Now that “Tebowmania” has run its course in New York, insiders are beginning to shed light on who is really responsible for thinking number 15 stood a chance in East Rutherford.
Former Denver Broncos executive Ted Sundquist, who interviewed with the Jets for their vacant general manager position, told ESPN in a recent interview that team owner Woody Johnson said the former first-round pick was “forced” on both him and team president Neil Glat.
Sundquist said that Johnson ultimately “jumped on board” with the idea of bringing in Tebow after opting to let the player personnel staff do what they felt was best for the team, according to ESPN.
“They realized it was divisive and hard on the locker room, and they wanted an exit strategy,” Sundquist reportedly said in regard to what Johnson and Glat were thinking.
Tebow came to New York in March 2012 with sports writers publishing mixed review on whether the former Florida Gator would have success in the shadow of Jets starter Mark Sanchez.
While some NFL insiders went as far as to speculate that the acquisition was a publicity stunt to capture headlines and sell merchandise, PSLs and tickets, Tebow never became anything more than a circus on the Jets sideline. Despite starter Mark Sanchez’s less than stellar play towards the end of the season, head coach Rex Ryan overlooked the 25-year-old and tried his hand at the teams third-string quarterback Greg McElroy. To be blunt, the whole season played out like a bad reality TV show.
In the wake of Tebow’s arrival to Metlife Stadium, Johnson spoke highly of his newly acquired player and repeatedly denied that the decision to add Tebow to the roster was about drawing attention to the franchise.
“I think you can never have too much Tebow,” Johnson famously told CNBC last August. Less than two months later on the same network, Johnson said that New York would “absolutely” keep the quarterback through 2014, the final year of his contract.
Now according to Sundquist’s interview with ESPN, Johnson’s alleged comments allude to the fact that it was general manager Mike Tannenbaum who wanted Tebow garbed in green. Tannenbaum was fired by Johnson the day after New York’s season-ending defeat to the Bills in Buffalo.
As for Tebow, the questionable NFL quarterback was used threw just eight passes on the season, completing six of them for 39 yards. He also rushed the ball 32 times for 102 yards while being denied any touchdowns