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In a stunning move the New York Jets have acquired Tim Tebow and a seventh round draft pick from the Denver Broncos for a fourth and sixth round pick. The Jets will also have to pick up half of a $5 million dollar salary advance that was paid to Tebow by Denver at the beginning of last season.
The trade was originally announced yesterday only to hit a snag as the Jets didn’t like some of the language in Tebow’s contract in regards to the salary advance. Jacksonville then tried to throw their hat back into the ring, and Tebow was asked for his opinion on where he wanted to go, thrilled at the chance to play for the Jets.
Tebow joins the team whom he was able to defeat last year on his magical run of 4th quarter victories. His arrival not only brings with it “Tebowmania” and everything associated with it, but may also spark a quarterback controversy with current starter Mark Sanchez. His presence as such a polarizing figure could split a locker room that doesn’t need any more distractions.
Cornerback Antonio Cromartie tweeted on Tuesday night “we don’t need Tebow,” saying he was confident in Sanchez and the guys already on the team. Today he tweeted “Why are we doing this?”
Tebow is also the same player who last season, in the week leading up to the Jets-Broncos game, was criticized by Jets players when it came to his passing abilities. Now teammate cornerback Darrelle Revis said Tebow’s style as an “option” type quarterback wouldn’t be able to sustain itself as a long-term success.
The timing of the trade is also weird as the Jets signed Sanchez to a three-year, $40.5 million contract extension two weeks ago despite a disappointing season. Then, last week they signed Drew Stanton to be their No.2, giving him half a million in signing bonus. They also still have Greg McElroy, the former Alabama standout.
The Jets look at Tebow to fill the vacuum left by Brad Smith who signed with the Buffalo Bills last season in their wildcat situations. Especially since new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano was the coach who introduced the wildcat to the NFL.
Hall of Fame Jets QB Joe Namath wasn’t happy with the move.
“I’m just sorry that I can’t agree with this situation. I think it’s just a publicity stunt. I can’t go with it. I think it’s wrong,” Namath told “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN1050 in New York. “I don’t think they know what they’re doing over there.”
Rex Ryan, who has vowed to return to the power running game, hopes Tebow could bring some assistance, as they only have one established running back in Shonn Greene.
The potential of backlash is especially great for the Jets as Tebow has a monstrous following and his popularity could distract Mark Sanchez. Sanchez, coming off a sub-par season could be facing the rumblings for Tebow if he doesn’t play well.
Tebow must also adjust as he falls back into the backup role after becoming the starter last season in Denver and leading them to the playoffs and a first round victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The next week however Denver was crushed by Tom Brady and the Patriots.
When it comes down to it though, Tebow made the playoffs and Sanchez did not. Sanchez struggled mightily down the stretch which got people wondering about his future with the Jets. The team backed him publicly, but vowed to change the quarterback depth chart for 2012.
With the trade for Tim Tebow, we can see that they were serious.