It took eight hours, but quarterback Tim Tebow finally, officially was traded by the Denver Broncos to the New York Jets on Wednesday night.
Even by Tebowmania standards, this was outrageous.
The Broncos and Jets worked out their differences over contract language that required the Jets to reimburse the Broncos for about $5 million Denver had advanced Tebow in 2011. The Jacksonville Jaguars jumped into the bidding for a bit, but, in the end the Jets and Broncos split the payment, freeing Tebow to bring what the Daily News calls “Timsanity” to New York to — get your popcorn — back up Mark Sanchez.
It wasn’t a feel-good moment for the Jets, who also had issues with their official Twitter feed. George R.R. Martin, “Game of Thrones” author and Jets fan, hates the move, especially because he doesn’t think “Tebow's conspicuous piety will play well in the Big Apple,” he wrote on his blog. “This is the city that once embraced Broadway Joe. Tebow would fit better in... well, if Branson, Missouri had an NFL team, that would be a perfect fit.”
Joe Namath, the team’s greatest player and critic, hates it, too, but for other reasons. “I don’t think they know what they’re doing over there right now. ... I’m baffled,” Namath told Michael Kay in an ESPN Radio interview. “They’re kind of mixed up over there. I’m talking about the folks that are making the decisions. ... Come on. This is crazy. I don’t know what it’s about. It appears the Jets are trying to grab headlines once again just by making noise.”
It should sell shirts and, perhaps, tickets, but what happens when Sanchez, who recently was given a contract extension, throws his first interception? And what happens with Drew Stanton, signed less than a week ago to back up Sanchez? Mike Tannenbaum explained what might seem like what Rich Cimini calls “a sucker punch to Sanchez.” “I’m looking at two head coaches [Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, who was with the Dolphins] who lost to Tim last year,” Tannenbaum said.
Although Namath thinks “Sanchez should be angry about what’s taken place,” Tannenbaum says, “Mark Sanchez is, has been and will be our starting quarterback. We’re adding Tim to be our backup and be used in other packages.”
Until that first interception, when everyone remembers that Tebow was 8-5 as a starter last season and led the Broncos to a playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Tebow joins a team that battles internally as often as it on the field and it will be interesting to see how Tebow, known for his devout faith and clean-living ways, deals with a group that: has displayed frat-house behavior toward Ines Sainz, was embarrassed by Brett Favre’s frat-house behavior, was fined for a sideline tripping incident, had players fighting among themselves, had a player fined for flipping off the media, had a “corrupt mindset” ... among other headlines over the last few years.
“I wanted to play for Coach Ryan ever since I saw ‘Hard Knocks,’ ” Tebow said, with a laugh. “He just seemed like a coach who loves football and is passionate about the game of football. He’s definitely a players’ coach. I just love that about him.”
Ryan’s also a walking, talking bleepfest.
“How did I know I was going to get asked about this? I have so much respect for Coach Ryan,” Tebow said with further chuckles. “He’s a coach you want to play for, a coach you want to go out there and do good for. … There’s not many NFL locker rooms you’re going to go where you have the cleanest language, so I’m not too worried about that.”
Tebow hasn’t found an apartment yet and already there’s a “one Jet said” quote. “This kid will do everything in his power to start,” one team source told ESPN. What quarterback in the NFL wouldn’t, though? Tebow was having none of that Wednesday night.
“Mark called me and left a voicemail. I was searching through all my voicemails and I heard his and I called him back,” he said. “We talked, got a chance to catch up a little bit. It was a great conversation. We’ve been blessed to get to know each other the last three years. I think we’re both extremely competitive. I think we’ll be able to push each other to get a lot better. I think we’ll have a great working relationship, and we’ve had a great relationship off the field. He’s such a classy guy. I’ll be very honored to call him my teammate.”
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