AFC East: Tim Tebow to New York

Morning take: Tim Tebow debate

June, 25, 2012
Here are the most interesting stories Monday in the AFC East: Morning take: A case can certainly be made for Tebow. He's one of the NFL's most popular athletes and his production doesn't match his popularity. That has led many to like or dislike Tebow.
  • Sean Smith's improvement could make the Miami Dolphins' secondary ready to take the next step.
Morning take: Miami's pass defense was ranked 25th in the NFL last season. The front seven is stout, but Smith could help solidify the back end.
Morning take: Gilmore was considered one of the safest picks in this draft. He should be a starter from Day 1 in Buffalo's revamped defense.
Morning take: Addai's best days are behind him, but he can add stability and a veteran presence to a young group. Addai played most of his career with Peyton Manning. That should help with Tom Brady.

Show and prove: Tim Tebow

June, 10, 2012
The AFC East blog continues its series on players who have a lot to prove in 2012. Next up is the backup quarterback for the New York Jets.

Tim Tebow, Jets

2011 stats: 11 starts, 1,729 yards, 12 touchdowns, 6 interceptions

What he has to prove: Tebow, first and foremost, has to prove he can be an asset to the Jets, who acquired him in a trade with the Denver Broncos this offseason. New York's coaching staff is behind Mark Sanchez as the starting quarterback, but the team wants to find creative ways to get the most out of Tebow's abilities. That includes the Wildcat, special teams and maybe a few surprises. Eventually, Tebow wants to prove that he can be a full-time quarterback. But that’s not the expectation this season in New York unless Sanchez struggles. For now, Tebow must concentrate on being the best overall football player he can be.

Walker's 2012 outlook: I'm more optimistic about Tebow's fit with the Jets than most people. Despite the distractions and circus that come with him, I can understand the Xs and Os of why the Jets think things can work. Tebow is a good football player with solid strength and athleticism. What is not mentioned in the stats is Tebow's 660 rushing yards with Denver last season. The Jets need that from Tebow the most. As I’ve mentioned before, Sanchez is the biggest key to making this all function. If Sanchez is doing his job as the starting (and passing) quarterback, the Tebow experiment can work. But if Sanchez struggles, is benched and gives way to Tebow as the new full-time quarterback, the Jets are flirting with disaster.

For all the pressure the outside media and fans are putting on New York Jets quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow, the pair appear to be fine so far on the practice field.

The latest case of good harmony is the New York Daily News report of Sanchez inviting Tebow to his "Jets West" passing camp. Tebow, in an effort to get better, accepted the invite.

The fact that Sanchez invited his backup, who is pushing him for the starting job, to his passing camp is a sign that Sanchez is inspired, not threatened.

There is always potential for a quarterback controversy in New York this year. Sanchez (25) and Tebow (24) are nearly the same age. Both are former first-round picks and have won playoff games early in their careers. If Sanchez doesn't perform early, the pressure to play Tebow will be immense.

But despite the various criticisms, one thing you cannot deny is the high character of Sanchez and Tebow. Both players are hard workers and have a big will to win. Making the Jets a playoff team again, first and foremost, is what's driving both quarterbacks to improve.

The Jets anticipated the "Tebow effect" would be good for Sanchez when they made the trade. So far the team is correct.

We have yet another example of Tebow-mania running wild in New York.

In Sports Illustrated's "Monday Morning Quarterback," Peter King counted the words at the five biggest newspapers in New York during last week's organized team activities. The two biggest stories last week were Tim Tebow's debut with the Jets and Giants No. 1 receiver Hakeem Nicks' foot injury in practice.

Nicks' injury is a big one that might cause the stud receiver to miss the beginning of the regular season for the defending Super Bowl champs. The amount dedicated to the story, according to King, was 2,104 words. In contract, Tebow's first practice had 6,971 words, more than three times the media coverage.

In my journalistic opinion, Nicks' injury is a bigger story. He's a top impact player for the reigning champs, and the injury will take months to recover. Tebow will have plenty of other practices, but he moves the needle and sells papers.

It's clear what the New York media is doing. But now it's your turn. How much coverage do you think Tebow should get in the AFC East blog?

On one hand, Tebow is a backup quarterback. Other the other hand, he's one of the most well-known athletes in sports. So I'm curious to hear what our community thinks of this polarizing topic.
New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow was not given a warm welcome at Yankee Stadium this weekend. Tebow reportedly was booed in front of the baseball-dominated crowd, along with NBA star Dwyane Wade, Sunday during a game between the Yankees and Los Angeles Angeles.


What do you make of Yankee fans booing Tim Tebow during an appearance at Sunday's game?


