The first man to get the ax after the Jets’ dismal 6-10 campaign was general manager Mike Tannenbaum, and the former executive expressed disappointment — but not regret — about the Tebow situation in an interview with ESPN.com on Tuesday.
“I’m disappointed it didn’t work out, just like I’m disappointed when certain draft choices don’t work out,” Tannenbaum said. “We put in a lot of time and effort. We had a rationale for it. At the end of the day, it didn’t go as we had planned.”
There appeared to be tension within the Jets organization over Tebow’s role on the team, as the third-year pro threw just eight passes all season and was unable to add any legitimacy to New York’s ground attack, either, totaling 102 yards on 32 carries.
Though it was originally speculated that the trade for Tebow had been spearheaded by team owner Woody Johnson as a way to capitalize on the young star’s considerable popularity, it has since been revealed that it was Tannenbaum, not Johnson, who was behind the move.
“I had a great working relationship with both Woody and [head coach] Rex [Ryan],” Tannenbaum said. “Anytime we’d make a decision on something like this, we’d talk about it, discuss the pros and cons and ultimately it was my decision. I’ve always said that.
“For seven years, I had final say on everything. That was an honor and a privilege and a responsibility I totally embraced — whether it was trading for Tim Tebow or trading up for Darrelle Revis or trading for Brett Favre and everything in between. Ultimately, I had the final say on things.”
It’s admirable for the former GM to take responsibility for what turned out to be terribly misguided decision, especially since he is now in the market for a new job. But although Tannenbaum insists that the situation was “just a trade that didn’t work out,” we can’t help but think that most Jets fans will agree with special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff in calling it “an absolute mess.”