Former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum could have gone the way of so many of his co-workers, and even employers.
He could have passed the buck on the most talked-about decision of his tenure, the ill-fated trade for Tim Tebow. Owner Woody Johnson did, even though that buck (buck is the primary source of deer antler, by the way) ostensibly stops with him.
But Tannenbaum took the fall for this one, taking the blame for the deal himself.
“Once we met on it and talked about it, ultimately that was my decision to trade for Tim,” Tannenbaum told Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com.
Asked if he had to convince Johnson of the deal, Tannenbaum repeatedly put the onus on himself.
“I had a great working relationship with both Woody and Rex [Ryan],” he said. “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.
“For seven years, I had final say on everything. That was an honor and a privilege and a responsibility I totally embraced — whether it was trading for Tim Tebow or trading up for Darrelle Revis or trading for Brett Favre and everything in between. Ultimately, I had the final say on things.”
Tannenbaum referred to it as “just a trade that didn’t work out,” which is kind of like saying “beer is occasionally available in New Orleans.”
Tannenbaum said the idea initially stemmed from their desire to replace Brad Smith as their run-option quarterback, and the hiring of Tony Sparano with Wildcat background made it seem like a perfect fit.
“We thought there was a role for him,” Tannenbaum said. “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.”
Considering Tebow played just 75 snaps of offense, and never had as much impact as he created distraction, that might be the understatement of the week.