The Tim Tebow era ended Sunday after the New York Jets' 28-9 loss to the Buffalo Bills in the regular-season finale. The Jets will trade or release Tebow in the offseason, and Tebow reportedly is expected to land with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
However, Ryan was questioned one more time why he didn't play Tebow when it was clear Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez (205 yards, two turnovers) was struggling. Ryan refused to play the popular backup quarterback in place of Sanchez and appeared to have one last parting shot toward Tebow.
"If I thought Tebow would have helped us win the game playing quarterback or defensive tackle, I would have played him," Ryan told reporters after the game.
Whether this was an intentional potshot or unintentional is up for debate. But it's clear that Ryan is very much down on Tebow as a quarterback. This comment is a long ways from Ryan's earlier statements, when Ryan said he has confidence in Tebow and all his quarterbacks that they can win games. Ryan has passed over Tebow for Greg McElroy and Sanchez.
But something behind the scenes went wrong between Ryan and Tebow in recent weeks, and the gloves are clearly off. Ryan essentially is saying Tebow cannot help the Jets win under center.
This forced pair was never a good match to begin and no longer have to co-exist now that the season is over. It's time for both sides to part ways.