The New York Jets have acquired Tim Tebow and a 7th round pick from Denver for a 4th round and 6th round pick in this April’s draft. The Jets have agreed to pay half of the 5 million in compensation owed to them as part of Tebow’s contract language. The move is significant in many ways. First, Mark Sanchez, who’s confidence is already on shakey ground, now has Tebowmania right over his shoulder. Clearly, the move initially will mean Tebow running some wildcat and goal line sets. Yet, what happens when Sanchez has a three interception game? Are Jets fans not just as fickle as Broncos fans? Will they be able to resist the temptation of chanting, TEBOW, TEBOW, TEBOW?
Sanchez had his best statistical season in 2011. With the Jets missing the playoffs however, change was on the horizon. Brian Schottenheimer resigned, making way for former Dolphins coach Tony Sparano to become their offensive coordinator. As Dolphins fans remember, Sparano wasn’t short on kind words for Tebow when he coached him at the 2010 Senior Bowl. He raved about his work ethic and football IQ. Sparano’s past encounter with Tebow and his experience with the wildcat offense in Miami seem to be a good match.
One can only wonder if Tebow will match up well with Rex Ryan, however. Tebow and Rex are the definition of polar opposites. Rex Ryan has cursed more in a ten minute press conference than Tebow has in his entire life. While their personalities differ immensely, their motivation should be the same. Ryan enters his fourth season and may be on the hot seat soon. After three years of guarunteeing a Super Bowl every chance he had, his act could be wearing thin.
Tebow, meanwhile, has plenty to be motivated about. After winning a memorable playoff game last season over Pittsburgh, he’s been deemed not good enough. He was however, good enough to have the #1 selling NFL jersey last season. The Broncos aren’t complaining about those sales. With Tebow’s character and work ethic, I will not be surprised if at some point, he supplants Mark Sanchez.
Even though the Jets gave up only two late round picks, they’re gambling big time with this move. New York is used to a media circus, but Tebowmania may make Cirque De Soleil look easy. If they, or Sanchez gets off to a slow start, they’re welcoming the side show that comes with this acquisition.
The Miami Dolphins will get front row seats to the show twice this season. The two AFC East rivals will have a lot of incentive to perform when they square off. With Tony Sparano and Tim Tebow on the Jets side, the rivalry could reach new heights. The Phins also recently signed former Jet Jamaal Westerman. Somehow, I think Tebow and Sparano may get more publicity when they meet.
Surprisingly, the final decision to land in New York instead of Jacksonville was Tebow’s. After hitting the snag with the language in his contract earlier in the day with the Jets, the Jaguars attempted to swoop in and nab the North Florida native. The Broncos received similar offers from both the Jets and Jags and left the final decision up to Tebow.