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Scott Kacsmar: @FO_ScottKacsmar
Ben Muth: @FO_WordofMuth
Aaron Schatz: @FO_ASchatz
Vince Verhei: @FO_VVerhei
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Matt Waldman: @MattWaldman
Rob Weintraub: @robwein
29 Apr 2013
I was trying to decide if "bad team cuts awful third-string quarterback" was actually news, but it seems to be what people are talking about this morning.
Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 29 Apr 2013
98 comments, Last at
12 May 2013, 10:26pm by
It's news, but only because it took the Jets an extra year to realize what everyone else already knew.
Well, maybe it's news because it only took the Jets one extra year?
Now we get to find out the real value of Tebow on the free market. I feel like Flounder at the end of Animal House just observing the chaos and going "This is great."
I'm not sure one man sitting next to a phone that's not ringing qualifies as "chaos," despite ESPN's wishes.
That Tebow's status has generated over 50 comments in less than 5 1/2 hours over the relative merits of Tebow, Sanchez, and several other less than stellar QBs is good enough for me.
The story isn't that they cut Tebow but that they haven't yet cut Sanchez. They're the strangest run franchise around.
The cap hit on Sanchez is insane, though. Giving him the contract in the first place was dumb, keeping him around so you have money to sign other people is defensible.
Except they've already floated the idea they're going to probably release him. So, why not just release him now and get it over with?
My understanding was not that the Jets had floated releasing him, but that uninformed fans who think the words "salary cap" once every other year were.
Why is that a story? Sanchez sucks, sure, but he doesn't suck as badly as Tebow.
According to what?
Tebow's DVOA in his short time starting was roughly +10%. Sanchez last year was -33%. Tebow probably isn't as good as DVOA thought he was, and is probably somewhere around -10%.
Tebow probably isn't any good, but Sanchez is probably the worst rostered NFL quarterback at this point.
Tebow can be a somewhat-effective QB if you're willing to completely redesign your entire offensive philosophy around his skill set and have acrobatic WRs that can make leaping catches downfield. It's not as easy as just swapping him into whatever offense you're currently running, his first few games starting in Denver showed us that.
Tebow only ever started for Denver, a team which is way, way better than the Jets.
Sanchez's worst year statistically was last year - in the previous years, he was about replacement level. This is not good, but it's definitely not the "worst rostered NFL quarterback." I mean, as a comparison, with the exact same team, Greg McElroy stunk just as bad. So he's at least got competition. He was definitely the worst starting NFL quarterback last year.
There's no real comparison you can do against McElroy because he never played anywhere other than the Jets. But basically, everything last year points to Sanchez still being about replacement level, but the Jets just got worse as a team overall.
That's not to say the Jets wouldn't be justified in cutting him. If he's replacement level, by definition his production can be replaced pretty easily. But similarly replacing him with a random quarterback isn't likely to add value either.
It's tough to tell that for certain, though. The 2012 Jets had almost zero receiving talent, 3/5ths of their offensive line was bad, they had no visible running game, and their offensive coaches were allergic to creativity. I don't know if Aaron Rodgers would have looked good in that situation, although he certainly would have been better than Sanchez.
After watching how the Jets handled their QBs at the end of the year, it was hard not to come to the conclusion they were scared to death to play Tebow because he would turn out to be better than Sanchez.
That's absurd. Why would Rex not have wanted the better QB to play?
FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!
Good question. But is there any rationale argument that Greg McElroy was a better QB than Tebow at the time Sanchex got hurt?
"But is there any rationale argument that Greg McElroy was a better QB than Tebow at the time Sanchex got hurt?"
"Because Tebow sucks" is a rational argument, isn't it? Or, if you want to be less pejorative, we could simply go with "Tebow is an inaccurate passer."
Ryan is the coach who got to watch all of these guys in practice. Right? And it's not like Tebow at his best didn't have huge accuracy issues.
