New York Jets Off-Season: Getting Inside Mike Tannenbaum’s Head

Just what exactly has New York Jets GM Mike Tannenabum been thinking this off-season?

At this point in the New York Jets off-season, it is easy to be a little confused, angry and disappointed. Here is a review of what they have done so far –

  • Signed a highly injury prone strong safety, LaRon Landry
  • Signed a highly injury prone wide receiver, Chaz Schilens
  • Traded for a backup quarterback/wildcat option, Tim Tebow
  • Re-signed Sione Pouha and Bryan Thomas
  • Guaranteed Wayne Hunter’s salary next year
  • Held on to Santonio Holmes by guaranteeing his salary the next two years
  • Signed Drew Stanton…then traded Drew Stanton after trading for Tebow
  • Gave Mark Sanchez an overhyped extension that basically didn’t change much to his original contract but brought a wave of publicity with it

So, what the hell is Mike Tannenbaum thinking? Let’s try to figure it out –

Starting on offense, we told you throughout February the Jets would not be spending big money at the wide receiver position opposite of Santonio Holmes. The hiring of Tony Sparano confirmed a commitment to a run heavy offense and with so much already invested in Holmes, it doesn’t make philosophical sense to splurge financially for another receiver. Their approach is taking a low cost risk on a player like Schilens and then seeing how the draft shakes out before exploring the option of bringing Braylon Edwards back.

Do not look for the Jets to take a receiver early in the draft, unless somebody they fall in love with drops into their lap in round 2 or 3. I would expect them to take a receiver with one of their late round picks and then check out Edwards knee in May. If he passes the team’s physical, he can be brought back on a low cost deal and likely provide all the production they’d need from the number two receiver spot, with Schilens providing insurance.

The Tebow trade was clearly not something in the original off-season plans as demonstrated by the Stanton signing. There was speculation about the Jets signing or trading for another running back to compliment Shonn Greene but bringing in Tebow is going to prevent that from happening. He will be a weapon in the running game more than anything and outside of potentially a mid or late round pick, look for the Jets running back depth chart to stay the same.

Tebow’s trade was fueled by Rex Ryan and Tony Sparano’s desire to run and protect the football coupled with the business aspects of it endorsed by Woody Johnson. Tannenbaum saw Tebow become available, had his head coach, offensive coordinator and owner express interest and made it happen. Mark Sanchez was a peripheral thought in all of this, as I do think the organization still believes he could be the franchise quarterback but saw the Wildcat dimension/business aspects of Tebow too valuable to pass it up. Only time will tell, if it was worth it.

At tackle, Tannenbaum probably looked at Hunter’s contract and figured at a minimum he was a good depth player, which he is and something that the Jets badly lacked last year. The hope in the organization is that with a full off-season to learn the position, Vladimir Ducasse will be a viable option at right tackle. Teams don’t like giving up on second round picks after two years, regardless of how awful they looked throughout those two years. At this point, I fully expect the Jets to open camp with Hunter and Ducasse competing for the job, with Austin Howard maybe grabbing a few reps.

If they struggle, the Jets could hope that Vernon Carey is still on the market. He is a veteran who knows Sparano’s system that could immediately hop in or Tannenbaum could swing a trade in August to supplement the position. It is a risky strategy and not one I agree with, but it appears to be the planned approach at the moment.

Defensively, the Jets wanted to pair LaRon Landry and Reggie Nelson as their shiny, new safety duo. Unfortunately, they struck out with Nelson leaving a gaping hole at free safety. The Jets protected themselves from Landry’s injury with how the contract is structured but the defense will suffer if he misses extended periods of time in 2012. I would expect the Jets to seriously consider finding a way to add a free safety in one of the early rounds of the draft and then bring back Jim Leonhard in May or June as veteran insurance. Missing out on Nelson hurt and the Jets are now going to need to rely on a healthy Landry and likely a draft pick to improve the position’s play.

The team hasn’t been shy about their desire to improve the pass rush. It would be an upset at this point if they don’t find away to take a outside linebacker in the first round. The question is only how aggressive will they pursue one? Would they trade up for Melvin Ingram or Quinton Couples? Could they trade back for Andre Branch? Is Courtney Upshaw on the board for them at number 16? The Jets want a young pass rusher to take Bryan Thomas off the field on passing downs and eventually off the field all together. They likely envision a third down defense that prominently features this first round pick opposite of Aaron Maybin, who should only get better in Rex’s system in year two.

