Pros & Cons: Bringing Tim Tebow to the New York Jets

Last night I turned to Twitter to get a sense of what Jets fans thought the Pros and Cons were to the news that the Jets might be interested in trading for Tebow.  Here’s some of the answers that I got, which I’ve expounded on below … 

PRO: Added Dimension to the Offense — Sparano brought the Wildcat to the NFL, and Tebow is used to playing in an extension of that – the spread option.  The thought here is that Tebow doesn’t mount a threat at the starting QB spot because of his accuracy and mechanical issues, but his presense as the TE/FB/RB/Option QB is more than enough to justify his addition.  It’s the Swiss Army Knife factor.  Yes, he’s not that accurate, but his ability to be used at multiple spots in the offense wipes out that issue.  Heck, Brad Smith was a WR who couldn’t catch a football and he was on the Jets for five years … the Jets couldn’t find a roster spot for someone like Tebow?  Tebow might not be as elusive as Smith was in the open field, but his other attributes still make him a threat.

CON: He’s Got Worse Accuracy than Sanchez — Based on the Jets self-admitted desire to add a backup who can push Sanchez, how does adding a Sanchez less mechanically inclined than Sanchez helping the situation?  It doesn’t.  The Jets already showed how little they really cared to stop “coddling” Sanchez this year when they signed Drew Stanton as his backup.  On the other hand, you have to think that Santonio’s complaints about Sanchez as a QB will go out the window as soon as Tim Tebow throws him his first pass (inevitably a duck) in practice.

PRO: Can He Push Sanchez — Sanchez has had his own successes, but style-points be damned, there’s something to be for plain ol’ fashioned winning.  It makes total sense that Tebow would come in as the #2 QB.  It allows him to be activated on gameday and take snaps if required, but also play in the offense in other spots.  As the #2, there’s going to be a lot more pressure on Mark Sanchez to play well than if Mark Brunell or Drew Stanton is holding the clipboard.  Also, Tebow is no stranger to coming in cold and just taking snaps as necessary.  Of course he wants to be the starter, but his personality would allow him to accept the role he would be placed in behind Sanchez.

CON: Creates a Short Leash for Sanchez — I stood in the stands in 2005 when Marcus Stroud ripped Chad Pennington’s shoulder apart and was dismayed to hear many lusty Jets fans thrilled that Pennington was out of the game.  They wanted Jay Fiedler instead.  Yes, Jay Fielder.  Well they got what they wished for and Fiedler’s Jets career lasted six plays before he was injured and out for the season.  Adding Tebow to the roster makes his ascension to the starting spot at some point – for good or ill – inexorable in many fans minds.

PRO: It Gets Sanchez off the Field Some — There could be no connection between the two, but without Brad Smith, the Jets barely used their Wildcat formation last year and when they did, it was only when Rex Ryan ordered Brian Schottenheimer to do it. Maybe there’s something to getting Sanchez away from Center on a few snaps that worked better for the Jets in 2009 and 2010?  (It could also be that their OL and WRs were better)

CON: Tebow Would be the Sanchez Death Knell — Remember when Michael Vick came to the Eagles?  Remember the Donovan McNabb “kill it” signal?  McNabb knew what was happening … even if it wasn’t working at that moment, McNabb was getting phased out of the offense.  Every QB wants to be under center every play of the game.  Adding more plays where Sanchez is not the QB just confirms that the Jets don’t see him as the slinger they sold their fanbase that he said he was back in 2009 and so they are doing things to mitigate Sanchez’s impact on the offense.  The Jets just gave Mark Sanchez a big apology extension, but adding Tim Tebow to the team in some odd way means that the Jets are giving up on him being the franchise player.

PRO: Leadership / Locker Room — This was a popular one.  The thought here is that like it or not, for all Tebow’s goody-goodyism it’s somehow infectious.  Despite the scorn that other players or veterans might have, he somehow still manages to win over.  With all the stuff that happened last year, it seems clear that Rex Ryan has had a “come to Jesus” (haha) moment about personalities, chemistry and leadership.  He blamed much of the collapse last season on that fact.  Somehow I don’t think that a high-ropes course near Cortland NY was the problem … it might have been the sheer stupidity of naming Santonio Holmes a captain … anyway … maybe it’s just that the locker room will unite in their scorn for Tebow …

CON: Polarizing Figure — For right or wrong, Tebow is a polarizing figure.  Can a Jets locker room that already has trouble backstabbing each other benefit or be harmed by a figure like Tebow?  Who is going to anonymously endorse Tebow as their starter?  Who’s going to anonymously talk behind his back?

PRO: The Cost — From what we understand, Elway is asking for just a 2nd & 5th rounder for Tebow.  Could the Jets find a way to haggle that down with Elway?  Could it be a way for the Jets to throw Bart Scott into the mix and somehow absolve themselves of that sticky situation?

CON: More Pressing Needs — The Jets still need to find a Free Safety, their Outside Linebacking spot needs an upgrade, the upgrade the team made in Chaz Schilens is questionble at best.  Right Tackle is a major worry … and so the Jets are trading for what can be called an NFL roster luxury?  Why?

PRO: Tickets / Media Attention — Somehow the thought here is that the Jets will sell more PSLs and get more attention and that would be a factor in the Jets deciding that they want Tebow.  Not sure either would bear out, but it was a consideration …

CON: Batty Tebow Fans — Tim Tebow fans can be irrational.  They can get theology muddled with sports, they can think that based on his nature or faith or something that they have in common with the QB that they somehow not just root, nay, demand he play.  Tebow can’t control that, but these “plants” amongst the mob mentality seem to only make the echo chamber when Tim Tebow is discussed even more raucous.

PRO: Will God Become a Jets Fan? — I wouldn’t have added this, if not for so manypeople mentioning it, even if it was in jest.  Is there something in that a team adding Tebow brings some sort of suzerain covenant blessing with him from Tebow’s Most High?  I don’t have time or the tautological wherewithal to write about the subject, so I’d suggest you go read Chuck Klosterman’s piece on Grantland from last fall to get an in-depth look into this.

CON: Tebow is an Unneeded Distraction — There’s so much hype and zeitgeist around Tebow, it’s turned into a runaway train.  The media is like water, they always find the lowest course- so bringing Tebow into the team is going to increase team attention, but it’s also going to drive some in the media to foster stories of discord.  Manish has proven to be very liberal with his unnamed sources in the last year alone … he’s already boring into the bedrock of the organization.  Add in legitimate household name as in-house replacement for Sanchez?  Game over for the current constitution of the organization …

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