And for people looking at Tebow's production while on the Broncos and arguing that he's automatically better than Sanchez for that reason, well, he didn't have the Broncos to play with in the Meadowlands. Even at his worst last year, Sanchez's completion percentage was higher than Tebow had ever seen in Denver. (And McElroy was higher still for his one start.)
""Tebow is an inaccurate passer.""
So is Sanchez though, and every meaningful piece of information we have shows that Sanchez is the worst QB on that team (and probably in the league).
"Sanchez is the worst QB on that team (and probably in the league)."
In the league? If you mean designated full-time starters, yeah, he might be the worst. If you literally mean all QBs in the league, no way. I'll point to last year's Cardinals, followed by last year's Chiefs. And that's to say nothing of the random Curtis Painter types who are permanently nailed to benches around the league.
"and every meaningful piece of information we have shows that Sanchez is the worst QB on that team (and probably in the league)."
Well, I was told there was no "rational reason" for preferring Sanchez and I poinnted to completion percentage. So, no, not "every meaningful piece of information we have" shows that Tebow is better than Sanchez. Indeed, this would have been a good opportunity to provide us with one bit of information, rather than simply asserting that all of the data was on your side.
From what we've seen with the Jets, it probably wasn't Rex making that decision.
I don't see how they could've forced him to start a player he didn't want. He obviously didn't want Tebow and the roster may be forced on him, but any coach with a minimum amount of balls chooses who plays and who doesn't.
Let me introduce you to the concept of the human ego. The season was lost, any way. Worst case for Rex would be Tebow winning a few meaningless games and making him look like a fool for sticking with Sanchez.
Tebow is a horribly inaccurate passer.
The better question here is why you think he's better than anybody.
So is Sanchez, and from what we've seen in both the Conventional stats, and DVOA, Tebow is probably a better player than Sanchez (as is McElroy, or pretty much anyone).
The point is, there was no point in continuing to play Sanchez, who we know absolutely sucks. With Tebow, there's a miniscule chance he doesn't suck.
"Tebow, there's a miniscule chance he doesn't suck."
No. There is not.
The same could be said about Sanchez though.
I mean, seriously. Neither can throw. Tebow can run. Seems like more upside to me.
I do think that if Sanchez were to take a cap friendly deal with some team, he could be a middling backup. There's no doubt that he has no business starting - he's proven that. But the idea that he doesn't belong on an NFL roster is probably just melodrama.
Tebow, on the other hand, I'll defer to the GM of the Montreal Alouettes, Jim Popp. Popp stated today that Tebow could compete in the CFL. As a backup.
I know "he just wins!!" isn't really a solid argument around these parts, which I agree with. But that said, the guy did win more games than not as starter. Guys who are nothing more than CFL backups do not win games in the NFL, no matter what team they are on.
I'm not saying he's some star. But I think that given the right coach, he could be among the best 15-25 best quarterbacks in the league. Whether a team wants to settle on that, I'm not sure.
Hmm... John Skelton was 5-2 with Arizona in 2011. Mark Sanchez has won more games than he lost in his career. Including 4-2 in the playoffs. No one would argue that he's good.
Sanchez's career is actually a little odd. With 3 games left in the 2011 season, Sanchez had pretty good numbers, and had been improving. He had 21 TDs and 11 Ints, and had an outside chance at 60% passing, and at that point in his career, his record was 31-19 (including a 4-2 post-season). Since then, he's been horrific, aside from one good game in 2012. He has had 18TDs, 25INTs, and about 15 fumbles and a record of 6-12. This does not mean Sanchez was good, and now he is bad. Sanchez was bad, but improving and his growth stopped. But he was not a good QB, even when he won over 60% of his starts.
Signing a 4th year QB with all the baggage that Tebow brings (fairly or not), with a ceiling of an average QB isn't that worthwhile. Apparently the story is that teams were interested in trading for him, if he was interested in moving away from the QB position. (As reported by Adam Schefter and Rich Cimini). This tells me that NFL teams do not consider him to be an NFL level QB, but do think he has talent.