One other thing that should be noted, the locker room chaos last year clearly made a huge impression on the Jets front office. Re-signing Sione Pouha was a smart football move but became such a major priority because he was a respected captain last year. The quick re-signing of Bryan Thomas, a longtime good guy veteran of the organization was also a larger priority than it would have in years past. Bringing back Hunter, who despite his on field struggles, is a respected player in the locker room who stood up to Santonio Holmes slacking last year supports the notion of emphasizing the importance of improving the locker room. Finally, while the Tebow trade was primarily motivated by the Wildcat and business, it would be foolish to think his personality didn’t play a factor in it as well.

So what else should you expect the rest of the way from the Jets? I would look for an outside linebacker and safety early in the draft, along with an eventual signing of Braylon Edwards and Jim Leonhard. If the Jets make an addition at right tackle, it probably won’t happen until training camp. It isn’t the flashiest off-season but the Jets are clearly banking on Tony Sparano improving Mark Sanchez’s play and Tim Tebow adding an element to the Jets offense that will make it harder to defend. Rex Ryan is always going to be confident in his defense and I am sure he thinks with a new pass rusher, Landry, and a free safety the group will take major strides from last year.

Finally, what about that extra money the Jets still have? Remember they are going to have to pay Darrelle Revis next off-season to avoid another holdout, along with Dustin Keller and Shonn Greene’s contracts both being up. Those considerations have to be a factor in the Jets spending right now.

Doesn’t cheer you up? Well maybe this will…feels like a hundred years ago, right?

New York Jets: All About Sanchez Now

The success of the New York Jets 2012 season is going to depend on Mark Sanchez more than anybody

You can speculate about what Tim Tebow will or won’t do this season in the New York Jets version of “The Wildcat” or discuss your ongoing angst about how this team still has holes at right tackle, outside linebacker, and safety (and I do nonstop), yet in the end this season will mostly come down to one player’s actions on and off the field, starting quarterback Mark Sanchez.

There are two different versions of Mark Sanchez you probably hear about. There is the Michael Lombardi/Mike Florio version, who portray Sanchez as a bottom five quarterback in the league who is a mental midget. No success the Jets have had in the past three years can be credited to him, only their failures. Then there is the common sense version, led by people like Trent Dilfer (who you know, watch game tape) and who anybody else that has watched every snap of Sanchez’s NFL career can plainly see:

  • Sanchez is a young quarterback, who struggles with consistency. Like any quarterback, if he doesn’t have protection his turnovers and bad decision making increase.
  • His accuracy is his biggest weakness but has steadily improved. Yet, still needs to get better.
  • He is more mobile and a much better athlete than people give him credit for. His arm strength is also not an issue as he has made every throw necessary from a NFL quarterback.
  • Generally, he plays better in bigger spots and has a knack for late game comebacks/success in the two minute drill.
  • He has improved in every statistical category, every year of his career.
  • Sanchez has had four (and will soon be on his fifth) starting pair of wide receivers.
  • His offensive coordinator was thoroughly below average the past three years and he deserves a chance in a new system.
  • Comparatively, to other first round quarterbacks he has had a good amount of success through his first three years and is pacing well compared to a quarterback like Eli Manning.
  • 27-20 regular season record as a starter. 4-2 record in the playoffs.

You can cut it anyway you want, trading for Tebow is a frustrating situation for Sanchez. He will have a backup who is more popular than him and he will be taken off the field for a handfuls of plays throughout the game to run an offense he won’t be part of. No quarterback wants that. Regardless, the amount Tim Tebow is on the field is really in Mark Sanchez’s hands. If he protects the football and produces with the normal offense, Tebow will be nothing more than a glossy sidenote on the Jets season. The Jets will also likely find themselves as contenders in the AFC again.

Make no mistake, if this team is getting anywhere near a Super Bowl, it is because Sanchez, the best quarterback on the team, has a good year and steps up in big moments. An ideal scenario for this team is that Sanchez thrives as a starting quarterback, while balancing a difficult situation on and off the field while Tebow thrives as role player. At the end of the season, you hope a team that is a desperate for a starting quarterback makes an enticing offer to get Tebow and you install Greg McElroy as the long term backup because you know after 2012 that Sanchez is without question your guy.

Most people see Sanchez cowering under the competition to a quarterback who has accomplished a fifth of what he has in the NFL and who simply put is not a better quarterback than him. I wouldn’t write off #6 so easily.

Lies And Legacies: The Week Tebow Took New York

Justin recaps the week that took us up to Tim Tebow’s press conference at noon today

It takes too much effort to try and rationalize any of the things that have happened in the past week in the NFL. Sean Payton is going to be on his couch for the year, Gregg Williams is facing what may be a “multi-year” ban from the NFL, and the team that threw for 5000 yards is probably not going to make the playoffs if: the Panthers get a defense, the Buccaneers get an offense, or the Falcons get a little bit of both.

