Any shred of hope that the New York Jets would hold onto backup quarterback Tim Tebow was lost on Friday night, when the franchise used their first second-round pick—the 39th selection overall—to draft former West Virginia signal-caller Geno Smith.
According to ESPN's James Walker, Tebow has been on the trading block for months now but the Jets have been unable to find a suitor.
Plus, with so much money invested in Mark Sanchez ($12.85 million in 2013) and the Jets having brought in veteran passer David Garrard to add to their quarterback mix this offseason, time and space is running out for Tebow in the Big Apple.
For a player who attempted just eight passes in 2012, the move to bring in another young quarterback prospect has to be discouraging. At this point, does Tebow even want to be a Jet?
As for the Jets, unlike Tebow, Smith's throwing mechanics, arm strength and accuracy have rarely been called into question. This makes him an immediate upgrade over the former Heisman Trophy winner on New York's depth chart.
Not to mention Tebow's 47.9 career completion percentage is a serious knock against him heading into the summer.
But more important than Smith's ability are where and when he was selected. Second-round draft picks are not easy to come by, and teams rarely waste them on backup players.
If the Jets saw enough from Smith to draft him seven picks into the second round, then clearly they believe he can be their starting quarterback someday. Bad news for Mark Sanchez and even worse news for Tim Tebow.
Recently, USA Today's Chris Strauss made a convincing argument as to why Tebow won't even be on an NFL roster this coming fall. He discusses the "timing," the "circus" and the need to play him in a "hybrid role" as the biggest reasons why teams are and will be unwilling to acquire him.
But even those reasons are all irrelevant now in terms of his current situation with the Jets. Drafting Geno Smith is a sign that the Jets are ready to begin a new era under center.
The Tim Tebow experiment was a flop, and after a dismal 2012 season on the offensive side of the ball, it's not difficult to imagine Sanchez following Tebow out of New York at some point soon.
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