Tim Tebow Will Reportedly Be Released If Jets Are Unable to Find Trade Partner

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIMarch 20, 2013

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 17:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets warms up prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on December 17, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The New York Jets will reportedly release Tim Tebow if a trade partner cannot be found for the polarizing backup quarterback. 

ESPN's Dan Graziano has the latest development in the struggling franchise's rather dire quarterback situation.

A league source indicated to ESPNNewYork.com on Tuesday...that nothing has changed with regard to Tebow's status on the team. The Jets are holding out hope they can trade him and are in no rush to do so. They could stretch the process out to the draft, but failing a trade, the Jets will release him, the source said.

That was preceded by a quote from head coach Rex Ryan, who indicated that Tebow would have an opportunity to "compete." It wasn't specified whether that would be for the starting quarterback job, though.

There don't appear to be many suitors for Tebow, although the Jets do seem content to let the process wear on. Tebow is essentially a lame duck at this point, should Graziano's source turn out to be correct.

With all the smokescreens that teams put up in the offseason—especially leading up to the draft—it's difficult to separate fact from fiction. However, any way that the Jets can get Tebow to leave town seems like a logical move.

New GM John Idzik has plenty of changes to make, and the team needs to stabilize the quarterback situation.

Incumbent starter Mark Sanchez was awful in 2012, tossing 13 touchdowns to 18 interceptions while registering a 66.9 passer rating. As Graziano points out, former Jacksonville Jaguars starter David Garrard was signed to provide Sanchez with his first real competition, even though Garrard hasn't played in two years.

Combine that with the presence of Greg McElroy, who was chosen to start over Tebow last season, and the embattled signal-caller's time in the Big Apple—and the NFL in general—would seem to be coming to an end.

The Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League recently expressed interest in Tebow should he become available. An analogy is often made to former star quarterback Kurt Warner, who played in the AFL for a couple years before coming back to the NFL to lead the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl. 

Whether Tebow takes up the opportunity in the AFL remains to be seen, but whether it's through a trade or a release, his days in New York are likely numbered.