The Jets, on a clownier note, signed Drew Stanton, Matthew Stafford’s backup from Detroit, but something far more complex happened only a fortnight later. Because of the fact that Indianapolis failed miserably without Peyton Manning last year, they are getting the number one draft pick, which they are using on a quarterback, which means Peyton Manning needed to find a new place to play, which is going to be Denver, where Tim Tebow, my vote for least and most human athlete on the planet, played until Thursday.

The deal broke like this: initial news breaks that the Jets are getting Tebow. Mark Sanchez begins pushing half naked women off of him and instantly becomes transfixed on the television. Santonio Holmes opens a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue, Tony Sparano starts pulling out 2008 game film and laughing like some kind of maniacal genius (Dr. Strangelove?), sunglasses and all.

I immediately let it be known that I love this trade for all the wrong reasons. I love the fact that Antonio Cromartie and Tim Tebow will be at some point, talking to each other as teammates. I send text messages to family members, Giants fans, Patriots fans, Cowboys fans, pretty much anyone who has watched more than one game in the past year.

So am I buying into the circus? Yes. Front row seat. Let’s get a few things clear. The Jets got Tebow in a trade, but only hours later it became known that there was a contract issue, the Jets not realizing that they would have to reimburse Denver of a $5 million guaranteed roster bonus. Apparently Tannenbaum was so blinded by faith…eh…that he forgot to even look at the details. Other GM’s instantly chimed in, casting Tannenbaum and the entire office as a bunch of used car salesman who would get laughed out of any legitimate franchise.

They didn’t read the contract? Nonsense says Tannenbaum days later, but let’s keep the narrative going first. So everyone in New York is on pins and needles, Santonio is checking Adam Schefter’s Twitter like a high school ex-boyfriend, Sanchez is on bended knee, thanking whatever deity up there that this thing CAN’T POSSIBLY GO THROUGH with teams like the Rams (who are so desperate for anything relevant they would have given the $5 million in a briefcase handcuffed to Sam Bradford on a lear jet) and the Jaguars (you know, the Jaguars, in Jacksonville, the general area where Tim Tebow became the closest thing to a God on earth by winning a Heisman and two national championships and whose owner has proclaimed he would have taken Tebow number one overall if he was the owner.)

So the Jets start bluffing, claiming no one would be dumb enough to pay $5 million for a backup quarterback who is going to draw a following that is equal parts Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, and Jeremy Lin. A wholesome following that has decidedly creepy undertones, much like the Tea Party movement. On the surface it sounds fine, but then you talk to someone who genuinely terrifies you in their complete and utter devotion. Cue the Pat Robertson wishing injury on Peyton Manning quotes.

Where were we? Oh yes, so Antonio Cromartie is at this point dropping his phone in a glass of water so he doesn’t send something out that already destroys any hope of camaraderie, Rex Ryan is coming up with lists of local churches in the New Jersey area, and Mike Tannenbaum is doing his best Pawn Stars impersonation. “He isn’t worth $5 million, not here, maybe if you find someone willing to take on the following, which you know puts undue pressure on your entire franchise. No one wants that pressure. Not after last year.”

Word now breaks that it’s going to be down to Jacksonville and New York, the Rams getting shoved out of the conversation because of the simple fact that they are the St. Louis Rams and do nothing particularly well.

This is what some would call the high point of the drama. Jacksonville, where Tim Tebow can take a piss on someone’s lawn and have them smile and say thank you, and New York, home of sex, drugs, and every other sort of temptation known to man. It would be Midnight Cowboy on overdrive. It can’t happen. That’s like having LeBron get a choice of going to Cleveland or the Lakers coming out of the draft.

No, it’s worse than that because Lebron didn’t win college national championships in his home state. To be fair, there is no honest comparison in this century or last.

Ok, so things start to go sideways right about now. It suddenly becomes news that Denver has decided to have a soul about this. They’re going to let Tim Tebow go home, to the south, where according to a family friend, he wanted to go. Or he can go to New York. What? Why even continue to cover this? This is like asking Charlie Sheen to go to Vegas or to Boise for the weekend.
At this point, people are pulling Gator jerseys out of their closet, waving them around, running down to the local bar and screaming “He’s coming home! There is a God!” The lord had apparently intervened, saved the golden boy from the den of vice. He has a choice, and it would be some unholy act of a biblical Judas to choose New York over going home to Jacksonville.

