It's been a race in the Jets front office to deflect blame for Tim Tebow's signing, season-long benching, and the entire circus. First onto Tebow himself, with anonymous Jets sources saying Tebow refused to be used in Wildcat packages. Then coach Rex Ryan made it known it was strictly a football move, saying that if he thought Tebow could have helped the team win, "I would have played him."
(Ryan also made his loyalties crystal clear by refusing to play Tebow no matter how awful Mark Sanchez played. Also, an erotic Sanchez tattoo.)
Add Jets owner Woody Johnson to the list of Jets sources who want to make it very clear, they never wanted Tebow in the first place. According to ESPN.com, Johnson explained to one of the Jets' prospective GM candidates just how he ended up on the team:
Former Broncos GM Ted Sundquist, who interviewed for the job nine days ago, said Johnson told him it wasn't his idea. According to Sundquist, Johnson said the trade was "forced" on them — meaning him and team president Neil Glat, who also participated in the interview. That makes it sound like Johnson was blaming former GM 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.
That's sort of odd, because Tannenbaum was never really considered a "football person"—he was hired for his salary cap wizardry. That CBA mastery got the Jets to a pair of conference championship games, but it also got them stuck with this roster, a hole so big they hired a second cap guy in John Idzik to dig them out. Johnson's possibly engaging in some revisionist history here (he seemed all about Tebow last summer), but what are the Jets going to do? Fire him?
Tebow's gone when free agency opens up, but Johnson's distancing shouldn't be taken as an endorsement of Mark Sanchez. For Week 14, after Sanchez had been benched, Greg McElroy had replaced him semi-competently, and Tebow recovered from some bruised ribs, there was dissension in the front office on who to start. The football people came down firmly in favor of Sanchez, but Woody Johnson was all about McElroy. Next season should be fun.