San Diego Chargers v New York Jets

On March 21st last year, the Jets traded for Tim Tebow, and at the time if their intention was to build an offense around their new quarterback’s unique skillset — scrambling, running, and occasionally completing a forward pass — much like the Broncos did, then their sacrifice would have been tolerable. The Jets gave Denver fourth- and sixth-round picks in the draft that just concluded over the weekend.

It would have been fine if Mark Sanchez wasn’t present, and had he not just been given a contract with a whole lot of money, and one that guarantees him $8.25 million next year despite his woeful¬†averageness at best, and turd imitation at worst (oh and hey, that contract is the only reason Sanchez wasn’t cut today too, and instead he has a real shot at the starting job).

Trading for Tebow would have been just dandy if he was given a more prominent role than punt protector. Or if he was asked to do something of importance more than, I dunno, 40 times over his 11 game appearances (32 rushing attempts, eight pass attempts). Or if when the season was finally and officially lost and Sanchez was removed, and it was abundantly clear that trying something new — anything at all, dear god — was the logical avenue to pursue, he wasn’t bypassed on the quarterback depth chart, with Greg McElroy (Greg McElroy!!!!!!!!1) starting instead.

But all of those things happened. Every one of them. And now here’s the lasting memory we have of Tim Tebow in New York…

Oh and this too, in its repeated motion glory with our hero Mario replacing the ball which went doink off our other hero’s helmet…

The Jets released Tebow earlier this morning, a move that hadn’t happened yet because new general manager John Idzik was hopelessly hoping he would get anything of significance for Tebow in a trade. Unfortunately, his predecessors killed whatever shred of trade value he had left, so here we are, two burned draft picks later.

Head coach Rex Ryan floated a company line:

“We have a great deal of respect for Tim Tebow. Unfortunately, things did not work out the way we all had hoped.¬† Tim is an extremely hard worker, evident by the shape he came back in this offseason. We wish him the best moving forward.”

Even before the Jets caught a falling Geno Smith Friday night during the second round to create an even more congested and combustible quarterback depth chart, Tebow’s release was still inevitable. After that pick, it was just a little more inevitable.

Sanchez remains only because of his contract which acts as both an anchor and an anvil, and David Garrard is merely now a veteran safety net. Smith is the future, and when exactly that future begins is now the only question. Tebow, meanwhile, was little more than a comedy routine, and a way to push Skip Bayless’ mechanical buttons. For reasons that go far beyond football, ESPN and many others among the Tebow truthers care so deeply about an irrelevant third-string quarterback. Oddly now that he’s unemployed, the mainstream will care even more, with cameras surely documenting his blossoming rugby career.

And that’s where this is headed. No one will pick Tebow up immediately. Again, that whole draft thing just concluded, followed by the signing of undrafted free agents. At every position, depth charts around the NFL are currently far above their early September waterline. Tebow will have to wait for an injury, and even then the equivalent of Garrard — should such a player be bouncing around the waiver wire in August — will be far more appealing.

As if summoned by a maestro, many looking to find a place for Tebow mentioned the Jaguars this morning, given the team’s proximity to both his hometown, and his former days of glory as a Gator. Sure, maybe the Jags will give up on Blanie Gabbert eventually, but Tebow couldn’t plant himself ahead of Chad Henne, who would be a sufficient if underwhelming bridge for a rebuilding team that will surely draft a quarterback in a much better draft class for the position next spring.

More importantly, by selecting Denard Robinson early in the fifth round Saturday, the Jaguars already have their gimmicky trickster who can sort of play quarterback sometimes if the moon is positioned just so. Better yet, Robinson has shown skill as a receiver, and Tebow’s hands are made of both brick and stone.

The Patriots? Meh, maybe. Bill Belichick has taken worse gambles, and this one would came so very cheap. The Eagles have been frequently tossed around too, because people seem to be under the general impression that Chip Kelly is some kind of Al Davis reincarnation, and if you can run fast and stuff, he wants to employ you. Because, you know, after they took their own falling quarterback Saturday (Matt Barkley), and they already have multiple athletic guys (Dennis Dixon, Michael Vick), in addition to Nick Foles, quarterback is a real need in Philadelphia.

Stop it with the CFL too. Just stop it now. Putting a quarterback who can’t pass in a passing league with three downs, a wider field, and a larger ball will lead to even better high comedy.

Eventually this summer, someone with a really, really open mind will give Tebow the sacred NFL olive branch he seeks (49ers? That may be the best and only fit, but Colt McCoy still >>>>> Tebow). And then the football-watching public will get what it denies but so desperately seeks: they’ll have an excuse to talk about Tim Tebow.

I’d like to apologize to you, dear reader, for caving and doing exactly that again here. This blog takes many forms (fantasy football during the season, and all things football during the offseason). But in a general sense, being a mirror to the NFL conversation of the day is part of what we do around here. Like it or not, Tebow still generates conversation, although I’m not sure why.