Mike Tannenbaum takes blame for Tim Tebow trade

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Former New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum took responsibility for the Tim Tebow trade, conceding that it was ultimately his decision to bring Tebow to the Jets.

Tim Tebow can't seem to escape the New York media -- not yet, at least.

Former New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum, who was relieved of his duties as the Jets' general manager following the 2012 season, revealed that acquiring Tebow was his decision -- lending credence to the report last week that Jets owner Woody Johnson was apprehensive at first about bringing Tebow to New York.

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Speaking to Rich Cimini of ESPN New York, Tannenbaum conceded that the Tebow trade was a "bust," and that ultimately, he was the one who decided to pull the trigger on the trade that brought the backup quarterback to New York:

"Once we met on it and talked about it, ultimately that was my decision to trade for Tim," Tannenbaum said. Asked if he had to convince Johnson, Tannenbaum said, "I had a great working relationship with both Woody and Rex (Ryan). 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."

Tebow helped lead the Denver Broncos to the playoffs in 2011, and his overtime touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas lifted the Broncos past the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Tebow finished the 2011 season completing just 46.5 percent of his passes for 1,729 yards and 12 touchdowns, but added 660 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns.

Still, it was evident that Broncos personnel, including John Elway, did not see Tebow was the quarterback of the future. Denver went out and signed Peyton Manning in the offseason, and then traded Tebow to the Jets.

As a member of the Jets in 2012, Tebow appeared in 12 games, completing 6-of-8 passes for 39 yards. Tebow had just 32 rushing attempts for 102 yards, and was never the focal point of any game plan. Even when quarterback Mark Sanchez struggled mightily, Jets coach Rex Ryan was reluctant to turn to Tebow -- though Tebow fought various injuries throughout the season.

It was believed that Ryan and then-offensive coordinator Tony Sparano would utilize a heavy dosage of wildcat package plays to cater to Tebow's strengths as a quarterback, but those plans never materialized, and Tebow was barely utilized -- and never earned a start with the Jets.

Ultimately, the trade for Tebow simply didn't work out for the Jets, or for Tebow. Now in 2013, the Jets are without the architect of the trade, and will almost certainly be without Tebow, who will likely be released in the coming weeks.

The Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars both had interest in trading for Tebow last year, but it was New York who wound up with the former Florida Gators star. Tannenbaum and the Jets surrendered a fourth and sixth-round pick in exchange for Tebow and a seventh-round pick. Denver selected Philip Blake and Danny Trevathan with the draft picks.

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