Tim Tebow “Excited” To Be A Jet [VIDEO]
Tim Tebow is excited to be joining the Jets as the deal to bring him east was finalized.
After a big false start, the New York Jets pulled off a Tebow-like comeback Wednesday night, getting the quarterback who turned the Denver Broncos from an also-ran into a playoff team last season and became the NFL’s most talked-about player — for a fourth- and sixth-round draft pick.
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“I’m thankful they stuck with me through this whole crazy process,” Tebow said during a call late Wednesday night, repeating several times that he was “excited” to be a member of the Jets.
WELCOME FROM THE GOVERNOR
Eight hours after initially agreeing to a trade, the teams completed it after it was hung up when the Jets balked at repaying Denver more than $5 million for a salary advance due Tebow. The two sides agreed to split that cost, and Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said the team was “comfortable with the compensation.”
He said there was a disagreement about how to handle the salary advance after Denver received the papers.
“We knew what the contract was,” he said. “We had read it. We felt it was one way; they felt it was another. Based on that, they were well within their rights to assess their different possibilities of what to do and their alternatives. And they did so throughout the day.”
SANCHEZ IS “OUR GUY”
The deal also raised questions about the Jets’ commitment to Mark Sanchez, who received a $40.5 million contract extension, with $20.5 million guaranteed, earlier this month.
During a call late Wednesday night, Tannenbaum repeatedly referred to Sanchez as “our guy” and the team’s unquestioned starting quarterback. “Mark Sanchez is, has been and will be our starting quarterback,” he said.
But the Jets have opened themselves — and Sanchez — to what could be a season of added criticism from restless fans who are sure to call for Tebow to play at the first sign of struggles.
“We obviously know that Tim has a magnetic following,” Tannenbaum said. “We understand the popularity of the backup quarterback, and this one is more unique than others.”
SANCHEZ & TEBOW: PERFECT TOGETHER
Tebow said he had a “great conversation” on Wednesday with Sanchez, adding that they’ve been friends for several years. “My goal is to push him to get better, and to push myself to get better every day,” Tebow said. “But I think we’ll have a great working relationship. We’ll have a great relationship off the field, and we’ve had that the last few years. He’s such a classy guy and handles himself so well, and I’ll be very honored to call him my teammate.”
“I’m just excited for him and to see what he does,” New York Knick Lin said in Philadelphia, where the Knicks beat the 76ers. “We’ll see what happens next year. But I’m excited, obviously, that he’s going to be in New York.”
So was defensive end Mike DeVito, who likes the intangible qualities Tebow will offer.
“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,” 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.”
NOT EVERYONE LIKES THE DEAL
But not everyone’s a fan. Another teammate, cornerback Antonio Cromartie, took to Twitter on Wednesday to express his confidence in Sanchez and the offense as structured before the deal was finalized. “Y bring Tebow in when we need to bring in more Weapons for (at)Mark–Sanchez,” Cromartie tweeted. “Let’s build the team around him. We already signed to 3 year ext.”
The Jets signed Drew Stanton last week to be their No. 2 quarterback, ahead of Greg McElroy, the team’s seventh-round draft pick last year. Tannenbaum said Tuesday that he was confident in the trio, but on Wednesday acknowledged that the team would assess that situation.
Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath, who led the Jets to their only Super Bowl title in 1969, was also among those who were unhappy.
“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,” Namath told 1050 ESPN Radio on Wednesday. “I don’t think they know what they’re doing over there.”
Two minutes after the Jets initially posted the trade — in which they’ll get a seventh-round pick in 2012 — on its Facebook page, there were 874 “likes,” 366 comments and 247 shares. Most of the comments ran along the lines of: “I might cry” and “He is not welcome here, another terrible decision.”
For the Jets, Tebow adds a unique dimension to the offense, including running the team’s wildcat package — something new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano enjoys using. “It is very clear: They want me to come in and compete and get better, and get better as a quarterback and to help the team any way possible,” Tebow said. “Whatever that role is, I will do my best.”
Tebow also provides a solid presence in a locker room that was rife with infighting last season — particularly between Sanchez and wide receiver Santonio Holmes. He also brings with him a flock of fervent fans for reasons that have to do as much with his faith as his football skills.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.