Tim Tebow was acquired by the Jets in March of last year and after general manager Mike Tannenbaum was fired following the 2012 season, the executive took blame for the trade, saying it was his primary decision.
Tannenbaum spoke more about his past work with the Jets, including the trade for Tebow as well as the contract given to Mark Sanchez prior to the season, saying that those were the primary reasons behind his dismissal from the team.
"I don't think I would have signed a quarterback to an extension knowing that he'd have 26 turnovers," Tannenbaum said Thursday on "NFL AM" when asked about the gaudy deal Sanchez received last March. "That might be one of the reasons I'm right sitting here with you guys. Not that this is not a great place to spend Valentine's Day."
He also spoke about Tebow and his chances of success in the NFL, saying that no one should doubt the quarterback who won the Heisman trophy at Florida.
"I could never say that," he said. "This is a guy that was successful in high school, won championships in college. He's the type of person, he's either going to be successful as a pro quarterback, or die trying."
The team signed Sanchez to a five-year, $58.25 million deal and also has money invested in Tebow, giving the Jets two quarterbacks that they are not confident in using. Sanchez has turned the ball over 50 times over the past two seasons and Tebow was never given a chance to show what he could do with the Jets.
"My core belief has always been, let's try to draft as many of our good players as we can -- the core -- and sign them to extensions when it makes sense for both sides. So, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold. And again, here's a guy that beat Tom Brady in a road playoff game, beat Peyton Manning on the road -- so these are not hopes, these are not projections. These are real wins in the NFL," he said.
Sanchez has an $8.25 million guarantee for 2013 making him hard to trade, but it's possible the team could find a partner for him or Tebow before training camps begin during the summer.
There are many possibilities for the Jets in trading Tebow, depending on how interested other NFL teams prove to be. Both the Arizona Cardinals and the Cleveland Browns are potential landing spots, especially out in the desert as Tebow has been training there in the offseason. The Browns are under new management in every top position, meaning they may want to draft their own quarterback.
Rookie Brandon Weeden was drafted by the old regime and new owner Jimmy Haslam could look at Tebow as a quarterback for the future. The Browns have a number of young players in Josh Gordon and Trent Richardson and Tebow could light a fire under the fan base if he is acquired.
Tebow at first was thought to be traded to the Jaguars, but after the team expressed it was not interested in the quarterback, the Jets started to look elsewhere. One of the obvious choices is Arizona due to the mediocre and mostly awful play of quarterbacks John Skelton, Kevin Kolb and Ryan Lindley last season, although new coach Bruce Arians is reluctant to make such a big change.
The Jets were ranked low on offense this season and used Tebow sparingly, having him out on the field for 70 plays, but he never made it into the endzone. The change was a big one from the previous season when he led the Broncos to an emphatic playoff win in overtime against the Steelers.