2012 New York Jets: Does Tim Tebow Have More to Lose Than Mark Sanchez?

Nader Ktait@@NaderKtaitCorrespondent IIMay 25, 2012

Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez at OTAs
Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez at OTAsJeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

When the Jets first acquired Tim Tebow they tried their best to make it look like there wouldn’t be a quarterback controversy.

For instance, it was Jets general manager Mike Tannebaum who said (via Pro Football Talk), "Mark Sanchez is, has been and will be our starting quarterback."

If that wasn't enough, even Tebow acknowledged that Sanchez is the starting quarterback. According to Pro Football Talk, when asked about how is role with the Jets would affect Sanchez, Tebow responded:

Me and Mark have a great relationship... We’ve been friends, we text back and forth, we’ve talked already, and we’re going to have a great relationship, a great working relationship and a lot of fun together.

It was then clear that Tebow was going to have a different role than Sanchez on the team. After all, that is the case, so long as Sanchez is named the starter.

But this might all change if Sanchez loses his job during the season.

Keep in mind that shortly after the 2011 season ended, there was a report in the NY Daily News about Sanchez's poor work ethic. These rumors based on the belief that because Sanchez never had to worry about losing his job (to say, Mark Brunell), it seemed like Sanchez was quite complacent at times.

Thus, it seemed to many (especially Jets fans) that in order to improve the Jets' quarterback situation, there needs to be a quarterback competition.

And so, if this really is a competition between Tebow and Sanchez, then it's hard to believe that there will be no controversy, especially when—according to ESPN—Tebow tells the media, "I don't like losing." 

Tebow then went on to say, "Pretty much, every time I'm competing. I'll pretty much do whatever it takes to win. I'm pretty competitive."

If that's Tebow's mentality, then it's hard to believe that he won't try to take Sanchez's job.

An important question then arises: If Sanchez and Tebow cannot coexist and one of them is likely to be released by the end of next season, who has more to lose, Sanchez or Tebow? 

A good way of answering this particular question is by taking a look at the possible consequences of being released by the Jets. For instance, if one of these quarterbacks were released, it seems to me, that Sanchez is more likely to find another start than Tebow is.

Therefore, Tebow has more to lose than Sanchez.

Sanchez has taken his team to two AFC Championship games. Tebow, on the other hand, hasn't been there once. Secondly, Sanchez has never been traded or released by any team—Tebow has. 

And lastly, Sanchez's regular-season statistics are better than Tebow's.

Sanchez threw for over 3,400 yard and 26 touchdowns, while Tebow threw for over 1,700 yards and 12 touchdowns. In Tebow’s defense though, he started in fewer games than Sanchez. Tebow also rushed for an additional six touchdowns.

Although they are both a long ways away from becoming elite quarterbacks, it seems like Tebow has a lot more work to do. As a Jet, Tebow needs to not only work on his mechanics, footwork and accuracy, he also needs to prove that he can be a good backup quarterback—a job that he almost lost as a Bronco.

After that, Tebow then needs to earn a start and then he needs to win lots of games. However, in this case, winning games will probably be a lot harder to do than earning a start. Sanchez has a tough few games ahead of him. If Sanchez turns the ball over too much and/or loses most of the games, the start could easily be given to Tebow.

But it doesn't stop there, because if Tebow doesn't do well and Sanchez is put back in, what happens to Tebow's career? I think that's a much more difficult question to ask, as it relates to Tebow than Sanchez.

If Sanchez gets released, I can see him having a better chance of getting another start as a quarterback. If guys like Jake Delhomme, Tarvaris Jackson and Jason Campbell can start at quarterback on another team, I'm sure Sanchez can too.

One last thing to keep in mind is that when the Broncos decided to trade Tebow there were really only two teams that were interested in Tebow, the Jaguars and the Jets. If Tebow gets released or traded again, will there still be any teams interested him?