Woody Johnson says Tim Tebow will be a Jet for three years, backs Mark Sanchez

Tim Tebow can go ahead and buy a place in New York.  (Ray Stubblebine / Reuters)

New Yorkers may not have witnessed Tebowmania on a football field this fall, but the Jets aren’t giving up.

“Are we going to keep [Tim] Tebow? Absolutely,” owner Woody Johnson said in a CNBC “Squawk Box” interview. “He’ll be with us for three years, and he’ll be a real asset in terms of helping us win games.”

Tebow, acquired in a trade with the Denver Broncos this spring, is under contract through the 2014 season. There’s been a fair amount of controversy about whether the Jets should switch to Tebow, with Mark Sanchez struggling, but Johnson isn’t siding with Jets fans who want to see a change. He is not, he said, wavering in his support for Sanchez.

“No. No. There will never be,” he said. No matter what? ”Never is a long, long time period,” he said. “But I see the same things in Mark Sanchez that I saw when I first met him [in 2009]. He’s still a young quarterback. This is probably the most difficult position athletically and mentally that there is in all of sports. Everybody’s trying to deceive you and the other guys trying to get at you, and it’s a hurried environment.”

Count Johnson among those who believe Sanchez can be a winner.

“We think he’s that good,” Johnson said. “I wouldn’t look at the numbers too seriously, 31 or 28. A quarterback’s job ultimately is to win games and Mark Sanchez has proven he can. Like he pulled out a game a few weeks ago at the last couple of minutes when we played Miami. That was an ugly game in many respects, but we pulled it out.”

Johnson was asked about other important matters:

On Tebow’s professed virginity (really, CNBC?): ”We don’t really go into that.” 

On saying recently that he’d rather see Mitt Romney elected over a Jets winning season: ”I said ‘country first,’ but probably I would have characterized it by saying that I’ve got great passion, I’ve devoted my life to both those things.” He then added, “And I will point out, and I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not, but right after that, Romney, had his debate and did extremely well.”

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