The New York Jets acquired the highly coveted and controversial quarterback, Tim Tebow, along with a seventh round pick from the Denver Broncos this afternoon in exchange for a fourth and sixth round pick in this April’s upcoming NFL Draft. This move makes sense the Jets for a barrage of reasons, including roster depth, offensive versatility and marketability. They just acquired one of only seven quarterbacks to win a playoff game last season, but that hasn’t stop the internet haters from coming out swinging. Now I’m about to go “Tebowing” all over their tweets.
If you look at this trade strictly from a competitive edge stand point, it’s a no brainer. Mark Sanchez has been “the guy” for both Jets fans and seventeen year old girls alike since arriving in New York as the fifth pick in the 2009 draft. Even before he took his first professional snap, Head Coach Rex Ryan had already given him the keys to the franchise. It was his team, sink or swim. After backing into the playoffs that first year (courtesy of back to back rollover performances by the already clinched Colts and Bengals), Mark led the Jets to consecutive AFC title game appearances. Of course we all remember that, but then again how could we not? Jets fans have been holding onto those two failed championship games the way Precious holds on to a Cheeseburger ever since. It’s their go to response, safety blanket and comfort food all wrapped up into one.
Early “success” (in wins, not numbers) was both the best and worst thing that ever could have happened to Mark Sanchez. Sure it was great in the sense that he provided his organization with meaningful wins and come from behind moments, to go along with a totally undeserved contract extension (3 years, 40 million dollars for the leagues 23rd ranked passer). But worst in the sense that it’s served as a crutch for his recent failures. In fact, the Jets trusted him so much that they headed into the last season with Mark Brunell as Sanchez’s only competition under center. Which would have been fine if we were playing Madden ’98, but in 2011 they were so confident in Sanchez that they actually went with a forty year old booger magnet as a backup.
After last season’s all around regression (losing both control on the field and in the locker room), it makes perfect sense to bring in one of the leagues fiercest competitors to light a fire under their underachieving quarterback. The worst case scenario for this trade is that Sanchez becomes extra motivated, shines in camp and preseason workouts and comes into this season more prepared than ever before, leaving Tebow as a clipboard model on the sidelines. The best case scenario is that they co-exist peacefully, Sanchez elevates his game due to the new found competition and Rex comes up with creative and useful ways to integrate Tebow into the team’s offense (ex. Wildcat, Goal line, Wish bone?). My case scenario? Jets start out the season 2-5, the New York media starts calling for Sanchez’s head and the Lord savior Tebow Christ comes in and leads them to a miraculous playoff berth.
This trade personifies the phrase “low risk, high reward”. It was highly speculated that New York’s arch rival the New England Patriots were interested in acquiring Tebow’s services as well. Everyone knows Belichick has no problem finding unorthodox ways to use players, plus there is the whole Josh McDaniels connection, so why not beat them to the punch? Also, you steal back cover real estate from the Super Bowl champion Giants and Linsanity, and all of a sudden the dysfunctional, 8-8 Jets are the talk of the town. Months of speculation will keep them relevant, plus at the end of the day they’re heading into the 2012 football season with two of the most polarizing and able players in the league competing for the most sought after position in professional sports.
The silver lining of this deal is the gold implications it will have on owner Woody Johnson’s pockets. Tim Tebow was the second highest selling NFL jersey last season and he did so playing in Denver. Throw him in the Big Apple and he dethrones Aaron Rodgers for that title in no time. These are the same fans who rushed out to buy Brett Favre attire so I doubt the poster child for the American Dream will have any problems generating revenue for Gang Green.
Not bad for a fourth round pick...