NFL: Jets release Tebow after one season
NEW YORK -- Tebow Time is off the clock.
Tim Tebow was waived by the Jets on Monday, the end of an unsuccessful one-season experiment in New York that had been expected for months.
"Unfortunately, things did not work out the way we all had hoped," Coach Rex Ryan said in a statement by the team in announcing the move.
The Heisman Trophy winner attempted just eight passes after his ballyhooed arrival in a surprising trade from the Denver Broncos in March 2012. He threw for 39 yards and rushed 32 times for 102 yards - and stunningly had no touchdowns as a member of the Jets.
Meanwhile, starter Mark Sanchez struggled amid constant questions about Tebow's playing time, and still Tebow remained mostly on the sideline. The Jets and new general manager John Idzik drafted former West Virginia star Geno Smith in the second round of the NFL draft Friday, giving New York six quarterbacks on its roster - and creating uncertainty about Sanchez's future as well.
Tebow arrived at the team's facility in Florham Park, N.J., on Monday morning and was told he had been cut.
"Tim is an extremely hard worker, evident by the shape he came back in this offseason," Ryan said. "We wish him the best moving forward."
Tebow led the Broncos to the playoffs in 2011, but became expendable when Denver signed Peyton Manning as a free agent. The popular backup quarterback was acquired by the Jets for a fourth-round draft pick and $1.5 million in salary.
From the day the Jets made the move to bring Tebow in to compete with Sanchez, many fans and media predicted it was only a matter of time before the former Florida star stepped in as the starting quarterback. There were billboards outside the Lincoln Tunnel in New Jersey welcoming Tebow, and sandwiches named after him at Manhattan delis.
Ryan refused to start Tebow in place of a struggling Sanchez late in the season, choosing instead to go with third-stringer Greg McElroy ahead of him for one game - despite Tebow's multitude of fans taking to Twitter and begging the team to give their favorite player a chance.
He was solid in his role on special teams as the personal punt protector, but the Jets stopped using him even there after he broke two ribs in a game at Seattle in November. Tebow's overall role diminished greatly after the injury, even after he healed.
Many believe Tebow's best chance to stick in the NFL would be to switch positions. But he insists he is a quarterback and just wants an opportunity - just as the Broncos gave him two seasons ago when he took over for Kyle Orton and led Denver to several comeback victories and into the playoffs.
Chicago could be a possibility since Coach Marc Trestman worked with Tebow before the NFL draft in 2010 and in the Senior Bowl and liked what he saw. He'd be a backup there behind Jay Cutler, though. Tampa Bay, San Diego and New England might also be options.
Tebow could also head to Canada and play in the CFL, taking the route several others before him have, such as Doug Flutie, Warren Moon and Jeff Garcia. The Montreal Alouettes own his exclusive negotiating rights, but whether Tebow would even be open to a move north of the U.S. border is uncertain.
Brett Bouchy, the owner of the Orlando Predators of the Arena League, recently told the Orlando Sentinel that his team would "love to have him" and added that "we have a contract waiting for him to sign."