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NEW YORK (WFAN) – So after all these months of speculation, we finally know whose decision it was to acquire backup quarterback Tim Tebow.
Here’s a hint: He is no longer with the organization.
Former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum admitted to WFAN host Mike Francesa on Tuesday that the decision to bring in the former first-round pick was his — not owner Woody Johnson’s or head coach Rex Ryan’s.
Tannenbaum, who was fired by Johnson a day after Gang Green lost its final game of the season, said that he made the first move and called Denver.
But why did he do it?
“Basically, going back to last season, we finished 8-8,” Tannenbaum explained. ”We collectively really felt that we lost something with Brad Smith. Brad was a good change-of-pace guy, (and) good things happened when the ball was in his hands. So when Tebow became available, we got in a room (and) we talked about it. And then, with the price being a fourth-round pick, we felt like, ‘Here’s a guy that, with the ball in his hands, good things have happened.’”
Many speculated that it was Johnson who called for Tebow, as the owner has a reputation for craving headlines and media attention. But Tannenbaum let Johnson off the hook and acknowledged that adding the 25-year-old to the roster was strictly about improving the football team.
“It was my decision,” Tannenbaum said. ”Rex and I talked about it, and then we brought (former offensive coordinator) Tony Sparano into the mix. Obviously, Tony is a guy who has taken that kind of offense before (and) had success with it in Miami. And we felt that it was going to be another club in the bag to help us on offense. That was our thinking when we made the decision. Obviously it didn’t work out the way we had hoped, but that was our thinking.”
Tannenbaum said that the Jets’ brass was well aware of all the baggage that would accompany Tebow’s arrival, but the front office and coaches were confident that they would be able to manage the situation.
“We absolutely contemplated it, knowing that this guy has a rare following,” Tannenbaum said. ”But we also felt like we had the infrastructure from a management standpoint to handle it. So that was a factor. But again, from a football standpoint, we thought it made a lot of sense for a lot of reasons.”
Used primarily as a personal punt protector on special teams in 2012, Tebow threw just eight passes on the season, completing six of them for 39 yards. He also rushed the ball 32 times for 102 yards. The former Heisman Trophy winner didn’t score any touchdowns.
Super Bowl XLVII will be broadcast on CBS, with kickoff set for 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Are you surprised by this admission, Jets fans? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…