By Michael Moraitis
The best thing for Tim Tebow’s career is for him to escape the circus that has become the New York Jets organization, but it looks like he may not be able to do that.
According to Mike Garafolo of USA Today Sports, it looks like the Jets may be interested in keeping Tebow, per general manager John Idzik:
“Tim, as you know, (is) currently on our roster and what we’re doing is we’re trying to increase competition at that position and positions across the board.”
“We’re going to let the competition play out. We’re going to see who we’re able to bring on board and let it play out this offseason and into training camp.”
“That will be healthy for all concerned, including Tim.”
There could be a multitude of reasons why the Jets keep Tebow.
The first of which is that the Jets may be having issues dealing the former Heisman Trophy winner. That wouldn’t be surprising considering teams may be looking to avoid the media frenzy that is Tebow in the event he doesn’t become a starter on their respective squad.
Nobody likes a backup quarterback getting more attention than the starter and Tebow no doubt qualifies as a backup who can do just that.
Also, it doesn’t help that the Jets wasted an entire season of Tebow’s career by keeping him on the bench and never allowing him to make a single start last season. That wasn’t going to make him a more movable asset by any stretch.
No surprise the Jets didn’t realize that simple fact.
It still boggles the mind how New York couldn’t even give him a look. Even had he played poorly, it isn’t as if Tebow would have made the Jets look any worse than they already do. The Jets normally succeed in doing that all by themselves with dumb contracts, a loud-mouth coach, butt fumbles, etc.
Instead, Tebow was relegated to a Wildcat and special teams role that saw him carry the ball 12 times for 102 yards, and he only threw the ball eight times the entire year.
And, of course, the Jets don’t want to release Tebow straight up because then they would be paying two quarterbacks to do nothing for them (see: Mark Sanchez).
The third and less likely reason for keeping Tebow is that they want to see if he can compete and win the starting job, which is possible since the team doesn’t have a definitive answer at quarterback just yet.
However, Tebow’s chances to actually win the starting job are minimal considering head coach Rex Ryan clearly has no faith in the Florida product after epically failing to give him a chance in 2012 despite his team’s season already being in the dumps.
On the surface, it looks like GM Idzik my have just opened the door for Tebow to have a second chance with the franchise, but at this point, he has no choice but to be diplomatic in regard to the 25-year-old since he obviously can’t find a suitor to take him.
New York has already proven it has zero faith in Tebow, so it’s unlikely Idzik’s arrival has sparked a new interest in him being the team’s solution behind center.
This is exactly the problem Tebow needed to avoid. The Jets quarterback’s stock was at an all-time high just a year ago after he defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers to win his first career playoff game. That occurred after leading the Denver Broncos on an improbable run to the playoffs that made Tebow the talk of the league.
But, as is the case with most things the Jets touch, they destroyed that stock by making Tebow ride the pine and further aided in crushing his credibility behind center by benching him behind two sub-par signal-callers for the entirety of the 2012 campaign.
In that time, Tebow’s playoff success has been mostly forgotten and now he has nothing to ride high on, which in turn has helped teams lose any interest they may have originally had.
If Tebow hopes to regain any kind of stock, he must leave the Jets immediately in any way possible to put himself in a better situation on a team that might give him a chance. It’s been clear from day one that the Jets saw Tebow as a novelty act and an attention grabber who can sell jerseys rather than an actual NFL quarterback.
It was this selfish reason that made the Jets acquire him in the first place. Meanwhile, Tebow had his sights set on becoming the team’s quarterback if things didn’t go well, but that was never the plan in New York’s mind.
It’s a shame because the Jets hold all the cards in this instance. They have the final say as to where Tebow ends up and because they are cheap and cash-strapped, if they can’t trade him, they will hold on to him in the hopes of getting something in return for their investment.
At this point, Tebow would be better off in the CFL instead of staying with the Jets. At least he’d have a chance to play quarterback and improve his game with regular reps. It’s highly doubtful he’ll get the same opportunity with the Jets in 2013.
Let’s just hope Tebow gets a fair shake this season should he remain with the Jets. Even if he doesn’t win the starting job out of training camp, he should get a legit opportunity to start at some point as the Jets are top-10 draft-pick bound once again with the lackluster roster they will put on the field next season.
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