- Posted: 1:23 PM, July 6, 2012
No. 14: TIM TEBOW
How acquired: In a trade with the Broncos on March 21 along with a 2012 seventh-round draft pick in exchange for a fourth- and sixth-round pick.
Contract status: 3 years, $5.6 million remaining
How he did in 2011: You may have heard a little about this guy. Even though he was not in New York last year, it was hard to ignore what he was doing in Denver … since he was on TV every other minute.
But, for the purposes of our rankings, we’re looking at just the football player here. We’re not factoring in the potential quarterback controversy or any of the other circus-elements that are going to come with Tebow’s presence this season.
If you do that, there is a lot to like. I don’t believe the Jets brought Tebow in to take Mark Sanchez’s job. I think they view him as an interesting weapon that can help them run the ball more effectively. I’m one of the few members of the media who liked the trade.
Tebow’s stats are tough to evaluate since he will play a different role for the Jets. He completed less than 50 percent of his passes for the Broncos last year and he threw plenty of balls into the dirt.
But again, he is not going to be a pure quarterback for the Jets.
He ran the ball effectively out of a zone-read option offense in Denver. He averaged 5.4 yards per rush and scored six touchdowns.
There is a question of whether teams caught up to him at the end of the season. The Patriots made him look bad, but he’s not the first.
Then there was the “magic” factor. It’s easy to laugh it off, but I saw two of his more remarkable games in person. When he stunk up the joint for 54 minutes against the Jets and then led the remarkable 95-yard, game-winning drive. And the playoff overtime win against the Steelers.
He has an “it” factor. It will be interesting to see how it comes out with the Jets.
Outlook for 2012: The Jets have kept their Tebow plans top secret. Everyone has used the term Wildcat for what the Jets plan on doing for Tebow, but I think that’s a misnomer.
I think the Jets will have a set of plays for Tebow similar to what he did in Denver and in college at Florida. It’s less wildcat and more of a spread option. The Jets see the trend around the league of teams spreading the field and this is a way to do it and still have a running threat.
The biggest question is how much the Jets will use Tebow. Rex Ryan said it could be up to as many as 20 plays per game. They didn’t trade for him to sit on the bench, so I think you’ll see a decent amount in each game.
The Jets also are using Tebow on the punt team as the personal protector. I love this idea because then you always have the threat of the punt. I don’t see the 250-pound Tebow getting hurt on a punt.
Get ready. There is a whole lot of Tebow talk coming in 2012. It will be a difficult chore for the on-field product to live up to all the hype.