Philadelphia, Pa – The New York Jets are a circus, so much so that they could probably win a trademark lawsuit against Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey.
That said, the narrative coming from the Tim Tebow apologists in the last 24 hours is a little tough to take and even more difficult to understand.
The Jets, of course, waived the popular quarterback on Monday morning, just days after the team selected former West Virginia signal-caller Geno Smith in the second round of the NFL Draft.
"We have a great deal of respect for Tim Tebow," said Jets coach Rex Ryan in a statement. "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."
Tebow, of course, spent one forgettable season with the Jets, who acquired him from Denver in March 2012. It was thought he would give the Jets another weapon in the Wildcat formation, but badly overmatched offensive coordinator Tony Sparano rarely used him, and when he did, it was woefully ineffective.
In 12 games last season, the former Heisman Trophy winner threw just eight passes and completed six for 39 yards. He also ran just 32 times for just 102 yards.
The indictment from Tebow's many fans reads something like this: The Jets dumped him two days after the draft, knowing that other teams' rosters were filled, lessening his chances of finding another job in the league.
And this was all done out of spite.
On every conceivable level, that kind of thinking is not only flawed, it's laughable.
As dysfunctional as the Jets can be, why would new general manager John Idzik, who didn't even bring Tebow to North Jersey, want to humiliate what is by all accounts a very good person and incredibly hard worker? Sparano, meanwhile, is long gone and Ryan is a lame duck, coaching for his job
Stick with Occam's razor on this one -- sometimes the simplest explanation is the correct one.
Idzik didn't feel Tebow was a good fit for what he is building with the Jets, but, like any other player, regarded him as an asset and was hoping to get a late-round draft pick for him. When that didn't pan out and the Jets got Smith in the second round, the die was cast.
"The way we looked at it was we had a player on our roster that we wanted to allow to compete and then we're always holding options open in terms of acquiring someone else for the competition or if there's trade talks or whatnot," Idzik said in an ESPN Radio interview Tuesday morning. "That's kind of a standard operating procedure."
The Jets had six quarterbacks on the roster by Saturday morning, and Smith, incumbent starter Mark Sanchez, last year's backup Greg McElroy, and the recently signed David Garrard were all ahead of Tebow in Idzik's mind (the other QB is Matt Simms).
You can make an argument that Idzik is wrong is his assessment of Tebow, but this clearly wasn't personal, it was business.
If you checked the NFL transaction wire Monday night, you found 14 other names on the waiver wire beside Tebow from six different teams. Ask yourself, were all of those players being humiliated?
More names will be added to the wire in the coming days, a spike that happens every year after the draft.
In fact, early Tuesday morning the Minnesota Vikings dropped speedy cornerback Nick Taylor, the former Florida International point guard and Arena League player who injured his shoulder in training camp last season.
Did you really think Rick Spielman was trying to limit Taylor's options moving forward or made the decision based on the fact he drafted Florida State corner Xavier Rhodes in the first round last Thursday and then signed veteran Jacob Lacey on Monday?
Football is a tough way to make a living. It's an ultra-competitive atmosphere in which you can have a job one minute and be unemployed in the next. That's the sword of Damocles that hangs over every single player, not just high- profile ones like Tebow.
And never forget the obvious -- any NFL team could easily jettison that undrafted rookie free agent signing from Appalachian State and fit Tebow on what is a 90-man roster limit right now.
The NFL has always been about results, not spite and Tebow will get another chance if someone believes he can help.