His head must be spinning with all of the mixed signals he’s been getting from the Jets’ front office in recent weeks.
First, word leaks that Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum and company were actively pursuing Peyton Manning in the early stages of his frenzied free agency period. Then, when all hope of seeing Manning donned in Jet's green was lost, New York extended a hefty mea culpa Sanchez’s way in the form of a five-year, $58 million contract extension.
But just when it looked like Sanchez had new found job security, the Jets went out and acquired polarizing quarterback Tim Tebow by way of the Rocky Mountains.
So much for job security.
Maybe if you stop and think about this move for a second, it kind of makes sense for "Gang Green." After all, new Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sporano was the head coach for the Dolphins when Miami’s version of the Wildcat attack took the NFL by storm starting in 2008.
From that, you can assume that Tebow will be a niche player with the Jets, running the Wildcat a dozen or so snaps a game this season. Jets play-by-play radio announcer Bob Wischusen said on Boston’s WEEI radio—in so many words—that Tebow will only serve the Jets in a Wildcat role and will under virtually no scenario replace Sanchez as a starter.
If that’s the case, then why is New York spending so much money on a backup quarterback? According to NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora, Tebow’s base salary in 2013 will be six-million dollars in 2012, escalating thanks to the fact that he started several games for Denver in 2011.
If Tannenbaum is willing to dish out that much dough for someone to run the Wildcat for a few plays a game, he should’ve spent a little extra to keep Brad Smith last year. Not only did Smith run New York’s Wildcat effectively, he also played another position (wide receiver), something Tebow is unwilling to do.
Now the Jets—who need serious upgrades to the offensive line and pass rush—have a ton of money tied up in two head-cases at quarterback.
One (Sanchez) took the fall for an entire team’s collapse in 2011 via anonymous sources, while the other (Tebow) can’t even complete half of his passes in any given game. And Wischusen and others can declare that Tebow has no chance of replacing Sanchez in March; that’s easy to do.
But what happens when you-know-what hits the fan if and when Sanchez lays a dud in a game and "Fireman Ed" is conducting the pro-Tebow chants in the Met Life Stadium bleachers?
It has the makings to further divide an already fragile locker room and become a public relations nightmare, much like what happened when Tebow replaced Kyle Orton under center last season in Denver.
No matter how you slice it, the Jets’ acquisition of Tebow makes very little sense, for many of the aforementioned reasons.
It must be tough to be a Jets fan. When your general manager is making baffling decisions like this one, it’s no coincidence that "Gang Green" hasn’t won a Super Bowl in 42 years.