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New York Jets Cut Tim Tebow, Draft Geno Smith

The New York Jets finally parted ways with controversial backup quarterback Tim Tebow earlier this week, but only after drafting West Virginia star quarterback Geno Smith in the second round of the NFL Draft on Saturday.

The expectations weren’t exactly high for the Jets last season (Las Vegas set their over/under at only 8.5 wins), but yet the media’s expectation of the team (and expectation of a soap opera-worthy storyline) was great. The Jets finished the year 6-10, but they were somehow much worse than that. When head coach Rex Ryan passed on the opportunity to start Tim Tebow late in the season and instead started third-string quarterback Greg McIlroy, the righting was on the wall.

“We have a great deal of respect for Tim Tebow,” coach Rex Ryan said. “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.”

“It’s just a trade that didn’t work out,” former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum said after the year was over. “Each year, we’ll make 200-plus transactions. Some worked out, some didn’t.”

Tebow, only one season removed from a playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, now finds himself an NFL outcast. He could probably land on a team as a third-string quarterback, but the question now is if any GM in the league will want to take in the media circus that constantly surrounds the religious and outspoken quarterback. Though the publicity won’t be the only thing that hurts him; there were legitimate questions raised both during his tenure in Denver and his time in New York as to if he can even play quarterback adequately at an NFL level.

“I felt like it was a learning opportunity for me,” Tebow said after the season had finished. “There was a lot that I’ll take from it. There’s a lot that I learned, and there are lot of relationships that I’ve built, so I know that it happened for a reason.”

“It was obvious during practice, for what we were trying to do, that Mark Sanchez was better than Tim in those roles,” former Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff said. “He was a better quarterback for what we were asking him to do. It wasn’t even close. For him to be rattled, I don’t see why that would be the case.”

It was unthinkable only a year ago, but Tebow’s best chance of starting a football game might be north of the border.

“If he wants to come to Canada he would be in the same situation as the one he was in with New York,” the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes General Manager Jim Popp said. “He can come here and compete to be the backup to Anthony Calvillo and learn the game, just like Jeff Garcia did [behind Doug Flutie]. And one day he might be the guy; that’s our vision. He can learn from the best.”

The Jets have been projected to have a 6.5 over/under win total this season; what does the addition of Geno Smith do to their roster? Well, it isn’t clear if he’ll even win the starting job.

“Mark’s in the competition,” Jets GM John Idzik said. “We fully expect it will help him get better. It’ll help David [Garrard] get better. It’ll help Greg [McElroy]. It’ll help Matt Simms. It’ll certainly help Geno [Smith].”

Smith was a huge addition to their core of quarterbacks, though the rest of the offense still completely lacks dynamic playmakers. The Jets improved their defense in the draft, but it could be a long time before the offense catches up. I like them to come in under the 6.5 win total this upcoming season.

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