And then the world turns a little faster than usual. Tim Tebow chooses to go to the New York Jets. I begin frantically finding out if this is true, because for the past few hours I was cooking on the rooftop of the Avalon Bowery, indulging in a few of the things Tim Tebow renounced a long time ago. I tried to knock it out of my mind, as even the pros couldn’t figure out which way was forward in any of this. Rex Ryan, Santonio Holmes, and Tim Tebow? What is this a god damned fantasy draft of good and evil?

So the questions begin. What are the Jets going to charge for tickets? Triple the price of last year? It would be fair. This is like putting Justin Bieber in a Tarantino movie.

Tebow is going to be the backup quarterback, which creates a trifecta of quarterbacks that equates the pretty boy Sanchez with 4 playoff road wins in his first two years, the savior Tebow, who did everything right at the right time to win games (despite throwing incompletions for 3 quarters), and the brains with McElroy, who by the end of the season will have started calling plays himself as Tony Sparano shuffles tight ends, slot receivers and extra lineman like a street hustler hosting a game of chase the ace.

Triple option bunch formation? I’ll take a little of that. Bone formation read option? Give me one of those too. Four wide with McKnight in the backfield? OK.

And so the pressure on Mark Sanchez has gone from LIRR going under the river to being 2 and a half miles below sea level,watching the 4 inch thick glass around you begin to splinter and implode. Although I don’t think Sanchez is going to flounder as grossly as he did last year, I think people are going to get real curious real fast.

I know I’m going to get curious. Will Tebow throw the deep ball? How close will the two playbooks be? Is anyone seriously expecting this to be a top 10 offense? If the Jets grab another pass rusher I’m going to have enough faith in Rex Ryan and his scheme to know that the defense will outplay the offense. But what if Tebow is successful? How long before Judas takes the throne? Is anyone going to care about Mark Sanchez if Tebow has a game winning drive?

There is only one answer for Sanchez. Do not throw interceptions. Do not turn the ball over. Even if your stat line is garbage, you better keep that turnover ratio on the plus side. There is no forgiving Sanchez for throwing an interception his first pass last year.

Which is why I think Sanchez is going to show up bigger (reports already indicate he is adding 5-10 lbs of muscle), smarter (better master this offense before Tebow even opens his playbook), and faster in his decision making. What could aid this? Anything named Cotchery or Edwards.

It’s already being sneered at by everyone in the media, which is probably the best thing that can happen to the Jets. They thrive on beating teams by slowing things down and taking the life out of opposing offenses. The draft is getting close. If there is not a 1st or 2nd round offensive lineman on the Jets draft board, it won’t matter who sits back there. Let Sparano do his thing, for the love of all things holy.

TOJ 12 Pack: I Got Your Back Mark Sanchez Edition

12 reasons why I still have Mark Sanchez’s back as the starting quarterback of the New York Jets…and you should too

The TOJ 12 pack is back with a very special, very not Tim Tebow edition of the 12 pack. Today’s 12 pack is for the New York Jets starting quarterback. You remember that Mark Sanchez guy? The one who has won more playoff games than any quarterback in franchise history. The guy who beat Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in their buildings…in the playoffs. Yes, that guy –

1. I am continually amazed at how people talk down on Sanchez like he was without question the worst quarterback in the NFL last year. Did you watch Ryan Fitzpatrick play the second half of the season? Did you happen to catch any Josh Freeman last year? How about Sam Bradford or Kevin Kolb? I got news for you, there were plenty of quarterbacks who didn’t have 32 total touchdowns and win 8 games in 2011.

2. Let’s remember that despite the most “magical” season in NFL history, Tim Tebow’s team won 8 regular season games last year…the same amount Mark Sanchez’s team did, in what is considered by most Sanchez’s worst season.

3. I do know Tim Tebow beat Pittsburgh in the wild-card round of the playoffs last year. I also know he lost 45-10 to New England the following week in the divisional round. This is what Mark Sanchez did the year before to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the divisional round –

4. Considering they are both on the team now, I don’t want this article to turn into a Tebow bashing but let’s be clear, Mark Sanchez is much better NFL quarterback than Tim Tebow. If the Jets are winning a Super Bowl, it is with Sanchez playing 80% or more of the snaps and because having Tebow as a backup pushed him to a strong year.

5. You have heard this a million times before but really go take the time to do it…go look up Eli Manning and Drew Brees numbers from years 1-3, then tell me why you think Sanchez will be benched before week 4 and that it would be the right move?

6. The entire world seems to think Sanchez is timid and mentally weak. Mentally weak players don’t lead their teams to four comeback wins in a single season. Mentally weak players don’t quarterback their teams to four road playoff wins. Mentally weak players don’t find success in this market and guess what Mark Sanchez’s career record as a starter is 27-20 in the regular season and 4-2 in the playoffs. Unless you are one of five teams in the NFL, that is more success than your quarterback has had in the past three years.