Discuss (Total votes: 68,442)

Tebow is one of the most polarizing athletes in sports, but he's also one of the most popular. Just recently, Tebow drew about 15,000 people to a speaking engagement on Easter Sunday in Texas. A couple in Florida also paid $100,000 to spend a day with Tebow, further confirming his popularity.

So why did Tebow receive a not-so-warm welcome in the Bronx? Surely, there were New York Giants fans in the house Sunday night. After all, New York is a Giants town, not a Jets town.

But here's the one thing that's consistent about New York sports fans: You have to earn their respect. No athlete is given a free pass in the Big Apple, and Tebow won't be the exception. He will be cheered on the football field in New York once he helps the Jets win games.
Here are the most interesting stories Thursday morning in the AFC East: Morning take: Miami has the most work to do in the AFC East this offseason. The Dolphins are rebuilding, while trying to install a new West Coast offense and 4-3 defense.
Morning take: Tebow and the Wildcat offense will get a lot of work this preseason. The Jets have to balance not showing too much, while still getting the formation sharp for the regular season.
Morning take: The Patriots would be jumping for joy if they got the best safety in the draft late in the first round. Barron would be a great fit and value for New England, but I don't see this one happening.
  • Barron's former teammate, running back Trent Richardson of Alabama, is visiting the Buffalo Bills.
Morning take: Don't get nervous, Bills fans. Buffalo is just doing its due diligence. The Bills will not do a C.J. Spiller 2.0 this year by drafting Richardson No. 10 overall.
New York Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow can help in several ways this season. But one minor facet Tebow can contribute that shouldn't be overlooked is on two-point conversions.

Tebow is at his best using his legs, size and strength to plow through a defense. He averaged 5.4 yards per carry in 2011, which statistically makes it favorable for the Jets to use Tebow in two-point scenarios.

According to ESPN's Stats & Info, Tebow was 3-for-3 on two-point conversions during running plays last season with the Denver Broncos. Tebow ran it twice and successfully handed the ball off on another scoring play. The Broncos didn't use him enough with two-point conversions, but expect to see Tebow used more in Wildcat packages in this scenario.

Good two-point plays are often overlooked until teams really need them. Tebow's ability to get those tough yards is another underrated way he can contribute to the Jets next season.

Updating AFC East salary cap

April, 2, 2012
AM ET has the updated AFC East salary cap numbers as of late Friday. A lot has happened through two weeks of free agency.

Let's take a look of where the division teams currently stand.

Buffalo Bills

Cap room: $9,715,709

Analysis: Buffalo entered the offseason with a ton of cap room and spent it primarily on its pass-rush. Defensive end Mario Williams became the highest-paid player in Bills history with $100 million contract and fellow defensive end Mark Anderson also reportedly got $27.5 million. Bills general manager Buddy Nix says the team will spend to the cap this offseason. They still have room to make more signings. But all of the top free agents are gone.

Miami Dolphins

Cap room: $6,470,157

Analysis: I'm still scratching my head how Miami arguably has the least amount of star power on its roster, yet remains the most cap-strapped team in the division. Jake Long and Karlos Dansby are big names. But other than that, where is all the money going? The Dolphins traded Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall and cut leading tackler Yeremiah Bell to save cap room. They're also not paying for a franchise quarterback. Miami could use free agency to help fill the right side of the offensive line. But there's not much cash left to make any significant signings.

New England Patriots

Cap room: $9,944,664

Analysis: The Patriots are quietly bargain hunting in free agency, and many of their moves makes sense. Signings like receiver Brandon Lloyd, and defensive ends Trevor Scott and Jonathan Fanene were very affordable. Chad Ochocinco and Tom Brady's restructures gave the Patriots even more flexibility. I thought the franchise tag of about $9.4 million to Pro Bowl receiver Wes Welker could hurt New England this offseason. But the Patriots have plenty of room to be fine with that number if Welker and the team do not work out an extension.

