Tim Tebow to the New York Jets: Analyzing the Pros and Cons
Tim Tebow is officially a New York Jet. While there was a short period where it was unknown whether or not the Jets would actually come away with him, they managed to pull off what is possibly the most controversial move in this free-agency period to date. It is well known that Tebow has had an enormous following throughout his tenure at the University of Florida, and through his stint as starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos, but one can only imagine the heights it is going to reach playing in New York.
The Jets gave up a fourth-round pick and a sixth-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft, and received Tebow and a seventh-round pick in return. It was a move that has been met with endless criticism, but may be too complex a trade to judge so quickly.
Benefits of Trading for Tebow
Tebow's ability to make plays running the football is well known, and this could be where the trade pays dividends the most for the Jets. New offensive coordinator Tony Sparano is very familiar with the Wildcat offense that he and Dan Henning used during their stay with the Miami Dolphins. He possesses a combination of size and speed that makes him difficult for defenders to bring down, while at the same time demonstrating all the right intangibles you would like your quarterback to display.
Tim Tebow could prove to be very valuable to the New York Jets in the role of a backup quarterback and a "gadget play" sort of player, similar to how the Jets used Brad Smith prior to losing him to the Buffalo Bills in a shortened free-agency period last year. If they can successfully institute specific plays in game plans for Tebow, they could be very difficult to stop. The key to those plays being successful is not throwing off the rhythm of the offense once Tebow heads back to the sideline and Mark Sanchez resumes taking snaps under center.
Being known as such a high-character player could benefit a Jets locker room which ended last season in disarray. Many issues may have been overblown by the media, and could possibly already be on the mend, but you can never have too many positive voices in your locker room.
Finally, Tebow could provide some legitimate competition for Mark Sanchez. Sanchez is going into his fourth year as starting quarterback for the Jets, and he needs to make major strides in order to keep his job as starting quarterback. Tebow could give Sanchez the extra push he may need if the two competitors can coexist with one another.
Potential Consequences of the Tebow Trade
Tebowmania has arrived in New York, and Mark Sanchez can rest assured it is not going anywhere any time soon.
Sanchez has shown flashes of brilliance through spots of his career with the Jets, but many times they have been followed with stretches of poor decision making. There has never been a real threat of Sanchez losing his job to previous backup quarterback Mark Brunell, and now that Tebow is in town there is always a very real possibility that it may happen if a familiar stretch of poor play occurs.
Regardless of whether or not an actual quarterback controversy ensues, there will be cheers for Tebow to enter a game shortly after Sanchez throws his first interception. Having seen Sanchez lose his confidence midseason previously, it could be enough to severely deflate him to endure fans and reporters alike calling for him to lose his job.
This may turn out to be a case where the backup quarterback is actually the most popular player in town.
Balance Is Key to Getting Maximum Value from Tebow Trade
Ultimately, Rex Ryan needs to have much more control over his locker room this season for a variety of reasons, one of them being that this trade has potential to spiral into a full-blown quarterback controversy very quickly.
It's been known for a long time in the sports world that winning solves all problems. If Mark Sanchez can play at a high enough level to prevent Tim Tebow from climbing atop the depth chart, it would be best for the entire Jets franchise. It would allow the front office to remain committed to the quarterback who they just gave a contract extension to, while still being able to use a newly-acquired weapon in Tebow in the best way possible.
It is far too early to tell whether this will go down as a monumental trade for either positive or negative reasons, but the New York Jets have certainly regained the headlines once again.