Tim Tebow has found a new landing spot in New York. The only problem is, Mark Sanchez is already there and has signed a contract extension. Do the New York Jets now have too many potential pilots for their franchise?
Not because Mark Sanchez is too good of an NFL quarterback to be threatened by Tim Tebow. (He isn't.)
Not because Tim Tebow will never start a game for the New York Jets. (He probably will.)
The New York Jets do not have too many potential franchise quarterbacks on their team because, at this moment, they have none.
In 2009, the New York Jets traded up to the fifth overall selection in the NFL Draft in order to take Mark Sanchez as the face of their organization. At the time, he had only started 16 games at USC, so his draft stock was based largely on potential.
After three full seasons as the New York Jets' starting quarterback, Mark Sanchez has yet to realize that potential. Sanchez is the owner of a career 55.3% completion rating, 55:51 TD:INT ratio and a 73.2 QB rating.
In comparison, Tim Tebow has compiled a 47.3% completion percentage, 17:9 TD:INT ratio and a 75.1 QB rating. Both QBs have rushed for 12 touchdowns apiece, though Tebow's per-carry average is better by more than two yards.
By no means are either of these stat lines awe-inspiring, franchise-quarterback numbers (If you want to see those kinds of numbers, check here for the No. 1 overall pick when Sanchez was drafted). What they are, though, is similar.
New York Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson said after the Jets' season had ended that Mark Sanchez was "a bit pampered because he has no competition." While Sanchez may have really enjoyed Mark Brunell's company and any insights he could provide as an established veteran, anyone in New York who wore green on Sundays probably had nightmares on Saturday about what would happen if Sanchez was ever injured.
As the old saying goes, "competition breeds excellence."
Without real competition, Mark Sanchez has been mediocre. Tim Tebow's arrival doesn't guarantee that he will ever achieve excellence, but at the very least, New York Jets fans will see if either Sanchez or Tebow can take the next step forward in their careers.