As soon as the Denver Broncos signed legendary QB Peyton Manning to a five-year contract this week, football fans immediately wondered what would happen to the Broncos' other quarterback: Tim Tebow. Though Tebow's running skills are as celebrated as his passing accuracy is derided, he was last year's surprise breakout star, leading the middling Broncos to an AFC West title and a playoff win over the heavily favored Pittsburgh Steelers. But now, to make room for Manning, Tebow has been unceremoniously and confoundingly traded to the New York Jets. Here, five reasons why this is a "logic-defying move":
1. The Jets already have three quarterbacks...
Tebow makes four. In addition to starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, the Jets have backups Drew Stanton and Greg McElroy. And while the Jets would have to craft a whole new offense to fit Tebow's unconventional, run-first style, says Greg Rosenthal at NFL.com, Stanton, who plays along the same traditional lines as Sanchez and could easily step in, is the logical backup choice.
2. ...So Tebow may be forced to switch positions
Tebow might not be a quarterback at all, say Kevin Clark and Scott Cacciola at The Wall Street Journal. His speed and ability to withstand tough hits could make him an excellent tailback, and he's big enough to play safety on defense, too. But it won't be easy. Tailback especially would require some extensive training: "He'd have to improve his ball security… he fumbled seven times last year."
3. It's not a fair trade
The Jets get a star quarterback and national celebrity, plus a seventh round draft pick, and only had to give up a fourth and sixth round pick. On the other hand, says Rich Cimini at ESPN, the Jets could really have used those two draft picks. And what do they get with Tebow? "A specialty player that doesn't play special teams and probably won't be on the field more than a dozen snaps per game."
4. It will shatter Sanchez's confidence
Sanchez, coming off a shaky season, just won a three-year contract extension, the Jets' attempt to reassure him he'll lead the team for the foreseeable future, says Cimini. Even if Tebow's not expected to get many snaps as QB, the Jets are re-opening "a can of worms that should've been buried." The first time Sanchez throws an interception, says Mike Lupica at New York's Daily News, the crowds will inevitably begin chanting Tebow's name. Intentionally or not, the Jets just "created their own quarterback controversy."
5. The New York press will crucify Tebow
Playing under the intense, ravenous scrutiny of the New York press will surely bring Tebow down, says Yahoo. The always-smiling, charitable Christian is "a walking testament to warm fuzzies," and may struggle in New York, where "sunshine meets dark." The "notoriously intense and negative" spotlight Tebow will be playing under will surely get into his head, and his play will be the worse for it.