Timothy Tebow has been traded to the New York Jets. The Jets were one of the many teams interested in his services, though considering they just invested big money in Mark Sanchez over the next two seasons they weren’t the likeliest destination. But there you go: Tim Tebow, the biggest story of the 2011 NFL season, is a Jet.
As someone who dislikes the Jets and hopes for nothing but bad things for the franchise, I couldn’t be happier with this move. New York now has three quarterbacks on the roster — two first-round draft picks (Tebow and Sanchez) and one second-round pick (Drew Stanton) — and they still don’t have what could be called a legitimately elite NFL quarterback. It’s amazing. As for the entire team, they have just enough talent to contend, enough star power to draw eyeballs and just enough flaws and problems to fall short.
It’s also good news if you are a fan of Tebow (and as a Florida Gator, my collegiate loyalty means that I am obligated to at least hope for moderately good things for the guy, even if he is an average NFL quarterback). He will have a chance to challenge for the starting job in New York — not early in the season, because Sanchez is the current regime’s guy, but at some point after the Jets drop to 2-3 and Sanchez looks wildly overmatched and also has guaranteed money for this season and next season so he won’t exactly be pushing himself to improve, you know? Tebow was a gigantic story last season — for many reasons having nothing to do with football, but for at least a few football reasons — and you can only imagine the noise now that the New York media has Tebow in their midst.
So this is really a win-win for almost everyone. Denver is rid of Tebow and can move forward. The Jets have a huge storyline that will draw attention without instantly reminding people of the team’s 2011 meltdown. Sanchez has some competition, but not so much that he will be overtaken. Tebow has a major media market he can use to further his fame, profile and influence. The Jets have a player they could either use when Sanchez fails or, more interestingly, they could insert into specific plays for short yardage or goal line situations (much like how the Gators used Tebow during his freshman season; of course, whether or not an NFL team can replicate that depends quite a bit on how much Sanchez can handle being pulled because he’s not a red zone threat). The NFL has Tebow in New York.
The only bad news: This means Tebow won’t be going to a franchise like Jacksonville, which really needed him; even if he wouldn’t have improved their offense that much, he would have still reinvigorated the fan base and made the Jaguars at least semi-relevant. He would have been the focal point for the Jags, on and off the field. In New York, he will be the biggest star on the team but still part of a bigger soap opera with multiple ongoing storylines.