Even FO thinks Tebow is better than Skelton. And Skelton has better receivers!
" But the idea that he doesn't belong on an NFL roster is probably just melodrama."
He put up a -30% DVOA this year. He was worse than replacement level. By definition, that means you can pick up guys who are better than him for no real cost.
So yeah, I don't think he belongs on an NFL roster. NFL backups should either have some upside, or the ability to atleast play reasonably well in a small sample. Sanchez has neither.
Sanchez was terrible last. That's unquestionable. But he was at least average a few years ago. Frankly, the Jets offense was devoid of talent last season, too. Their best receiver for most of the season was Jeremy Kerley . Their #1 RB was Shonn Greene, their #1 TE most of the year was Jeff Cumberland. Stephen Hill, Clyde Gates, and Chaz Schelins all started more than 5 games last season.
Again, Sanchez stunk last season, but the idea that Sanchez has no upside or no ability to play reasonably well in a small sample is simply incorrect. Sanchez has played well for a few games in a row often in his career.
I disagree with upside because.
His production in the context of the 2012 Jets offense was below what FO estimates replacement level to be. That's not quite the same thing as his play being below replacement level, though it may have been.
I don't think Sanchez is actually a sub-replacement level quarterback. I think he's a slightly better than replacement level quarterback, who was in a crappy situation. He should probably be a cheap back-up somewhere, earning a little over the veteran minimum. Is he really clearly a worse player than David Carr, or Bruce Gradkowski, or Josh McCown? I don't think so.
Bruce Gradkowski, David Carr, Josh McCown, Alex Smith, Matt Hasselbeck, Shaun Hill, Josh Johnson, Derek Anderson, Matt Cassel, Charlie Whitehurst, Matt Moore, John Skelton, Caleb Hanie and Curtis Painter all say hi. All these guys have had -30% DVOA or worse seasons and are still kicking around the NFL. Heck some are even valued: Smith got a 2nd rounder. Matt Moore might have been signed to a starting deal in free agency. Hasselbeck is now the 'savvy veteran backup' and signed a $7 mill contract with the Colts. Cassel's contract with the Vikings was similar. And the idea that Sanchez has no upside seems a bit extreme. Biebs in #41 points out that Sanchez was actually pretty decent right up until the end of season 2011. Find out why he's been poor since then and fix that problem(s) and you might just have a reasonable QB.
To be fair, the Alouettes' current QB is in the argument for best QB in CFL history. It would be silly for him to float the idea that Tebow could threaten Calvillo's job.
Agree. The whole "even the CFL thinks he's a backup!" is just PFT pageview trolling.
Weird question in that I never said I thought he was better than anybody. But if my team is dying at any position I'd be a fool not to throw everybody I've got out there to see if things just might improve. The downside, though, was Rex Ryan stood to lose face if Tebow did anything but completely flop. And since flopping worse than Sanchez was not a total given, he chose to leave him on the sideline.
The season was not lost. They were 6-7 with 3 winnable games to go (TEN, SD, BUF) and a pretty real chance at the playoffs if they won out. Only after the TEN loss could one justify starting Tebow.
Well, I hear Browns fans argue that the team only started Owen Marecic over Brad Smelley because the organization was afraid to admit that a 7th rounder could be better than a 4th rounder, and that they only kept Hardesty on the roster at all over the other RBs because they were afraid to admit they made a mistake on a 2nd rounder (both of these, and most similar statements, are false.)
As far as Tebow goes, what I haven't seen in my skim over this topic so far is his economic value to teams; he single-handedly sold a lot of tickets and increased their value simply because of his off-the-field image, when you looked at the road game attendance. Of course, when the Jets were already nearly selling out games (with overpriced tickets,) there wasn't much to be gained in that front.
