jets. Whether by trade or release, it seemed it was going to happen. But things on that front have been eerily quiet over the last month. Tebow is still in New York, and no one is talking about a move.

That's bad news for everyone involved, but especially Tim Tebow.

It's hard to say whether or not Tebow has any chances left to make it as a quarterback in the NFL. He's been about as good as expected, though he didn't have much opportunity last year to build on his somewhat successful 2011.

If quarterback isn't an option, Tebow could transition into more of a multifaceted offensive player, slotting in at either fullback or tight end.

But one thing that can be said is that he doesn't have a future in New York.

Of course, no one on the Jets will say as much. In fact, in a recent article by the New York Daily News' Seth Walder, Jets general manager John Idzik was quoted as saying:

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.

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.

Is that not what Tebow was brought in for last season? And look how well that turned out for the 25-year-old.

Another thing to consider is that the NFL draft is coming up fast, and the Jets could spring for a quarterback there. The QB class isn't particularly deep, but there's still plenty of interesting names. With the Kansas City Chiefs trading for Alex Smith, it's likely a Geno Smith or Matt Barkley is still on the board when the Jets pick No. 9 overall.

If the Jets do gamble on a quarterback in the draft, that gives Tebow one more player to compete with. He could inevitably become the team's fourth-string quarterback in such a scenario. And with two seasons left on his contract, that's not the place to be on any team.

While Tebow's name once drew some intrigue across the league, he's becoming a thing of the past. Teams seem disinterested, and that's only going to get worse if he can't find playing time.

With plenty of options on the table, the Jets don't appear to be in any rush to make a commitment to him or anyone else.

If Tebow is going to continue his NFL career—whether it be at quarterback, fullback or special teams—than he has to get out of New York. It's not just his best option, it's his only option.