In an interview with CBS sports radio former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum admitted to making a lot of mistakes with Tebow most notable being the biggest one. Tannenbaum began working for the Jets on February 19, 1997 as director of player negotiations and worked his way up to the general manager position by 2006 succeeding Terry Bradway. His career as the Jets GM was not the most tumultuous in NFL history, but in 2011 the cracks started to show and by the end of the 2012 season the floor completely gave way under the Jets feet.
This happened due to a mismanagement of money and over-blown contracts to players who didn’t deserve them. Mark Sanchez is the most obvious example receiving an undeserved extension and raise after a down year. After the extension Tannenbaum made what he concedes to be his biggest mistake by trading away the Jets 4th and 6th round draft picks to Denver for Tim Tebow. The idea was to replace former Jets return specialist and wildcat quarterback Brad Smith, as well as bringing in a dynamic player on special teams. The concept on special teams was to use him as a punt protector, introducing the possibility of a fake to Tebow on 4th and short giving him the chance to get a first down. While he was moderately effective in this area this turned out to be his biggest contribution to the Jets and the price was too high.
The price was 2.1 million in his first year with the Jets and one of the most frustrating controversies for any Jets fan in team history. The overpaid starting quarterback Sanchez was constantly reminded of Tebow breathing down his shoulder by the media and some of the fan base, possibly contributing to his abysmal under performance that season. Furthermore the Jets were still paying Tebow off this past season to the tune of roughly 1.5 million dollars. Unfortunately for Tannenbaum the Tebow experiment waould be his last misstep with the Jets and he would find himself looking for a new job in 2013, while a more sensibly minded John Idzik took the reigns.