Welcome to New York, new Jets general manager John Idzik. Your first job? Trade Tim Tebow for something more than peanuts. Your second job? Try to understand the circus that is the New York Jets.
While it’s no secret that the Jets are interested in moving on from quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Tebow, what has been interesting this offseason is how they’re trying to go about it.
First came reports that the Jets want to ditch Sanchez, but are looking for someone like journeyman Tarvaris Jackson to take his place. (In the Jets’ defense, they have very little salary-cap room available.)
Now, in trying to find a buyer for Tebow, who was badly misused in the Jets’ system during the season, the team looks like it’s pinning the entire situation on fired GM Mike Tannenbaum in hopes of saving face. While it has been widely believed that owner Woody Johnson brought Tebow to New York in some kind of publicity ploy, Rich Cimini of ESPN reports that the Jets now say that Johnson was not behind the controversial trade.
“Former Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist . . . said Johnson told him it wasn’t his idea,” Cimini writes. “According to Sundquist, Johnson said the trade was ‘forced’ on them — meaning him and team president Neil Glat, who also participated in [Sundqist’s interview to be the Jets’ next general manager]. That makes it sound like Johnson was blaming former general manager Mike Tannenbaum for the Tebow debacle. In a sense, Johnson did exactly that, firing Tannenbaum. Johnson also said, according to Sundquist, that he eventually ‘jumped on board’ with the idea, deferring to his football people.”
Now Idzik’s first job is to drum up interest for Tebow, so the Jets can get at least a little help back when he is traded away. Cimini says the Jets “are expected to part ways with Tebow next month.”
While Idzik has been praised in football circles and could be a solid choice to turn the Jets around, it’s never about cap space, player talent or in-game strategy in New York. The biggest part of that job will always be handling egos, media attention and the fickle interests of ownership and fans alike.
In that role, Idzik has his hands full, no matter what happens with Sanchez and Tebow.