Tebow’s Big Move
By: Drew Bakenhus
In a month usually dominated by the talk of college basketball, the NFL stole the show. In a matter of days the Broncos picked up proven quarterback Peyton Manning and traded Tim Tebow to the Jets. Tebow’s move was somewhat expected after the Broncos signed the sure-to-be starter, Manning.
First things first, the Broncos’ effort to sign Manning comes as no surprise. Although Tebow found a way to win, his unconventional style turned off executive vice president of football operations for the Broncos, John Elway. For some reason, Elway and Tebow never clicked. Elway insisted that Tebow couldn’t win a championship if he ran better than he passed. While Tebow was trying to improve, it just wasn’t good enough and Elway couldn’t wait any longer. So when a four-time MVP Manning popped up on the radar, Elway wasn’t going to miss his chance.
The surprise comes from the manner in which Tebow was traded away. In a deal that seemed to materialize overnight, Tebow and a seventh-round pick went to the Jets for a fourth-round pick and a sixth-round pick in the 2012 draft. Tebow, formerly heralded as the savior of the Broncos’ 2011 season for bringing them back from a 1-4 record to win the AFC West and a playoff game, was traded like any other commodity. It seemed as if the Broncos’ owners had forgotten all of his achievements; don’t mind his game winning drives or his record setting jersey sales. All of Tebow mania was disregarded in what boiled down to be a simple business decision based on winning the game the old fashioned way, with a pocket passer quarterback.
Tebow handled the entire situation in good faith. “First and foremost, I just want to thank the Broncos for my time in Denver.” Tebow said during his press conference. “I’m looking forward to my time in New York and my time as a Jet.”
Elway expressed his sympathy for Tebow and the tense times he was put through. “As a former player, I know the last two weeks were not easy for Tim,” Elway said in a statement. “He was put in a difficult situation, and I commend him for how he handled it with the same first-class manner he displayed throughout his career in Denver.”
Denver fans are thrilled with the arrival of Manning. Losing Tebow has created somewhat of a schism among Broncos fans. Tebow faithfuls feel misled by the team’s owners while the opposite end of the spectrum feels no pain in losing him.
At the same time, the New York Jets have a schism within their own locker room. Tebow and current Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez seem to be on good relations as they have been friends for several years but other Jets team members don’t agree.
“Y bring Tebow in when we need to bring in more Weapons for (at)Mark–Sanchez,” cornerback Antonio Cromartie tweeted. “Let’s build the team around him. We already signed to 3 year ext.”
Former Jet and Hall of Famer, Joe Namath told ESPN Radio on Wednesday: ”I’m just sorry that I can’t agree with this situation. I think it’s just a publicity stunt. I can’t go with it. I think it’s wrong. I don’t think they know what they’re doing over there.”
The Jets’ situation extends beyond Tebow and throughout their locker room. The disunity of the team was expressed at the end of the season by Jets backup quarterback Greg McElroy who complained about the “corrupt mindset within the locker room.”
It will be interesting to see what chemistry will exist between humble Tebow and the “extremely selfish individuals” McElroy called out at the end of the season. Perhaps Tebow’s incomparable integrity and leadership skills will change a few things in New York.
“You’ve got a tough player on the field, a leader in the locker room and a guy who shares the faith that I share,” Jets defensive end Mike DeVito said. “So, I’m very grateful to have him on our team, and I feel it’s going to really benefit us as a whole.”
As a Denver Broncos fan, I have a few thoughts about everything that transpired. To put it bluntly, I’m glad the Broncos got Manning but wish Tebow could have stayed.
Manning has proven himself as an elite quarterback and, assuming he is in as good of a physical condition as he says he is, he should immediately boost the Broncos’ offense. I can’t wait to see him patch the Denver offense together as he did in Indianapolis years before.
Ditching Tebow so quickly, however, doesn’t roll so well with me. From what I saw and heard about Tebow’s passing, it was improving. And from what I know about Tebow’s character, he’s a great student of the game.
I think the Broncos should have kept Tebow around to improve under Manning. A four-time MVP undoubtedly has the skills and technique Tebow needs and I have little doubt Tebow would be eager to learn. Then, four years from now when Manning is the ripe old age of forty, Tebow would be ready to take to the field with set of refined skills.
Of course, I’m assuming that Manning and Tebow would have great chemistry, and Tebow has the skills but they just need to be polished, and a plethora of other situations that must go right. I was just hoping the Broncos could develop a great teacher-student quarterback duo that would pay off long into the future.
But the trade is finalized now and I can only wish Tebow the best. As for what the future holds for the Broncos and the Jets, only God knows.