"As far as Tebow goes, what I haven't seen in my skim over this topic so far is his economic value to teams"
I think that will diminish quickly, as more and more fans realize that Tebow is never going to be a starter, let alone a star. The novelty wears off after a while, and not many people buy tickets to see the backup QB stand around.
I never see people talking about the locker room angle. A coach has to have locker room buy-in before making a quarterback switch. It sounds like the Jets locker room was insane in general and I doubt Ryan ever had it.
In Denver, I always believed Fox wanted to try out Tebow earlier than he did, but he had to wait until Orton got so awful (and it really was truly awful by the end) that the locker room basically collectively were ready to try anything.
There are still plenty of GMs out there who place a high value on a QB being "a winner". I wouldn't be that surprised if he gets another shot, in the NFL, as a QB.
With the read option being the thing of the moment, it'd almost be crazy if somebody didn't sign him to at least take a look. He basically didn't play for the Jets, so no new info came from that.
I keep thinking the same thing. If "read option" is the big thing now, how is it that the guy who was basically the most successful running QB in college history supposedly can't find a job. Seems like he would, at worst, make sense as a backup for a team with an established running QB as starter, like maybe Washington or San Fransisco.
For the life of me, I can't figure out the whole, "he'll just be a distraction" issue. Do players and coaches in the NFL really care that much about whether they will get asked if Tebow will start someday. For example, if Denver had kept him (and they should have, he's a better backup QB than Ostweiller and he wouldn't have cost them a 2nd round pick), are we really supposed to believe that Peyton Freaking Manning is going to be sad if the coach gets asked if Tebow will ever play? That's absurd.
I see the distraction angle on a crappy team with no other decent QB but agree it would have been a non-issue on the Broncos. However, they seem to like Ostweiller and no way does Tebow step in and run anything resembling the offense they run with Peyton. No doubt they have the hope Ostweiller could at least give a shot at it.
The Jets were scared to play him at the end of the year for fear he'd come in and win some games and make them look stupid for sticking with Sanchez all year. That being said, they still could have kicked his tires, went on and drafted Gino and then released him. I don't understand why a team would sign a guy, be desperate at the position he plays, then refuse to even see if the guy can help them. But, we are talking about Rex Ryan.
I see the point about Tebow not really fitting that offense, but I'd counter that the Manning offense is probably so unique that there isn't anyone who could effectively run it. I'd say no matter who the backup is, if Manning goes down, the entire offensive system would need to be scrapped in place of something fitting the backup.
If you can't throw there is no option in "read option". Tebow cannot throw at the level required to run a read option offence in the NFL. I'm not sure he can predictably run any part of an NFL offence beyond the quarterback draw; the difference in the play of Ryan Clady when he has Manning behind him rather than Tebow is amazing, the Denver O-line basically had no clue what Tebow was going to do from play to play.
If Tebow didn't come with the media circus I bet he'd get a shot somewhere. As it is, it's just not worth it. I mean, NFL.com had nfl.com/tebow last year and the guy threw EIGHT PASSES.
The rumor is that the Jets gave Tebow permission to seek a trade and the only two interested parties wanted him to convert to a different position. So no deal.
Who is this T-Bone dude everyone keeps talking about.
T-Bone Burnett--noted musician and producer. After forty years in the business, still brings a lot to the table. Can't imagine why the Jets would cut him.
Only goes to show they're clueless.
Koko the monkey.
(Meant this to be a reply to the rumors that he refused to convert to another position in a trade)
Someone needs to take that boy aside and 'splain some things to him.
He might, just might, have an NFL career if he converts to a role he has a shot at mastering. That's only possible if he proves himself an asset in others ways.
Instead, he refuses to play the limited role given him, refuses to convert to a role that fits his talents, and is a general irritant all the while.
His apparent sense of entitlement makes him too much of a risk for most teams, and may spell the end of his NFL career.
Wait, didn't he agree to play on the punt team?
