Timmy and the Jets: Rex Strikes Gold & the Broncos Are One Hit Away from Doom

Barry SaundersContributor IIIMarch 22, 2012

Timmy…Timmy…Timmy…is a Jet now.

Now if he is anything—and I am sure even his haters will agree—Tim Tebow is a class act.

"I feel like this is a great opportunity for me to develop," Tebow said in an NFL.com article after the trade to the NY Jets was official. "I think I'll be playing for great coaches, and I think the scheme will be a great scheme to learn under. My goal is to be the best player I can be and to improve every single day."

As a man of deep convictions, Tebow will thank God for the fact that he still has a job, and believe this is a plan laid out for him by the Lord Almighty. As a result, Tebow will make the most out of whatever situation comes his way.

Tebow showed his true character once again this past season, and Broncos VP of Football Operations and legendary ex-QB John Elway acknowledged Tim for his accomplishments with the team. He gave Tebow credit for his conduct and professionalism and said according to ESPN's Bill Williamson, “Tim left an extraordinary mark…his time in Denver will hold a special place in Broncos history.”

So why in the hell is Denver letting him go?

Is it just me, or has Denver done the exact opposite of what every NFL team dreams of? Before dealing Tebow, the Broncos had a top-notch starting QB in Peyton Manning, and a very capable, yet not quite starting material, backup QB who knows the system and the players, and could come off the bench at any time if needed.

Now, the Broncos have squandered a golden opportunity for a fourth- and sixth-round draft pick and a $2.53 million discount on a $5 million advance in Tebow's contract. In my opinion, the Jets made out like bandits in this deal.

Now if I compare Tebow with John Elway, who in essence turned his back on this kid with unlimited potential, the similarities are striking. Tebow did not have a great statistical second year, throwing 12 TDs and six INTs. He threw the ball 271 times and had a 47 percent completion rating. He did rush for 660 yards, but fumbled the ball six times. Not great, yet not horrible either.

By comparison, Elway threw the ball 380 times his second year. He had 18 TDs and 15 INTs with a completion percentage of 56 percent. He ran for a mere 237 yards with no fumbles. His QB rating was 77.8, while Tebow’s  was 73.

Not much of a difference. Granted, Elway is one of the all-time greats, and time will tell if Tebow will follow a similar path, but why would you get rid of silver just because you have gold?

Peyton has two or three more years left at the most. Hopefully his health will improve, and he will be back to his regular form. Ok...then what?

What will the Broncos do when Peyton does finally hang up his cleats? Will Denver gamble on some rookie, or hope for a free agent to fall into their laps again like Manning did? The fact that Manning is in a Broncos uniform is a spectacular example of chance if I've ever seen one. If the Broncos had kept Tebow, there would be an obvious successor to the QB in Denver who had spent plenty of time watching an all-time great, much like Aaron Rogers' road to the starting job in Green Bay.

Of course, we all know how that turned out.

Tebow has tremendous potential. Sure his mechanics are in need of repair, but his attitude, work ethic and that intangible factor that led the Broncos to the playoffs are all extremely valuable gifts. Between Elway and Manning, his mechanics would have improved, but who will show him the way in NY?

The Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum said, “We're adding Tim to be our backup quarterback and play in other packages as coach (Rex) Ryan and (offensive coordinator Tony) Sparano see fit," according to NFL.com. So instead of grooming what could be a great quarterback into, well, a great quarterback, they are talking about using him as a specialist in the Wildcat formation.

What about bringing someone in to work with him on his mechanics, so that if Sanchez gets hurt—or throws one interception too many—Tebow will be ready to step in and work his magic. Now the Jets have a good QB and a good backup, and they want to risk injury to the backup by putting him in the Wildcat, an offensive scheme that the whole NFL knows how to stop. Like they say on ESPN: Come on, man!

Time will tell if this trade will prove fruitful for the Broncos and the Jets. This armchair coach/GM thinks it was a bad move to trade a good backup QB when good backup QBs are scarce. I also think it is a bad move to put Tebow on a team with constant distractions, a mediocre offense and unrelenting pressure from the fans and media.

In the meantime I will watch the Jets this season with great anticipation. I will also be glad to see Peyton play, and hope he does not get hurt any further. I like John Elway and I want to see him and the Broncos succeed, but I think Elway dropped the ball on this one.