It might be hard to find an NFL player that has gone through more trials and tribulations than New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow this season.
Over the past ten months, Tebow has been traded, bemoaned for his passing skills, involved in a position battle, vetted by the New York media, passed twice over for a starting spot, and finally called a "quitter" by fans.
Tebow responded to his latest situation by vehemently denying reports that he refused to run the Jets wildcat package, which was supposedly drawn up by offensive coordinator Tony Sparano just for him.
“When people are talking about how you play football or how much, that’s one thing, it really doesn’t bother me,” Tebow said, according to Jets.com “I think the only thing that has been disappointing for me these last few days, and frustrating, is the people saying, ‘Oh, you quit on the team’ or ‘You’re not a good teammate.’ I think that’s disappointing.”
Jets head coach Rex Ryan also responded to the rumors that have fans calling Tebow a “quitter.” Ryan said he thought it was best to use receiver Jeremy Kerley in the wildcat instead of Tebow, a decision that he stood by.
Despite reports that he convinced Tebow he would have an excellent opportunity to contribue this season, Ryan has made a habit of not employing Tebow.
Mark Sanchez struggled throughout the season, and it took a five-turnover performance against the Tennessee Titans in Week 15 for Ryan to finally pull him. Ryan would overlook Tebow and name second-year quarterback Greg McElroy the starter against the San Diego Chargers, saying McElroy gave the Jets the best chance to win.
A week later and Tebow was leapfrogged again. It was revealed McElroy suffered a concussion against San Diego and Ryan decided to go back to Sanchez.
Even before the latest controversy, it was reported Tebow wanted out. The former Florida standout and Heisman Trophy winner may not have to do deal with Ryan, the New York media, or the Jets organization much longer.
According to reports, New York will release him per his request, with a trip back to Jacksonville and a stint with the Jaguars the expected move. Tebow originally didn't want to go to Jacksonville with second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert considered the starter of the future. Gabbert has since been replaced by veteran Chad Henne, who the Jaguars do not see as a long-term solution.
Should Tebow sign with Jacksonville in the offseason, reports say the Jaguars will hold a quarterback competition throughout next year's training camp. That would give Tebow his best chance to start in the NFL, and possibly end his turbulent year.