And refused to play in wildcat plays near the end of the season (reportedly) and refused to convert to another position as part of a trade (rumors mentioned above).
Although he is quite the jock, I doubt he's good enough to take up a roster spot as just a punter's personal protector.
He refused to play in Wildcat packages at the end of the season, AFTER Rex had passed over his "second quarterback" and started McElroy after Benching Sanchez.
He was basically lied to by the coaching staff, so I have no problem with him not wanting to play in their wildcat packages after wards.
Did I mention his fans' sense of entitlement?
There is an asymmetry to the coach-player relationship that this argument is ignoring.
If we were talking about Randy Moss instead of Tim Tebow, you can bet that nobody would ever have forgotten him refusing to play the game in a manner the coach told him to do.
Coach... he... he... he lied to me... I can't believe he cut me! To think I truly cared for him. He said I was doing great and that if I kept it up I'd... I'd... he even smiled at me, darn it! No... I can't think about it, it still hurts too darn much! Stuff the Wildcat up your butt, you lying son of a...!
It's gotten somewhat lost in this discussion, but I wonder if this wasn't the best thing for Tebow's long-term prospects. I personally don't think he'll ever be a starting QB in the NFL again, but at least this way, he has the opportunity to find a better situation for himself. His role on the Jets never made sense.
Agreed, the Jets were basically the worst possible situation for him. If the rumors that he chose NY were true, I can only assume he figured Sanchez was bad enough that he would get benched. Sanchez certainly lived up to that thinking, at least.
I think Tebow really has only two long-term options: One, settle into a backup role on a team with a starter established enough that no one at all will demand he play (because apparently coaches care about such things). Two, find a team/coach willing to base an entire offense around him. I don't think #2 is likely, short of McDaniels finding another job somewhere.
I don't think he has an option on settling into a backup role. I don't think any team thinks he has value as a backup QB.
He'd almost fit on the Steelers. There's no concern about him being a real threat to Roethlisberger, and he has the body type to survive being a Steelers QB.
Yep the Jets stunk, bad call by Tebow. I hope he gets a chance to go somewhere that might use him with a bit of imagination. I always thought he'd be a reasonable backup for an offense built around Michael Vick ie. a leftie with accuracy issues who can run. And given Chip Kelly is at Philly you'd have to think they'd at least think about Tebow. But after drafting Matt Barkley on the weekend, that seems less likely now.
If only someone had the imagination to develop a scheme for a quarterback who can't read coverages or throw accurately.
Walt Disney didn't have that kind of imagination. Let us accept a simple, observable truth: he's a really bad quarterback.
Andy Reid has been doing that for years.
McDaniels had plenty of chances to put Tebow in during the 2010 season, possibly even allowing McDaniels to invoke the excuse of a new style and new qb to take some of the heat off his overwhelming awfulness in every facet of his tenure in Denver... He elected not to do that. What I find interesting is that every coach Tebow has had in the NFL either refused to play him, or only relented after Kyle Orton made it inevitable. Or it was an interim coach with basically no shot at staying head coach no matter what happened.
What I take from that is that the people who have actually watched Tebow the most during his career don't think he's good enough.
What the MSSM hacks and your average Te-bot take from it seems to be that there's a vast conspiracy to prevent him from succeeding.
Feh, Tebow has lots of long term options. To name three, Florida Congressmen, Florida real estate, Florida charity work.
Sometimes I don't understand FO. They will say "The Colts suck, because our stats say they suck, ignore the record" but with a guy like Tebow, its the opposite?
How is this the opposite? FO stats have always shown that Tebow sucks at being a NFL QB, even when he was winning games in Denver.
Their team and unit stats are much, much better and more reliable than their individual player stats.
Because you can't separate the player from the unit (not that I ever want to be separated from my unit). Football is a team game of interdependence; statistics measure successes and events accomplished as a team (or at least an offense, defense, or special team).
I'm sure Timmy will make a fine Alouettes (backup) quarterback.
