Note to Jets fans all over Union County: let the Tebowmania begin!
The highly praised but heavily scrutinized quarterback will be suiting up in green and white next season after being traded Wednesday to the New York Jets for two draft picks.
The announcement Tuesday that former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning had officially signed with the Denver Broncos not only made the Broncos an immediate playoff contender, it also meant media darling Tim Tebow was out of a starting job.
No longer the starter, rumors began to fly Tuesday night that Tebow would be traded, with the Jets considered a possible destination.
On Wednesday, FOXSports' Jay Glazer broke the news on Twitter that Tebow had in fact been traded to the New York Jets for a fourth-round pick in this year's draft. It was later noted that the Broncos would also receive a sixth-round pick in the 2012 draft, and that the Broncos would give up a seventh-round selection along with Tebow.
Quarterback Mark Sanchez, roundly criticized after the team finished 8-8 and generated controversy seemingly on a daily basis, despite leading the Jets to the AFC Championship games in the 2009 and 2010, has been the focal point of a season gone wrong, where players were openly critical of each other and the coaches on the field, in the lockerroom and in the press. After flirting with the notion of signing Manning, the Jets two weeks ago signed Sanchez to a three-year extension worth $40 million to remain the team's signal, which makes the trade for Tebow quite a shock.
But in an offseason highlighted by the squeaky-clean rival New York Giants winning the Super Bowl, various media organizations are reporting that Jets officials believed signing Tebow would bump up fan interest and improve team chemistry without affecting Sanchez and the rest of the team. Other reports indicate Tebow could be headed for an H-back role if the Jets implement a Wildcat-style offense of the type new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano ran during his days in Miami.
As for the team chemistry, it will be interesting to see if a lockerroom led by head coach and Summit resident, Rex Ryan — arguably the most profane man in the NFL — will feel like home to Tebow, a devout Christian who is as committed to his religious and charitable deeds as his on-field exploits. The Ryan-led team was critized roundly for its wild antics during its run as the featured team on HBO's Hard Knocks, the show that each year gets full behind-closed-doors access to an NFL team during training camp and the preseason.
Regardless of his intended role, with the Jets having struggled through a disappointing 8-8 season in 2011 with Sanchez under center and some fans already calling for his ouster, the addition of Tebow to the roster might just initiate a full-blown quarterback controversy if Sanchez starts slowly in the pre-season. The Jets' other current backup quarterbacks are Drew Stanton and Greg McElroy.
What do you think? Will Tebow fit in with the Jets? Will the publicity he brings help or hurt the team in the long run?