Love him or hate him, Tim Tebow’s time in New York may have come to an abrupt end Friday evening.
With the 39th pick in the 2013 NFL draft, the Jets selected West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. This not only signaled a potential end for Tebow, but also put Mark Sanchez on notice.
Whether Sanchez loses his starting job remains to be seen, but New York simply has no excuse for keeping Tebow going forward.
While Sanchez was floundering under center in Rex Ryan’s offense, Tebow stood on the sidelines waiting for his time to shine. He saw some snaps under center and sporadic use in a gimmick role in New York’s backfield, but the starting nod never came. Instead, Greg McElroy assumed the starting position and Sanchez and Tebow were left to confer on the sidelines.
Tim Tebow's Career NFL Stats
|2010 (Denver)||2011 (Denver)||2012 (New York)|
The merits of Tebow’s credentials certainly warrant further consideration, but they mean nothing in relation this particular discussion. What Tebow’s fans think of his abilities will again fall on deaf ears because Ryan isn’t listening.
John Idzik’s decision to draft Smith exemplifies his lack of confidence in his current quarterbacks. The Jets’ new general manager has been expected to move Tebow since he took the reins, though no teams have apparently shown enough interest to make a move for him.
It was former general manager Mike Tannenbaum who pulled the trigger on dealing for Tebow last year, but it’s Idzik who neither wants nor needs the polarizing quarterback entering the 2013 season. Even if Idzik can’t find a taker, it may be the right decision to simply cut Tebow and allow him to find his way on the free-agent market.
Smith may not ultimately be the answer in New York, but the Jets are desperately searching for new direction. In doing so, ties need to be cut and unpopular decisions need to be made. In this case, releasing Tebow would at least allow the popular signal-caller to find a new home in 2013.
And it would give Smith a chance to succeed without the pressure of constant scrutiny playing in front of the Florida product.
The difference between a late-round pick (presumably the most the Jets could get for Tebow) and an outright release is very little. For New York to find some direction and end the chaos that Tannenbaum’s trade has resulted in, the latter option seems like the only option at this point.
That’s not to say Tebow still can’t be a productive quarterback for the Jets, but his potential is irrelevant as long as Ryan is unwilling to give him a chance. Smith’s arrival finally gives Ryan and Idzik reason enough to allow Tebow to end his divisive stint with the Jets.
And there isn’t really a better outcome for any party involved.