Tim Tebow Must Continue to Defend Himself Until He Escapes Jets Mess

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 27, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 23: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets leaves the field after loss to San Diego Chargers at MetLife Stadium on December 23, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky /Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

It's become crystal clear in recent weeks that Tim Tebow and the New York Jets aren't on the same page. While an offseason separation appears likely, the polarizing quarterback must continue to defend himself against attacks until that happens.

The most recent line of criticism came after it was reported Tebow didn't want to take part in the wildcat package after being bypassed by Greg McElroy on the depth chart. Nobody from the Jets organization came out to defend him, which is no surprise.

Head coach Rex Ryan wouldn't provide a direct answer about the situation, the latest distraction in a forgettable season in New York. Once it became obvious nobody was going to have his back, Tebow was forced to speak out publicly to clear the air.

Rich Cimini of ESPN New York passed along Tebow's thoughts while also stating sources continue to believe the two sides will go their separate ways before next season.

"I never said, 'Hey, I don't want to do anything or I won't do anything,'" Tebow said. "That wasn't the talk at all. He knows that and everybody on this team knows I would never not do something if I was asked.

"That's what's disappointing, people saying, 'You quit' or, 'You didn't do this.' That was not it at all. It was me asking to get an opportunity to play the position I love, which is quarterback. It wasn't me asking out of anything."

The Jets are a mess. Why they decided to bring in Tebow to begin with is a growing mystery, and refusing to give him a chance after Mark Sanchez continued to turn the ball over at an unmatched rate just adds to the list of head-scratching decisions.

A serious debate can be had about whether or not Tebow can survive as a full-time starting quarterback in the NFL, but by all previous accounts he's a terrific teammate. Somebody who's going to work hard every week.

Although only Ryan and Tebow know what truly happened in their meeting, it's hard to imagine the Florida product abandoning his teammates like was suggested. That just doesn't seem like his style.

The future remains uncertain for Tebow. He's been linked to the Jacksonville Jaguars, which would be a good fit given the amazing fan support he would receive and the team's quarterback concerns. More potential suitors may emerge once the dust settles after the season.

Until he's traded or released, he must continue to defend himself against any attacks against his character. The Jets certainly aren't going to do it for him, and he can't afford to lose his good-guy image over allegations.

Tebow will be much better off outside of the New York media circus. By standing up for himself, it's clear the entire ordeal has taught him something. But it's just not a good fit for him, and the Jets' decisions just made it worse.

The offseason can't come quickly enough.