7. Everybody also casually forgets that Sanchez had inconsistent at best and downright horrific at worst protection from his offensive line last year. He also had a split end who couldn’t get open. A questionable offensive coordinator and a running back who couldn’t break a big run if there were eight defenders on the field. He still posted career highs in completion percentage, yards and touchdowns.

8. Through three years, Sanchez has had four different pairs of starting receivers: Stuckey and Cotchery, Cotchery and Edwards, Holmes and Edwards, Holmes and Burress, and he will have a fifth one this season…so much for building consistency and chemistry.

9. Another popular myth on Sanchez is that he lacks the physical tools to be a NFL quarterback. Simply not true. He has shown more mobility than most quarterbacks in the league and his hit every throw in the playbook over the past few years, while playing for a cold weather team.

10. Nobody is saying Sanchez is a great quarterback. He isn’t. He has plenty left to prove and he is coming off a shaky end to the season. That being said, portraying him as a hapless, 12 year old minded athlete who has never had success in this league is simply incorrect and unfortunately that is what most mainstream analysts do.

11. If you want this team to be successful this year. You shouldn’t be rooting for Tebow to take Sanchez’s job. You should be rooting for Sanchez to have the best year of his career and for Tebow to be a valuable weapon the Jets use in certain packages and at certain times.

12. The media can focus on Tebow all they want. It will be Sanchez who determines if this team is a serious contender or not. Tebow has never beat Belichick. Sanchez has beat him 3 times. Tebow lost in Buffalo by 26 points last year. Sanchez won in Buffalo by 16.

The Positives Of Tim Tebow On The New York Jets

TOJ plays devil’s advocate with himself and explores the positives of Tim Tebow on the New York Jets

I haven’t been shy about expressing the potential negatives of Tim Tebow joining the New York Jets. However, no trade is ever a black and white issue. There are positive and negatives to each personnel move and this is no exception. Can this work? Absolutely but without question, the Jets are walking a fine line here between media circus, quarterback controversy and complete locker room mess. Ignoring those possibilities let’s examine why this was a smart move –

It can never hurt to add good football players to your team. Tim Tebow is a good football player. I am not sure if he is a good quarterback but that is an argument for a different day. It can also never hurt to add good people in your locker room. Tebow isn’t a cure all for the Jets locker room issues but having a person with a high character around is never a bad thing.

Tebow’s addition will benefit the Jets running game. In his perfect world, Rex Ryan would run the ball 60 times every game, never turn the football over and allow his defense to do the heavy lifting. This move brings him closer to that dream. The problem with that dream is that Ryan’s defense is no longer elite and won’t be until he finds a free safety and pass rusher. You also do need to throw the football at times because it is simply too damn hard to get points moving 3.5 yards at a time.

Yet strictly in terms of the running game, Tebow will be a great weapon in short yardage situations and should provide more lanes for Shonn Greene or Joe McKnight when he is in the game. He also has the ability to hurt teams over the top if they stack the box on him since he does throw a good deep ball.

Finally, Tebow came here with every intention of taking Mark Sanchez’s job. This acquisition is putting as much pressure as possible on Sanchez to perform. Where else does the backup quarterback have a press conference to introduce him? Where else do people await his arrival while posing in his famous stance? Sanchez has generally (outside of last year) thrived in pressure situations. There is a chance, and a bigger one than most people are acknowledging, that this move will push Sanchez to being the very good quarterback he has the potential to be.

List Of Played Out Tim Tebow/New York Jets Jokes

The following jokes about Tim Tebow and the New York Jets are already played out

It has been about 24 hours since Tim Tebow became a member of the New York Jets and the following jokes have already been played out by Twitter, Facebook and every other social media outlet available. Let’s retire them and get a little more creative, no?

– Tim Tebow better cover his ears when Rex Ryan talks! (Get it, because Rex Ryan curses a bunch and Tim Tebow doesn’t curse).

– Tim Tebow and Antonio Cromartie in the same locker room, neither support birth control but boy are they different! (Get it, because Tim Tebow is supposedly a virgin because of his religion and Antonio Cromartie has 9 kids from 8 women in 7 different states).

– Tim Tebow is a pious individual waiting to enjoy a life of monogamy, while Mark Sanchez bounces between Kate Upton (excuse to post this video), Meadow Soprano (sorry that’s always her name to me), and Hayden Panettiere (ok, that was Scotty McKnight)…(Get it, they are a regular odd couple).

