Woody Johnson: Tim Tebow trade forced on me

While it’s unclear where his next home will be — in the NFL or otherwise — Tim Tebow’s time in New York is coming to a close.

In a column for ESPNNewYork.com, beat writer Rich Cimini reports the Jets are expected to release Tebow next month.

No surprise here. Jets coaches have already admitted the Tebow experiment was an abject failure, making it a lock both sides will part ways. By cutting him, New York will save $2.5 million against the cap.

However, one item does jump out, and it’s in regard to who was behind the Tebow acquisition. All signs pointed toward owner Woody Johnson as the driving force, but apparently that wasn’t the case.

Former Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist, who last week interviewed for the same position with the Jets, was told by Johnson that the Tebow trade wasn’t his idea.

Instead, the high-profile quarterback/punt protector was “forced” on Johnson and team president Neil Glat, both of whom eventually “jumped on board with the idea” — with much apprehension.

“They realized it was divisive and hard on the locker room, and they wanted an exit strategy,” Sundquist said to ESPNNewYork.

Sounds like a game of pin the tail on the donkey. In this instance, it appears former GM Mike Tannenbaum would be the donkey — or scapegoat, as it were. Easy to throw a guy under the bus when he’s no longer employed by the organization.

No matter who pulled the trigger on Tebow, the past is in the past. The future is easier to predict: Tebow, like Tannenbaum, will be out of a job.

So much for that three year plan.

(Photo: Elsa/Getty Images)

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Zack Kelberman
An award-winning sportswriter, reporter and blogger, Zack currently serves as the Miami Dolphins live correspondent and Team Stream curator for Bleacher Report. He's also a freelance NFL writer and the founder/editor-in-chief of Helmet2Helmet. His work has appeared on media outlets such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, MSN.com, FanSided.com, and About.com. Zack can be reached on Twitter (@ZackKelberman) or via email (zpkelb@gmail.com).
  • New York jets are the real losers in not keeping tebow , but then again tebow is better off with out the jets.

    • ragg

      No, you’re a real loser for defending this mediocre, fraud of a QB…

      • Tom

        ragg – Tebow has more class in his little pinkie, than you have in your entire body.

        • Ragg

          If you say so.

    • Danny

      Always thought Denver shouldn’t have traded him, if he stayed he could have learned from Manning for a couple of years, then maybe be a QB. Still hate Denver anyway, they just showed how stupid they are too.

  • It was terrible how the league and media ruined TIM TEBOW,s career . It was disgusting. God is ON his side .Ipray and wish him the luck.

    • Bobbke

      God better show him how to read defenses and throw a better pass. He needs to stop lifting weights so much and study film. He is not a quarterback.

  • the tim tebow trade was forced on him too. jets will suck next year as well. M,vick would b afool to even listen to jet talk. you would think tims middle name hussein

  • Gary Dobbs

    He never got a chance. One of the greatest players in college football history and he got treated like a piece of garbage worth nothing. Come on people, just because he is not a dirt bag thug like the rest in the National Felon League does not mean he is useless to any team in the NFL. He has all kinds of talent, my god people are just blind to facts. He is not MONTANA, RG3, LUCK but he wins. Lets look at Denver, great stats with a super QB. CHOKED….Did i say CHOKE…yes i did. There were some no so great passers that went to super bowls in the past. MIcheal Vick when he was younger had no accuracy but he electrified the crowds, butts in the seats. Maybe being a Falcons,Gators fan makes me a bit odd but not stupid like these NFL coaches and owners. These selfish punks that play and backstab their teamates makes me sick like those loser Denver receivers. Give the guy a chance. Stop focusing on the fact he is not Montana and focus on the fact he is a winner that does not quit unlike my Falcons. Take your blinders off football world and stop judging someone who hasnt even giving a chance!!!!!!!!

    • ragg

      He did get a chance, in practice, but couldn’t earn the job…Tim Tebow sucks, that’s why the Jets didn’t play him.

      • RC

        Oh yes thats right…Rex Ryan went with the quarterback that gave him the best chance to win…Six out of Sixteen. Rex is the loser…Not Tebow !!

      • Russell

        The Jets didn’t play him because Rex “tattoo” Ryan has an unnatural and entirely misplaced obsession with Mark “butt fumble” Sanchez. And they didn’t even bother to run the Wildcat in practice, per Mike Westhoff, so I don’t know how anyone can claim that he got much of a fair shake in practice, either. It’s kind of hard to compete for a job when you’ve been brought in solely as a publicity stunt and were pigeonholed by the management before day one.

