As a Jets fan, I was stunned to hear that my team was in play. I shook my head. I took a little while to think about things, and when the dust settled, I came to my conclusion:
I like the acquisition of Tim Tebow.
I can't remember a more polarizing trade acquisition in Jets history. Twitter blew up. Fights broke out on my Facebook page. There are all kinds of layers to this deal, including the business aspect of things that Mike Francesa focused on so much in his show Wednesday afternoon. Will Tebow help the Jets sell more jerseys? Sure. Ticket sales aren't much of an issue for the club nowadays, but there's nothing wrong with team management being concerned with the bottom line. Remember, pure as we all may want them to remain, sports is a business.
The main concern I've seen from people is what kind of an effect that Tebow's presence will have on Mark Sanchez. Without question, the New York media and the Jets' passionate fan base (of which I'm a part of) will be whipped into a frenzy if Sanchez struggles for a few games. Calls for Tebow to start are going to grow loud. It's on Sanchez to cut down on the turnovers and improve. In the wake of the "I'm Sorry" extension he got when the Jets came up short in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, Sanchez is getting big guaranteed money for the next two years, but the Jets could cut him after the 2013 season without losing any more cash. In the ideal situation, Sanchez develops properly. If he doesn't, the Jets have an out, and maybe Tebow develops along the way.
Yes, there is a possibility nobody is mentioning: that Tebow, entering his third professional season, could actually put in work to make himself a more respectable NFL QB, one worthy of starting.
In the immediate future, Tebow is a backup with the Jets, one capable of helping the offense. Some people may say the "wildcat" is dying, but anyone who saw Tebow himself run all over Gang Green in a comeback win during week 8 of last season would beg to differ. Detractors who say he can't throw can be pointed to Denver's playoff win over Pittsburgh last year, when Tebow completed several deep balls (not including the game winning catch-and-run from Demaryius Thomas). He can throw. He also needs to work on his mechanics and accuracy, two areas that almost every young quarterback has had to polish up throughout their careers. Until he does, he is not a legit threat to Sanchez, not after seeing how defenses have handled him as a starter thus far. However, with his ability to operate in certain packages, Tebow is a clear upgrade at back quarterback when compared to 41-year-old Mark Brunell or the newly signed Drew Stanton, who Detroit never trusted to do much.
The major concern is that the Jets' locker room could become divided. We've seen that kind of story before with teams throughout the league, and the Jets' own Antonio Cromartie has already questioned the idea of Tebow on the roster via his Twitter feed, @ACromartie:
"Why bring Tebow in when we need to bring in more weapons for @Mark_Sanchez? Let's build the team around him. We already signed (him) to (a) 3 year ext."
It's March. There is plenty of time to iron out any initial unrest with training camp still months away from starting.
A move for Tebow definitely falls under the heading "high profile gamble." It cost the Jets a couple of mid-round draft picks, and the potential trade could blow up in spectacular fashion.
From just a skill perspective though, their roster is better with Tebow than it was before he was traded to the team, and when you're trying to build a winner, it all starts with talent.