– In general, any jokes about Tim Tebow being a good, religious dude and the Jets being a raucous group of vice loving maniacs.

– The circus analogies and puns.

– And of course, the jokes about the Jets having not one…but two quarterbacks who can’t complete a pass…Hey Buffalo, Miami, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Oakland, Kansas City, Houston, Indy, Jacksonville, Washington, Dallas, Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Atlanta, St. Louis, Seattle, San Francisco, and Arizona…we have not one, but two quarterback who have the same amount of playoff wins, if not more than your current quarterback…so

TOJ Roundtable: Tebow, Tebow, Tebow And The Jets

The TOJ writers discuss the pros and cons of the Tim Tebow trade

An emergency calling of the roundtable to discuss the pros and cons of the Tim Tebow trade to the New York Jets. I am going to sit this one out, as I wrote about 5,000 words on it yesterday and have plenty more on the way today.

Chris Gross: First, let’s look at why this could be viewed as an idiotic move by Mike Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan. The Jets have been portrayed as a circus since the public meltdown after last season’s loss to Miami in week 17. There is a great scare that Tim Tebow, and the massive amount of publicity that he receives, will only add to the zoo that has become the New York Jets.

There is also the fear that Tebow’s presence will cause a split between players and fans if Mark Sanchez begins to struggle. The assumption here is based on how the fans and players of the Denver Broncos pushed for Tebow to take over for Kyle Orton after he got off to a shaky start last season. However, the fact of the matter is Kyle Orton is not Mark Sanchez. In his seven seasons in the NFL, Orton has never won a playoff game. In three seasons, Sanchez has won 4 postseason games, all on the road mind you. There is no question that Mark Sanchez, who was just given a three-year contract extension, is the starting quarterback for the New York Jets. Tebow is not being brought in here to challenge Sanchez for that title, regardless of what the so-called experts in the media say. Instead, Tebow will serve as a very useful weapon in Tony Sparano’s arsenal, regardless of what capacity that may end up being.

Sanchez will not feel threatened by Tim Tebow. Regardless of what people say, Sanchez is not fragile. He has taken more scrutiny and physical beatings on the field (Hello Wayne Hunter) in his first three seasons combined than some quarterbacks face in their entire career. Tebow was not brought to the Jets to take Sanchez’s job. He was brought to New York to help the Jets win, and that is exactly what he is going to do.

Anyone who is a fan of football has grown to know Tim Tebow as many things. He is super competitive, he is a winner, and most of all, he is a team player. It is understandable that fans view this move by the Jets as an acquisition of a glorified role player. However, if Sparano uses him correctly, Tebow will serve as much more than a Wildcat quarterback. At 6’3” 245 pounds, there is so much flexibility to how Tebow can be used.

Tebow will dedicate everything he has and fulfill that role to the best of his ability, which he has shown to be extremely high. He is certainly one of the hardest working, most determined players in the NFL, and on top of that he wants to win more than anything.

Matt Fritz: Tough for me to even try to give positives out of getting Tim Tebow from the Broncos since I have been a Tebow hater all along, but I’ll do my best. In all honesty, if the reason we got Tim Tebow is for what I truly believe it to be, then I cannot fault the Jets on this decision entirely. Just after giving Mark Sanchez an extension, do you really think the Jets are thinking of making Tebow their every down quarterback? No, the Jets reached out and got Tim Tebow because they feel as though it will make their offense that much better. Tebow will most likely get somewhere around 10-12 snaps a game, all primarily out of the wildcat, and could be a nice change of pace in the Jets offense, much like Brad Smith was two years ago.

This is ultimately how I would like the Jets to go about handling Tim Tebow in the Jets offense next season. Whether they use him like that or not we will just have to wait and find out. In the end, as much as I despise this trade, I will admit three things about Tim Tebow that there are no denying. He is a winner, he is tough, and he’s got God on his side.

We all know it’s the same song and dance. Mark comes out in the first game next year and throws two picks, and the whole New York Media and Jet fan base are calling for Tim Tebow to take over . This is ultimately my biggest fear out of all of this mess. Obviously the talk has been that Mark needs to feel some pressure behind him at the QB position, but he doesn’t need to feel like he has to be perfect. On top of that, I just don’t think that Tim Tebow is a very good quarterback. Do I think he is a tremendous athlete? Yes. Do I think he is extraordinarily tough? Absolutely. Do I think he is a winner? He’s proven that.  It’s just that if Jet fans are calling for a switch from Sanchez to Tebow next year, there just simply won’t be an upgrade.

