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J-E-T-S went from Super Bowl contenders to M-E-S-S

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm •  Published: December 21, 2012
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And, there is a lengthy list: the Ines Sainz locker room incident, the foot fetish videos reportedly involving Ryan and his wife, the assistant coach who tripped an opposing player from the sideline during a play, the prime-time exposure on HBO's "Hard Knocks," to name a few.

Tannenbaum has also produced some big-time winners on draft day in his seven years as GM, including Revis, Nick Mangold, D'Brickashaw Ferguson and David Harris.

But there have also been some major duds along the way, such as Vernon Gholston and Vladimir Ducasse. All three of his picks from 2009 — Sanchez, Shonn Greene and Matt Slauson — could all be playing their last games as Jets.

Key locker room presences have also gradually been cut, traded or allowed to become free agents, well-respected players such as Thomas Jones, Leon Washington, Kris Jenkins, Alan Faneca, Damien Woody and LaDainian Tomlinson.

While Sanchez's ability to read defenses and adjust is one major problem, the team did little to provide him with continuity on offense with constant change in the skill players around him.

"There's been a little bit of turnover, but at the same time, you have to work with what you have," Sanchez said of the various receivers he had to work with the season.

This past offseason began with a brief flirtation with Peyton Manning, and then came the most stunning move of them all: the trade for Tebow in March. It had most people scratching their heads then and now has even the popular but little-used backup quarterback wondering why he even came here in the first place.

"I tried to make the most of every opportunity that I had," Tebow said. "I would've loved to have more."

Everyone expected more, even Ryan, who acknowledged that the Tebow-powered wildcat-style offense that was kept so under wraps in training camp up in Cortland, N.Y., never developed into what the team had hoped.

Now, the Jets will either try to trade Tebow or release him by the time the NFL's free agency period begins in March.

The lasting image of Tebow's tenure will be his shirtless jog off the practice field in the rain during training camp — when ESPN was broadcasting live shots of Jets practice for a week.

Fans and media kept waiting all season for the quarterback controversy they were sure was to come: Sanchez vs. Tebow. Turns out, it was third-stringer Greg McElroy, a seventh-round draft pick last year, who took Sanchez's job in Week 16.

The Jets have three quarterbacks who came to the NFL with impeccable credentials: Sanchez a top-5 draft pick from Southern California, Tebow a two-time national champion at Florida and a Heisman Trophy winner, and McElroy a former Texas high school state champion who led the University of Alabama to a national title. But New York will go into this offseason not knowing if it even has its quarterback of the future on its roster.

Given everything that has gone on with the franchise, it was only fitting that a week after Braylon Edwards — then with the Seattle Seahawks — called out the Jets on Twitter by saying that fans should blame "the idiots calling shots" for Sanchez's struggles, he was brought back to New York by the same people he criticized.

Johnson could opt to clean house completely by firing Ryan and his coaching staff. He could do the same to Tannenbaum, or possibly re-assign him within the organization.

Offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, brought in to boost the running game and get Tebow involved, could also be gone. Or, they could all be back for one more twirl.

Either way, Johnson's team is sure to consistently make splashy headlines this winter. Just the way he likes it.

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