In his first interview since being relieved of his duties as general manager of the New York Jets, Mike Tannebaum went into great detail on the highly debated trade that brought Tim Tebow to the Big Apple. The trade was portrayed as a miscalculation on Tannenbaum’s part.
“I'm disappointed it didn't work out, just like I'm disappointed when certain draft choices don't work out," Tannenbaum told ESPNNewYork on Tuesday. "We put in a lot of time and effort. We had a rationale for it. At the end of the day, it didn't go as we had planned.”
Tebow’s production—or lack thereof spoke for itself—as he ran only 75 offensive plays and accounted for just 141total yards on the season. The Jets utilization of Tebow was a hotly debated topic by NFL analysts and football fans across the country.
"We thought there was a role for him," said Tannenbaum. "Working with Rex every day, and seeing the way the league has evolved with the ball being in the quarterback's hands and making plays with your feet, we thought it would give us a chance to make our offense more dynamic. It just didn't work out that way."
Tannenbaum took full responsibility for bringing Tebow in during the off-season. This went against prior reports that suggested the decision was owner Woody Johnson’s alone. Most critics speculated that the transaction was driven by the massive amount of media attention that Tebow would generate.
"Once we met on it and talked about it, ultimately that was my decision to trade for Tim," 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.”
Tannenbaum went on to explain part of his rationale for bringing in Tebow. The lack of a versatile player who could run the Wildcat was something that was missing in 2011, according to Tannenbaum. They found Tebow to be a capable replacement to the production that Brad Smith provided during his five-year stay with the Jets. The production wasn’t matched, and neither was the Tebow experiment, but why?
"Some moves work out, some don't," said Tannenbaum. "Maybe, if we had more success on offense, it would've allowed more plays for everybody and it would've meant more opportunities for Tim."