Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL [Print without images]

Monday, January 21, 2013
Tim Tebow 'forced' on Jets' owner?

By Rich Cimini
ESPNNewYork.com

The perception of the New York Jets' trade for Tim Tebow has been that it was the brainchild of owner Woody Johnson, but that's not how it was presented to at least one general manager candidate in his interview with the team.

Former Broncos GM Ted Sundquist, who interviewed for the job nine days ago, said Johnson told him it wasn't his idea. Sundquist said it was his impression that the trade was "forced" on Johnson and team president Neil Glat, who also participated in the interview.

Sundquist's description of the interview makes it sound as though Johnson was blaming former GM Mike Tannenbaum for the Tebow debacle; in a sense, Johnson did exactly that, firing Tannenbaum one day after the regular season ended.

The Jets hired former Seahawks executive John Idzik as their new general manager last week. He will be introduced at a news conference Thursday.

Johnson also said, according to Sundquist, that he eventually "jumped on board" with the Tebow idea, deferring to his football people.

"They realized it was divisive and hard on the locker room, and they wanted an exit strategy," Sundquist told ESPNNewYork.com, sharing the vibe he received from Johnson and Glat.

The Jets are expected to part ways with Tebow next month.

Coach Rex Ryan and one-term offensive coordinator Tony Sparano failed to incorporate Tebow into the offensive scheme with any success. Tebow also saw time as a punt protector -- a role that became full time after safety Eric Smith was injured.

Tebow's future in the NFL is unclear. The one team to express interest in Tebow last season, the Jacksonville Jaguars, is no longer interested. After a season with the Jets, Tebow finds that his prospects of starting in the NFL are dim.

"I can't imagine a scenario in which he'll be a Jacksonville Jaguar -- even if he's released," new Jaguars GM David Caldwell said at his introductory news conference earlier this month.

In all, Tebow was used for just 73 offensive plays for the Jets (6-10) this season.

Tebow, who has two years remaining on his contract, said in an interview with the Fox Business Network after the season, "I don't have any regrets" about his move to the Jets.

"I believe everything happens for a reason. I don't know what my future holds, but I know who holds my future and in that there is a lot of peace and a lot of comfort," he said in the interview.

Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Jane McManus was used in this report.