Editor’s Note: We published this story this morning under the headline “The New York Jets Should Trade For Tim Tebow.” Well they did (for a fourth and a six round pick). This story outlines why we think this is a good idea.
There’s no way Tim Tebow isn’t angry right now.
We all know that the man who led one of the most preposterous runs in NFL history last year is a vicious and dogged competitor. That he has supreme confidence in his own abilities. That he puts faith in the plan of a higher power. And that this plan has dictated, with scant advance warning, that it kind of thinks he sucks.
He’s got to be really pissed. Or whatever passes for pissed in Tebow World.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that things came to this, though. Assuming Manning’s healthy, the Broncos bringing in Peyton Manning to start at quarterback is one of the most brilliant maneuvers ever pulled off by an NFL executive. John Elway should be lionized for signing one of a select few quarterbacks in the game who is better than Elway was. Elway knew that he couldn’t win a Super Bowl with Tebow, and, despite the pressure of the fan base, despite the cawing from ESPN and the rotunda about how he’d finally bought in to Tebowmania, Elway did what he knew he had to do. Now, he needs to figure out what to do with Tebow, and this New York Jets fan has an idea.
#FreeTebow. Trade Tebow to the New York Jets.
Wanting Tebow in New York has less to do with “football reasons,” (to paraphrase overeducated koala bear David Stern) than it does the cataclysmic changes in morale and identity that Tebow would bring to the Jets.
1. Tebow would push Mark Sanchez. Conventional football wisdom says that a starting quarterback will play better when he doesn’t have to worry about his status as the starter week after week, but Sanchez proved over the course of his frustratingly inept third season that, if there isn’t some notion of insecurity being forced upon him at all times, he’ll regress into a shambling child. With Tebow around, Sanchez knows he’s always a three-interception-game away from the New York media shoving him into a bag and dumping him in Morningside Heights.
2. It would be a wonderful circus. I’ve talked to a few people who have said, “God, the notion of Tebow in New York makes me want to never look at another newspaper again.” While yes, it’s true that Timmy Tremendous being in the most rabid media market in the United States would result in non-stop coverage that would often collapse into asinine speculation about who he’d been eating dinner with, THAT ALREADY HAPPENS ANYWAY. Tebow has transcended local media by now; no matter where he is, he will be covered like a national event. And the New York media will be its typically delusional echo-chamber no matter who plays quarterback for the Jets, so long as Rex Ryan is coach and the Giants are above mockery. Bringing in Tebow would liven up the nonsense, and it would be great.
3. Whatever you think about his actual ability, Tebow can lead a team. I’ll be the first to say that as a passer in the NFL, Tim Tebow is a decrepit and broken machine with a release like a drawbridge and accuracy best described as approximate. But you can’t argue that Tebow knows how to bring together a locker room and motivate his teammates. Both his University of Florida team and last year’s Broncos always seemed ready to die for the guy. And if there’s one thing the Jets’ organization needs right now, it’s someone who can bring even the barest sense of cohesion to a group of adults who normally seem like they want to shove the end-zone pylons down each others’ throats.
4. Oh, and dude can run. The Jets’ new offensive coordinator is Tony Sparano, the recently deposed coach of the Dolphins; this also explains why they didn’t go after Peyton Manning. Sparano favors a heavy running game, as does Ryan, and he also can claim responsibility for the revival of the Wildcat offense. Despite Tebow’s enormous incompetencies, he’s a powerful and dynamic runner, and as a change of pace quarterback he could be legitimately dangerous, particularly within a Sparano offense.
I see nothing to lose. Tebow’s got a cheap-as-dirt contract, the Jets are a mess anyway, and they probably wouldn’t have to give up that much to get him. Because Tebow’s under contract, it’s not his choice about where he ends up, and as a backup quarterback who could theoretically not play a single snap all year, the only downside for the Jets is the possible fan riot that Tebow seems to drag with him from place to place. But this is New York. The fans are rioting anyway.