NEW ORLEANS -- Mike Tannenbaum may be the former general manager of the Jets, but that doesn't mean he can't be asked about the team's current problems. Two of them in particular -- Tim Tebow and Darrelle Revis -- were essentially his doing, and now the Jets are left to try to wiggle out of each situation as delicately as they can.
First, the one that can now definitively be called a failure.
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"We felt like after the 2011 season, we lost something with Brad Smith not being there, so we felt like bringing Tim in, he was going to be a guy who could replace Brad's production," Tannenbaum said while visiting Radio Row on Tuesday at the Super Bowl. "Obviously, it didn't work out the way we thought it was going to, and ultimately that was my call. But we did have discussions about it, and ultimately that was my decision to make the trade."
Tannenbaum said he thought the Jets "had the infrastructure in place to deal with" the distractions that Tebow would bring.
"It's just one of those decisions that didn't work out," he said. "I know Tim gave us his best effort. We thought he could be a guy that would add to our offense and it didn't work out . . . When you make 200-plus transactions a year, some are going to work better than others."
The Jets are expected to cut ties with Tebow this offseason. Tannenbaum said that when he was in charge, he was "keeping our options open" as far as a Tebow exit strategy.
"Obviously, that's a decision they've got to make now," Tannenbaum said. "And anytime you are dealing with a decision like that, my view is you've got to bring the player into the loop, talk to him and then figure out what's best for the team and what's best for him."
There may be an exit strategy for Revis, too. The three-time All-Pro cornerback is coming off knee surgery and could be traded before he plays the final season on his contract. The Jets reportedly are exploring that option.
"I did not think we were going to trade Darrelle last year,'' he said with a nod to future options. "In a salary cap-system, all those decisions factor in. You have to put it all on the table and make the best decision possible.
"I'm just going to say, I was glad we got the four-year deal done when we did, and now it's up to John [Idzik] to decide what's best for the team," Tannenbaum said of reworking Revis' deal in 2010, a tweak that was supposed to be a "Band-Aid" and a bridge to making Revis a Jet for life.
"Look, Darrelle's a great player and he's a competitor, he's going to help them win, and what they decide moving forward, they'll make the best decision on that information."
It's possible that decision will mean that the two players to whom Tannenbaum is most linked on the Jets -- Tebow and Revis -- will wind up just like him very shortly: former Jets.