Tim Tebow Headed to the Jets: 5 Reasons to Like This Trade for New York
As the world knows by now, Tim Tebow was reportedly traded to the New York Jets along with a seventh-round pick in exchange for fourth- and sixth-round picks. (Update: After all the drama the deal has finally went through, according to ESPN.com.)
Tebow is a polarizing figure, and I think I've read several hundred tweets for and against the acquisition already.
Last year, Tebow orchestrated a game-winning drive capped off by a 20-yard touchdown run to beat the Jets, 17-13. So Rex Ryan and Co. had a close-up look at what Tebow can do.
Tebow got by on his feet more than his arm last year, and he is still growing as a quarterback. Many people don't think he is ready to start, even though he led the Denver Broncos to the playoffs last year.
I also have been very critical of Tebow. When the media, particularly ESPN, kept the 24 hour news feed going for him, I freaked out. Why give that kind of attention for a glorified running back? The guy only completed 46.5 percentage of his passes.
However, I'm singing a different tune now. Is it just because Tebow plays for my favorite team? No, he is the same type of player and he isn't going to be a starter.
So why is this trade going to work?
Here are the five reasons why getting Tebow was good for the Jets.
5. Tebow Will Improve the Running Game and Wildcat
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The Jets weren't the same running team that they were in 2010 or 2009 when the team made it all the way to back-to-back AFC Championship Games.
This season, they ranked 16th in rushing attempts (443) and 22nd in rushing yards (1,691).
In 2010, they ranked second in rushing attempts (534) and fourth in rushing yards (2,374). They were first in rushing attempts (607) and first in rushing yards (2,756) in 2009.
They got away from the running game this year and the Jets ended up missing the playoffs. Enter Tony Sparano as offensive coordinator—the former Miami Dolphins head coach and one of the masterminds that brought the Wildcat offense into the NFL.
The Jets used to run their form of the Wildcat with Brad Smith, but he signed with the Bills before the 2011 season. This past year, it was run by Jeremy Kerley with mixed results.
Now, Sparano has to be licking his chops at the prospect of adding the best Wildcat/option quarterback in the league.
Tebow instantly makes the Jets' Wildcat something that defenses have to prepare for, adding another wrinkle to their offense as the organization tries to work its way back to being a running team.
The Jets running game will improve from last year's totals with Tebow on board. He won't start, but the few plays gotten out of him a game are going to help.
4. Mark Sanchez Needs Someone to Make Him Feel the Pressure
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Mark Sanchez has had an easy life as an NFL quarterback.
In his first three seasons, he hasn't been challenged as a player in this league. I subscribe to the philosophy that competition breeds greatness, and Mark just simply hasn't had that competition.
Could that be the reason he hasn't taken huge steps forward as an NFL quarterback?
In his first year, Sanchez only had Kellen Clemens behind him. While Clemens was a former second round pick, it was clear the team didn't hold him in a high regard by the time Sanchez was brought on board.
The past two seasons, Sanchez has been backed-up by a quarterback in his 40s, Mark Brunell. I believe Sanchez is a guy that needs someone behind him to add a little heat forcing him to work hard and become great.
The first time he hears people chanting Tebow during training camp, Mark's going to push himself harder than he ever has before—or is he going to crumble into a giant pile of Kyle Orton.
Either way, I believe this forces Sanchez to either get better or get out, a situation that I feel he desperately needs.
3. The Jets Didn't Give Up Much
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Tim Tebow was a first round pick in 2010.
He led his team to a playoff victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he was 10 for 21 for 316 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw the game winning pass in overtime.
If he doesn't take a step back against New England in the playoffs, where he went 9 for 26 for 136 and no touchdowns while only rushing for 13 yards, I'm not sure we are here today.
The Jets didn't give up much for Tebow. Most quarterbacks coming off a playoff win wouldn't be traded, but Tebow was because of his style of play and the fact he really doesn't throw the ball accurately yet.
For fourth and sixth round picks, the Jets got a guy that was a first round pick just a couple years ago. He is a football player and, heck, he might be willing to try his hand at other positions for the Jets just to get on the field.
He is a hard worker, so I wouldn't count him out excelling at some position on the football field down the line.
The Jets also got a seventh round pick in return, not a bad trade for Gang Green at all.
2. If Tebow Develops the Jets Have Options
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This is a very important part of the trade.
Lets say that Tebow gets some time on the field the next few seasons and shows that he has increased his accuracy.
The kid has proven he can win on the NFL level, so if he puts his accuracy woes behind him he could be a heck of a starter.
Teams might jump at the chance to trade for him.
On the flip side, if he develops and Mark Sanchez continues to stay the course, the Jets could probably recoup the cost of what it took to get Tebow in a Sanchez trade.
Also, the Jets have doubled their chances that someday they will have a quarterback develop into something special.
This is a trade that gives the Jets options for now and for the future and having options isn't something the Jets have had in a long time.
1. The Jets Needed a High Character Player in the Locker Room
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Everyone remembers the disaster that was 2011, right?
The receivers went crazy, they had to trade Derrick Mason mid-season, Holmes pouted on the bench in the last game and Rex Ryan admitted that he didn't have a feel for the locker room.
Where were the leaders? Was there even a good presence to help the team come together?
This offseason hasn't given me hope that the Jets had drastically changed the locker room. Bart Scott is still around (though he has permission to seek a trade), Holmes is still around after his tantrum and they lost a veteran leader in LaDainian Tomlinson.
The team has signed Chaz Schilens, Drew Stanton and LaRon Landry and no one on the planet thought this new blood could help the turmoil.
Now, the Jets pick up a leader that helped bring together the Denver team last year and rallied them to an AFC West division title. Every teammate the media has talked to about Tebow, loves the guy. They gush about him like they have a ridiculous man-crush on the devout Christian.
The Jets will have to make sure Tebow gets time on the field, every game, if they want him to be a leader.
Fixing the locker room was a major need this offseason and the Jets made a step in the right direction by picking up Tim Tebow.
I have a feeling this is going to work for the Jets and Tebow—until teammates start groaning that they want the Sanchize sat and prefer Tebowmania to run wild.