Rob Celletti: I have a lot swirling in my mind right now, so I’m unable to really lay things out in a pro/con fashion.  I will just say that I think this is one of the worst personnel decisions that the Jets have made in the history of their franchise, for two reasons:

1) The Jets have proven that selling Tebow jerseys and PSLs are ahead of winning football games on their list of priorities.  And to send Mike Tannenbaum out there to basically lie about the main motivation for this move to the media is tantamount to spitting in the faces of the intelligent members of the Jets fanbase.  This move insults me, which brings me to…

2) If it insults me, how do you think Mark Sanchez feels right now?  What’s worse, what happens when Sanchez plays merely a mediocre half at MetLife Stadium and the Jets find themselves trailing by 7 or 10 points?  I was in the old building when people literally cheered when Chad Pennington was injured.  This is one of the most brutal fanbases in sports.  The “We Want Tebow!” chant will be deafening.  And it will be the death knell to Mark Sanchez’s career as a Jet.

Some people claim that this won’t/shouldn’t affect Sanchez.  They have to be kidding.  Did they witness what occurred last year?  Throw in Rex Ryan, Santonio Holmes and however many “unnamed players”, and the 2012 circus could make 2011 look like the Monmouth County fair.

I won’t even touch upon the 8 other positions the Jets should have prioritized over gimmick/backup/wildcat quarterback.  I’m just too upset.  All I know is that being born into Jets fandom is something that will test my love of sports for as long as I walk this earth. I’m sure I’ll eventually come around to Tebow, and learn to grin and bear it, but all I can say is that being a Jets fan is extremely difficult for me right now.

Tim Tebow Trade Becomes Official

The New York Jets trade for Tim Tebow has become official. Thoughts on Jets press conference announcing his arrival

The New York Jets trade for Tim Tebow became official tonight after a nearly 8 hour back and forth over how much his future guaranteed salary would be paid by the team. It was finalized at 2.5 million, an awfully high amount to pay a backup who is supposed to be a situational player especially when you are lacking a right tackle and free safety…but that is for another day.

It is being reported by Chris Mortensen that Tebow had a choice between the Jets and Jacksonville and chose to come to New York. This is obviously an admirable move, although the validity of the report is being questioned by some. If it is true, Tebow showed that he is a competitor and instead of taking the easy road in irrelevant Jacksonville, he wanted to come to the world’s largest media market to a team who is closer to being a contender.

That being said, I still feel the same way I did this afternoon about the trade. I don’t like it for the Jets as an organization but that doesn’t mean I won’t root for Tebow to perform when he is on the field. I respect him as a competitor and athlete, so welcome to New York…

Here are a few important nuggets from Tannenbaum’s conference call tonight –

– Tim Tebow is the number two quarterback. Both him and Sanchez have been made aware of that. Tebow will featured in certain packages (Wildcat) – Look for either Drew Stanton or Greg McElroy to be moved soon. This is also answers the depth chart question from before but doesn’t solve the problem of bouncing between two offenses.

– He insisted Jets didn’t misread contract, there was just ongoing disagreement with Denver about how compensation would work. – All semantics now. Bottom line is you are paying 2.5 million for another quarterback when you have other holes.

– The line of the off-season from the Jets organization will be “Every quarterback has a backup” – Different type of beast with Tebow in town.

Roundtable and more analysis coming tomorrow…

TOJ Analysis Of Tim Tebow Trade

TOJ with thoughts on the unthinkable, Tim Tebow is now on the New York Jets

Well, it has happened. The New York Jets, masters of the media spectacle, have traded for Tim Tebow. They gave up a 4th and 6th round pick and received a 7th rounder back from Denver as part of the deal. I was about as clear as possible that I wasn’t in support of this move prior to it happening but it has happened. I root for the laundry folks, just like you should and would never root against an individual player just to make my thoughts on a trade look right. That being said, let’s review what this move means –

1. Whether you want to admit it or not, a huge reason for this deal was to grab headlines back from the New York Giants, who get their headlines…by you know, winning Super Bowls. It brings attention to the organization and demonstrates them working to improve their character in the locker room. I am all for improving the character of the team but this trade is going to lead to locker room issues. It is also somewhat embarrassing to constantly be making knee jerk reaction trades after every Giants Super Bowl victory. We all remember how Brett Favre worked out in 2008.

2. What locker room issues you ask? The constant quarterback debate hanging over the head of every player and coach in the organization. When you have two quarterbacks, you often have zero. Imagine if this team starts out 0-1 and Sanchez has an average performance? The first question to every coach and player will be, should the team start Tebow and play him full time? Very rarely do you see teams succeed in that type of environment.