While I agree with your point in general, this isn't a good example... Tebow's FO stats have been bad. -22.7% DVOA in Denver, never played in New York. It's not like his rushing stats even helped - he was the worst QB runner in 2012 as well (6 fumbles will do that).
The only thing that has ever shown that Tim Tebow is a good quarterback is "quarterback wins," which just goes to show how ridiculous that is. They replace Tebow with Manning and they go from a team that lucked into the playoffs to a completely dominant team.
Which leads to the question: How bad would last year's Broncos have been if Curtis Painter had been the QB?
I think insofar as there's an argument for Tebow as a good quarterback, it's actually probably to be found in Willis McGahee's rushing stats.
It's not a good argument.
I wish I had the numbers on me, but I did a WPA study on every Broncos game in 2011, and the number were such that they'd cause some cognitive dissonance in this thread. Many examples of Denver's offense averaging positive WPA while the defense averaged negative WPA.
Granted, the jury is forever out on how repeatable this was, especially since I don't think it was as true for EPA. I also did an end-of-year study looking at the top ten "biggest plays" for Denver that season, as in plays with the largest WPA differential. The takeaway there is that all ten of them were positive plays (some offense, some defense, some special teams). That doesn't seem very repeatable.
At last -- our long national nightmare is over...
Not until Sanchez gets a pre-emptive pardon.
He's been offered a contract. http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/22170763/nebraska-indoor-...
James McNear just became my favorite player in whatever league the Omaha Beef are part of.
Seriously. And well said.
Classy Schatz...a guy with a 75.3 rating, a 9-7 record, & his 16th & last start was a 2nd playoff game is NOT just a 3rd string QB, & is not a bad one. The inane vitriol for this guy is buffeted by the insane stupidity of his followers. The truth is of course the middle path, & I thought the Outsiders would get that (ironically enough, they didn't).
Sooo...the 125 rating against the #1 pass D in his 1st playoff game is a fluke? The 102 rating after the 3rd Q of games is a fluke? The 82.1 in 3 games in a non-Fox offense in 2010?
You'll have to tell us more about this "rating" system of yours sometime. Combine it with QB record as starter and you might really be onto something.
What I love about the "process over results" guys are they assume a guy can't improve, & they assume great QBs are just walking around the corner...
Tebow has an awful completion %, but every other measurable (INCLUDING 4-18 vs. 9-7 with essentially the same team) checks out. IMO, he's in the top 32 QBs in the league, in terms of producing results (wins! A concept!) from a position that controls the ball more than any other in the game.
Seriously, that stuff doesn't fly here. But what I really want to know is, is my new sig too long?
As Mr. Sloan always says, there is no "I" in team, but there is an "I" in pie. And there's an "i" in meat pie. Meat is the anagram of team... I don't know what he's talking about
yes, sigs here are really unnecessary.
Aren't they always? But they're fun!
To be honest, I hope he lands somewhere and gets playing time to show he's either good or bad just to stop this discussion.
^^ This is why Tebow should have gone to J-ville. If he couldn't beat out Gabbert, the result would be certain. But I doubt that Tebow's humility-masked ego would allow that kind of competition.
Tebow's --26% DVOA rating and 12 fumbles are no fluke.
Here's what we do, we set up a kickstarter to hire Dick Vermeil and Kurt Warner to do a series of camps with Tebow during the season, then we use whatever money is left over to by a couple giant novelty cards with pictures of a Kittens on them, and in the card we include a DVD of Tebows progress, and a nice handwritten note asking the GMs of teams in relatively good situations with some demonstrated ability to g room QBs to please find a space for him at their 2014 training camps. Then a week later, muffin basket with another note thanking them for their consideration of our cause.
Yes I am watching A Football Life, doesn't make it a bad idea.
I wonder if any NFL team will make an offer....
(sound of several billion cicadas)
When it comes to No. 1 corners, a familiar name was No. 1 in 2014.
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