Could "Tebow Time" be opening up on Broadway?
According to various reports, the New York Jets are among the teams interested in trading for the Denver Broncos' suddenly redundant quarterback. If Jeremy Lin's fast lane ascendance to NBA stardom with the Knicks created Linsanity in the Big Apple, then there is no telling just how intense Tebowmania could potentially get.
Speculation about a potential Tebow trade began as soon as it was reported that the Broncos had interest in Peyton Manning. Shortly after Peyton Manning's agent began final contract negotiations with the Denver Broncos, ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted that Tebow would likely be traded.
On Tuesday when Manning was introduced in Denver, Broncos executive John Elway addressed Tebow's reaction to the free-agent signing, noting that while disappointed he took the news with class. Elway spoke highly of Tebow's character but did not say anything to dampen the trade speculation.
"Tim Tebow is a great kid. If I want someone to marry my daughter, it would be him," Elway said. "But I think with the opportunity to have Peyton Manning's services, we had to take advantage of that. Now that it's happened, we have to go back and address Tim and see what the best situation is for the Denver Broncos, as well as him."
Despite initially being described as a "longshot" by Schefter, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News later characterized the Jets' interest as legitimate.
Responding to Mehta's tweet about the level of interest with the Jets, New York cornerback Antonio Cromartie expressed his feelings on the potential deal.
On Tuesday night, Orlando's WKMG-TV reported that Tebow could be dealt to the Jets or Jags as early as Wednesday afternoon. WKMG Sports Director David Pingalore cited a source close to the player in specifying those two teams as being actively engaged in negotiations.
If Tebow were to be acquired by the Jets, he would presumably be the backup to Mark Sanchez, who recently signed a contract extension. When the team reached the AFC Championship Game in 2010 and 2011, the offense utilized a wildcat option featuring dual-threat Brad Smith. After Smith signed with the Buffalo Bills as a free agent prior to last season, that dimension of the offense was largely absent.
Another team reportedly interested in Tebow to fill a back-up role is Green Bay. According to ESPN Milwaukee, the Packers are legitimately interested as well. With Aaron Rodgers under center at Lambeau, Tebow would obviously serve a secondary role with the Pack.
After starting a pair of playoff games last season, will Tebow be amenable to returning to the sideline for a team like the Jets or Packers? Or would he prefer a chance to start immediately in a place like Jacksonville without an established starter? Will fans of any of those teams -- particularly of the Jets -- be content to watch Tebow on the sideline if another QB struggles?
UPDATE 12:59 PM EST: According to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, the New York Jets have traded a fourth-round pick to Denver Broncos in exchange for Tim Tebow.
UPDATE: 6:21 PM EST: According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the trade between the Jets and Broncos has hit a snag over a bonus payment.