3. We don’t know what Tebow’s exact role/spot on the depth chart is going to be. This might sound like a silly statement but think about it. Is the team going to cut Drew Stanton, who they just signed and make Tebow the number two? If you make Tebow the number three quarterback, there are rules about when you could use him in the game. Are they going to list him at a different position and use him specifically just for the Wildcat? Now you have one less running back or receiver active for a player who could play 5-6 snaps and doesn’t play special teams.

You might laugh at the above comment about Stanton but Tebow is going to run a completely different offense than Sanchez. You need a backup who can run the offense as it is normally installed, not the speed option. It is a completely different game when Tebow goes in, different plays, different blocking schemes…different everything. Tebow can’t be a traditional backup and just hop into a normal offense. We saw what happened when he did that against Detroit last season.

You are now splitting up your practice time to learn basically two offenses, which in a way is a nice weapon, but in reality takes away from both because you aren’t giving all your focus to one.

4. I am no way near as concerned about Sanchez’s psyche as many people are. He has been playing quarterback in New York for three years. I think he is mentally tougher than people give him credit for. From a practical on field standpoint, continually pulling him out of the game for the Wildcat is going to interrupt his rhythm but from a mental standpoint, if he can’t handle the Tebow trade he shouldn’t be here anyway. Ideally, this trade will push him to reach his potential but that could be wishful thinking with the type of circus Tebow brings to town.

5. Do you have any doubt about the Jets desire to run the football? Rex Ryan and Tony Sparano clearly have their mindset on being one of the most run heavy teams in the league, if not the most run heavy. I wouldn’t expect to see the Jets sign another receiver in free agency or draft one before the 5th round.

6. By the way, the Jets still need a right tackle…in case you forgot. Buffalo just signed Mark Anderson to pair with Mario Williams, Anderson had 10 sacks last season…4 more than any player on the Jets.

7. Can this work? Sure. I am not going to sit here and be naive enough to act like there aren’t positives to this trade just because I don’t like it overall. First off, Tebow is a leader and a winner. He is a good presence to have in the locker room. He shouldn’t just push Sanchez on the field, he should push Sanchez in the locker room, meeting room and everywhere else. Second, if designed properly the Jets should have a very strong rushing attack…particularly in short yardage. Third, Tebow can hurt teams over the top if they stack the box on the Jets Wildcat. He can throw the deep ball…nothing else…but can throw the deep ball. Fourth, just about every member of the mainstream media has written this off as an idiotic trade, which makes it more enjoyable to root for as a Jets fan.

New York Jets Exploring Running Back Market

The New York Jets are showing interest in free agent running backs, but they should be considering swinging a trade

With most of the focus on the New York Jets improving the secondary by adding LaRon Landry and potentially signing another safety, there have been some rumblings about the team looking to boost their depth chart at running back.

By the way, Wayne Hunter and Vladimir Ducasse are currently the Jets top two right tackles. I just needed to remind everybody of that…now back to the article.

Anyway, the Jets have expressed interest in BenJarvus Green-Ellis and there are rumors they could have interest in Michael Bush. Both are intriguing as they would signal an attempt to return to the “Thunder/Thunder” approach of Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene during the 2009 season. Both running backs were considered top tier free agents at their position but have seen lukewarm interest so far. Bush is a bruiser, who is a quality receiver out of the backfield who is coming off his best season and Green-Ellis, as we know plenty well, is a solid, not spectacular back who never fumbles the football…literally.

A more intriguing option has presented itself with the Carolina Panthers signing running back Mike Tolbert. The Panthers were already well positioned at running back with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, so the Tolbert signing has led to speculation that either Williams or Stewart could be traded.

Carolina would love to move Williams and the asinine contract they signed him to last year. However, nobody will be taking it on unless he agrees to restructure. Stewart on the other hand has one year left on his rookie deal and it is hard to picture any scenario where they will have the money to re-sign him after how much they spent on Williams and now on Tolbert. So, why not move him now and get compensation for him?

Stewart is coming off a season where he racked up 761 rushing yards at 5.4 yards per carry and 47 receptions for 413 yards. He is an explosive playmaker who would make a terrific combination with Shonn Greene. If I am Mike Tannenbaum I am embracing my trading roots and offering Carolina a 3rd and 5th round pick for him. If that offer doesn’t satisfy them, I’d be willing to move up to a 2nd rounder this year and a conditional 5th rounder next year.

Bush and Green-Ellis are nice role players. Stewart has the ability to be a star in Tony Sparano’s run heavy system. Tannenbaum traded for a running back in 2007 in Thomas Jones who piled up 28 touchdowns and 3,833 rushing yards in three seasons. Stewart is capable of that type of production.