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Former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum says trading for Tim Tebow was his idea 01.30.13 at 1:27 pm ET
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After a disastrous Jets season, trading for Tim Tebow became just one in a long series of missteps the team has made in the last year or so. Still, Tebow’s presence became a sideshow that was a distraction for the Jets throughout the year. Former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said Tuesday, in his first interview since being fired at the end of the season, that acquiring Tebow was his idea.

Jets owner Woody Johnson was previously thought to be the one pushing to trade for Tebow, in an effort to generate publicity, but in fact, Tannenbaum said he brought it up first.

“I’m disappointed it didn’t work out, just like I’m disappointed when certain draft choices don’t work out,” Tannenbaum told 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.”

Tannenbaum said he and coach Rex Ryan had been discussing bringing in a running quarterback even before the Broncos signed Peyton Manning and made Tebow expendable. According to ESPN, they wanted a replacement for Brad Smith, who had run the wildcat in New York through 2010.

“We thought there was a role for [Tebow],” 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.”

The Jets sent a fourth-round pick to Denver and got Tebow, who ultimately participated in only 75 offensive plays this season. Even when Mark Sanchez struggled mightily, he was replaced instead with third-string quarterback Greg McElroy.

Ryan and Sanchez don’t appear to be going anywhere, but Tebow is expected to be traded and Tannenbaum was fired at the end of the season.

“Ultimately, I report to Woody. It was his decision to make,” Tannenbaum said. “I was disappointed, but I totally understood it. I had final say and authority on the football team. We fell short this year, and that’s what happens when you fall short.”

Read More: Mike Tannenbaum, Rex Ryan, Tim Tebow, Wood Johnson