Mike says Tebow will succeed or 'die trying'

February, 14, 2013
2/14/13
11:47
AM ET


The Mike Tannenbaum Across America Tour continued Thursday in Los Angeles, where he appeared on the NFL Network's "NFL AM" show. The Jets' former GM, who started parade of interviews two weeks ago with ESPNNewYork.com, addressed the two hot-button issues from last year -- the Tim Tebow trade and the Mark Sanchez extension.

Both decisions backfired, leading to Tannenbaum's ouster. Despite the Tebow debacle, Tannenbaum refused to write off the quarterback's NFL career.

"I could never say that," he said. "This is a guy that was successful in high school, won championships in college. He's the type of person, he's either going to be successful as a pro quarterback, or die trying."

Explaining the unnecessary contract extension for Sanchez, whose 2013 salary is sitting like a lead weight on the Jets' cap, Tannenbaum said, "I don't think I'd sign a quarterback to an extension knowing that he'd have 26 turnovers. That may be one of the reasons I'm sitting here with you guys."

Credit Tannenbaum for demonstrating a self-deprecating sense of humor, but here's the thing: Sanchez also had 26 turnovers in 2011, yet he landed a new deal that includes an $8.25 million guarantee for 2013.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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