Tebow To Jets
Unusually quiet in recent weeks, the New York Jets shattered the calm Wednesday by completing a trade for polarizing quarterback Tim Tebow. The Jets sent two picks -- a fourth-rounder and sixth-rounder in 2012 -- to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a seventh-round selection. Tebow, a former first-round pick, went on the trading block Monday when the Broncos secured free agent Peyton Manning, who signed a five-year, $96 million contract.
Several teams expressed interest, including Tebow's hometown Jacksonville Jaguars, but the Jets -- perceived as a sleeper at the outset -- pulled off the splashiest trade of the offseason.
Tebow -- he has three years remaining on his contract, with a base salary in 2012 of $1.1 million -- will join a cast of backups behind incumbent Mark Sanchez, but his presence could ignite a quarterback controversy. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie tweeted before the trade that "we don't need Tebow," expressing his confidence in Sanchez and the current roster. Two weeks ago, the Jets gave Sanchez a three-year, $40.5 million contract extension, professing their faith in him even though he regressed in certain areas last season. They signed former Detroit Lions backup Drew Stanton last week to be their No. 2 quarterback, handing him a $500,000 signing bonus. They also have former Alabama star Greg McElroy. The Jets see Tebow as a change-of-pace player with the ability to run the wildcat offense. They've used the wildcat in recent years, but cut back last season with the departure of Brad Smith. The new offensive coordinator is Tony Sparano, who introduced the wildcat to the NFL as coach of the Miami Dolphins. Coach Rex Ryan also wants the Jets to get back to being a power-running team, but they have only one proven back, Shonn Greene. The 6-foot-3, 238-pound Tebow rushed for 660 yards last season, including a 20-yard touchdown in the final minute to beat the Jets, 17-14, in a November game at Denver.