        Now the top clowns are blaming a circus of their own creation on whatever scapegoats they can find. Excuse me while I puke. In the meantime, there are numerous *non-dysfunctional* teams out there that could use a spark. If one of them has a coach with a set in his trousers then Tebow has a shot of bringing the read option to a struggling franchise. To suggest that he can’t make it work after what he and Fox did on the fly in Denver is blind parroting of opinions that were never right about him to begin with. And enough with handing all the credit to the defense. Yes they stepped up, but they stayed in the game because they knew they had a playmaker on their hands. That’s how a team works, get it?

        I’m not going to sit here and argue that Tebow doesn’t have faults. Of course he does. But it astounds me that the same people that claimed he’d never get drafted, then claimed he’d never start a game in the NFL, then claimed that if he started he’d never win, then insisted that he didn’t have a shot at winning a playoff game, then said that the read option would never work in the pros, are STILL trying to tell us that they have an authoritative grasp on what this guy can and cannot accomplish. How many times does he have to prove them wrong before they stop picking him apart like crows on a carcass?

        Charley Casserly, who has been no particular Tebow fan, recently remarked to the NFL network that Tebow would be a natural fit in Kelly’s offense if he were to incorporate the spread. Mike Ditka even now after this disastrous season still thinks he has a future as a QB in the NFL and is against the idea of switching positions. Steve Young believes he can QB in the NFL. Several players have now come out and said he should have been given a chance to QB for the Jets…one of them a Jets linebacker. But, no, we’re all supposed to just indulge the likes of SAS and Merril Hodge, two people whose public profiles have profited handsomely from criticizing the guy. And we’re supposed to believe that Rex Ryan’s cluelessness and Woody Johnson’s cowardice somehow translate into condemnation of Tebow’s potential.

        Sorry, but no. Give the guy a chance.

        • *

          THANK YOU!!! Finally someone with intelligence speaking up. It’s been absolutely nauseating to read the bashing and mocking of such a wonderful person. Fine, a person doesn’t think that he’s a great QB but to go out and publicly rip him over and over and over is just disgusting. I can’t begin to tell you how horrible it has been to hear and read the comments being stated by ‘gentlemen’ employed by ESPN and the NFL Network. It makes them look so puny as if they are so intimidated by this guy who ‘can’t’ be a good quarterback but yet they feel are compelled to CONSTANTLY critisize him.

          • *


      • kcoachr


        Unlike you who probably never strapped on a jock in his life I played and coached the game (college and Pro).

        I’m willing to bet the farm you are probably at least 75 lbs. overweight who’s idea of of a work out is ripping the wrapper off a Snickers candy bar.

        You have no idea what you are talking about regarding Tebow. The kid never got an honest chance at competing. I’ve seen it in the NFL hundreds of times. Please don’t make an ignorant comment regrading throwing mechanics that the clueless sportswriters write about. Like you, if they really knew anything about football they would either be playing it, or coaching it. Not writing about it.

        • Ragg

          Everything you said about me is speculation, but Tebow didn’t deserve a chance because he’s mediocre… Now, his Career is over, all you nut huggers can go follow him in the CFL if he can make it there.

    • Bobbke

      Its a left wing conspiracy against the greatest quarterback of all time. Just because he completed less than 50% of his passes couldn’t read a defense or check of to a secondary reciever is no reason not to start him. He was the greatest quarterback Denver had ever had or will have, every game they won while he was there was all because of his great quarterback play and when he lost we all know it was the coaches holding him back. I think he should go back to the U of Florida, maybe they would win another champioship.

      • ragg

        I like your style…

      • MrBasebal1

        The Tebow led Broncos went farther last year than the Manning led Broncos did this year. Last year, the Broncos beat the Steelers in the first round of the playoffs with Tebow as their QB. This year’s team didn’t survive the first round. I’ve seen the media repeatedly spin this as though it happened some other way. That is why people bring up “conspiracy theorys”. Tebow took a 1-4 team and made them a winner. This Tebow bashing shouldn’t surprise anyone, though. Look how quickly so-called NFL fans threw Brett Favre under the bus, after his 2010 season was so bad. The year before, the guy had a career high season at age 41and one stupid penalty kept him from going to the Superbowl.

      • kcoachr


        Before you open your mouth and insert your foot, you might want to read (assuming you can read) Elway’s stats in the first set and number of games as Tebow played in. Tebow’s stats are better and even the sportswriters have admitted it.

        Everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, if you are going to post it at least try to appear intelligent.

    • *

      Agreed!! I don’t even think Tebows reached his FULLEST potential but he has to be given a chance first!

  • Mikejsohu

    Take a minute and discover how the rich are stealing from all of us. Google “SLICK STOCK MAN'”‘ then proceed to the top site. If you click on their PENNY STOCK pages, you will see all the ways that the wealthy are basically corrupting the system. More importantly, you will see how you can get ur share.

  • ragg

    Really, the media destroyed Tebow’s career? Tim Tebow not able to complete more than 30% of his attempts killed his career. Remember, the same media you’re blaming for “Killing Tim Tebow’s career” is the same media that shoved this mediocre, impostor of a QB down our throats. Tim Tebow should have never been drafted in the NFL.

    • Tom

      @ragg – so much hate against one person.

      • geebus55

        …when was the last time the Heisman Trophy winner wasn’t drafted. Oh yeah, never.

        • Ragg

          Charlie Ward was a heisman winner who didn’t get drafted…

    • MrBasebal1

      The Broncos advanced farther in the playoffs last year with Tebow as their QB. People are so quick to forget that he beat the Steelers in the first round, whereas Manning’s Broncos lost in the first round this year. That picture of Rex Ryan’s wife with a tatoo of Mark Sanchez said it all. Good thing Kurt Warner and Warren Moon didn’t listen to the a-holes who said they would never play in the NFL again. I also lauagh when I think about all those whiners that wanted Steve Young gone before Joe Montana got run out of town.

      • kcoachr


        Kurt Warner, and Warren Moon ? How about a guy by the name of John Unitas whom the Steelers cut and never allowed to take a snap. Unitas went on to be the best that ever played.

  • Mrbasebal1

    Readers may recall Johnson having been quoted as saying: “You can never have enough Tebow”. This is as funny as that line in the movie Heaven Can Wait, where a guy asks the former Rams owner what kind of pressure (Warren Beatty’s character) put on him to sell the team. The owner responded: “I asked for $67 million and the SOB said OK”.

  • patrick

    funny isn’t it broncos win playoff games with Tebow ! how many playoff wins with Manning.

  • the goldern rule

    I Still follow anything related to Tim Tebow. If he did not give the NFL a lift with the Broncos then I missed something. Every one said the run option wouldn’t work in the NFl, take a look at SF and their new QB. If that does not make one believe that Tebow still doesn’t have a place in the NFL then you don’t know football. More teams will go to it with the proper skill set which Tebow also has. A moving pockit works best with the new style of mobil QBs and they sure are fun to watch. Tebow may not be a practice player but he does know how to win if given enough snaps to get a feel for the game. If the Jags don’t rethink picking up Tebow then they are the fools. If they come to their sences then I will follow as will many others.

  • geebus55

    What a bunch of crap. Where ever Tim ends upit will be much better than the two-faced bunch of Pro-tards he was forced to work with this year. Dumb fks couldn’t see that he could do the same things that the 49’er QB can do?

    Looking forward to seeing Tim with a new team, one that can utlize his many talents.

  • Keys

    Tebow doesn’t practice losing. The practice Qb just praticed losing because that’s all he did.all except McElroy one loss. Tim is a winner at heart. A heisman a national championship, a playoff victory over the Steelers throwing for 316 yards.now that’s greatness. Taking a 1-4 bronco team to a playoffs in spite of the media and Bronco mgmt standing on the brakes to derail Tebow mania!

  • Ragg

    Tim Tebow can’t throw, he can’t read and make defensive progressions, Tebow is dumb… He’s just a white version of Vince Young, with less talent.

  • TEBOW has trophy’s and championships,what does Rex have?the jets suck and Rex should have been fired.terrible coach and should be rated on his record over last few years.
    I see a lot of tebowing going on but not one comment from announcers or analysts.merril on espn shouldn’t be allowed inside espn to clean the toilets.who is he and what has he accomplished.
    Ps. Ragg I bet you suck at everything.

  • The losers are the jets. Tebow would have a impact after sanchez for the second year in a row was awful. As always the top of the organization blaming others. woody and rex are the biggest problem, they do not know how to lead. They probably cry together. I really hope the jet fans will send a message this year and do not go to any game or buy jets items. We the fans are the ones that make their money. I am not going to any games or buying any more items until they fire rex.

  • Lone Wolf