New York Jets

Cap room: $7,692,283

Analysis: Several restructures and quarterback Mark Sanchez's contract extension has put the Jets back on decent footing this offseason. Safety LaRon Landry and backup quarterback Tim Tebow were New York's big acquisitions. It also appears the team will retain veteran starting linebacker Bart Scott. The Jets are one of those teams where you're not sure if the arrow is pointing up or down in 2012. This is a club just one year removed from the AFC Championship Game. But last year's 8-8 season may be a sign of where this group currently stands.
Here are the most interesting stories Sunday morning in the AFC East: Morning take: Buffalo may need to slightly overdraft a player like receiver Michael Floyd or left tackle Riley Reiff. But if the player turns out to be a franchise building block, no one will care if he was taken No. 10 or No. 15.
  • New England Patriots backup offensive tackle Nate Solder is ready to take over if Matt Light retires.
Morning take: The Patriots did a smart thing by grabbing Solder in the first round last year. Solder is a good, developing player and will plug in well if needed.
  • Former New York Jets star running back Curtis Martin likes the acquisition of quarterback Tim Tebow.
Morning take: Everyone has an opinion on how this will work. But this is a hit-or-miss experiment, which makes it so intriguing.
  • The Miami Dolphins will be switching to more of a zone-blocking scheme in rookie coach Joe Philbin's West Coast offense.
Morning take: This means the offensive line will be asked to be more mobile this season. The Dolphins had more of a grinding running game up front. So there will be an adjustment.
On Thursday, we examined the AFC East after the first two weeks of free agency. Now it's your turn to chime in.


Which was the best offseason move in the AFC East?


Discuss (Total votes: 11,031)

Which division team made the best offseason move? There are several good ones to choose from.

Will the Tim Tebow acquisition be a genius move for New York? Tebow brings a lot to the table in terms of athleticism, heart, character and work ethic. However, Tebow is not a natural quarterback, and he potentially brings a media circus with him.

What about the Buffalo Bills' $100 million signing of defensive end Mario Williams? He was the biggest free-agent prize not named Peyton Manning. Is Williams the catalyst to get the Bills over the hump and into the playoffs?

There was also the underrated signing of New England Patriots receiver Brandon Lloyd. New England needed a deep threat at receiver and tabbed Lloyd, who worked with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in St. Louis and Denver.

Finally, the Miami Dolphins also re-signed Paul Soliai for a bargain price of $12 million over two years. Soliai was a Pro Bowler in 2011, and one of the league’s best run-stoppers.

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on the best offseason move so far in the AFC East. You can also share your thoughts in the comment section below.
New Jets quarterback Tim Tebow just stepped foot in New York, and he's already in the middle of an ugly court battle between Nike and Reebok.

Is this early signs of trouble for Tebow in New York?

This is what happens when you mix one of the NFL's most popular athletes and the country's biggest media market. This is not just Tebowmania. It will be Tebowmania on steroids.

Nike and Reebok are two of the world's biggest athletic apparel companies. They have been relatively peaceful for a while, despite being direct competitors.

But Tebowmania is strong enough to change all that. According to court documents, Nike is upset and suing Reebok for cashing in on Tebow-related merchandise after his trade to the Jets. A judge put a temporary restraining order on Reebok while this case is being settled.

Granted, this has nothing to do with Tebow's performance on the field. But is just the beginning of the potentially endless list of distractions the Jets inherited with Tebow. Never has an athlete with so much class, good will and high character brought such a circus to one team.

In terms of distractions, Nike and Reebok are just getting the Tebow train started. There certainly is more to come.
Here are the most interesting stories Thursday morning in the AFC East: Morning take: That is a way to add more spice to this rivalry. Revis usually isn't one for controversy, but he seems firm in his opinion of the Patriots' coach.
  • Reebok's jersey sales of new Jets quarterback Tim Tebow are temporarily put on hold by a judge.
Morning take: This explains the depths of Tebowmania. Even Nike and Reebok are fighting over the quarterback now that he's made the move to New York, the media capitol of the world.
  • Will Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill land with the Miami Dolphins?
Morning take: Miami holds the No. 8 pick. Although I'm not a huge Tannehill guy, I think the Dolphins need a quarterback. We will have plenty more on the draft coming up next.
  • Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey reportedly would like to have a rule changed to allow officials upstairs to decide on instant replays.
Morning take: The rule makes some sense, but it didn't pass. Perhaps it would speed up the game a little, but not enough to make the switch.

Nike, Reebok tussle over Tim Tebow

March, 28, 2012
Tebowmania has turned into Wrestlemania for two of the world's biggest athletic apparel companies.

Nike Inc. reportedly has sued Reebok for unauthorized use of selling Jets apparel with Tebow's name on it. The Jets just acquired Tebow in a trade with the Denver Broncos, and Tebow merchandise is sure to be a best-seller in the coming weeks and months.

Tebow is signed under Nike, but Reebok is taking advantage of this immediate and immense buzz. Reuters reports the lawsuit states, "[Reebok] has no authorization from Mr. Tebow or anyone else to use Mr. Tebow's name or other identification on such Jets product." Nike's lawsuit also claims "Reebok has taken upon itself to illegitimately seize on this unique and short-lived consumer opportunity."

Tebow has spurned enough debate in New York. Many feel he will get a shot to be the Jets starting quarterback next season if Mark Sanchez struggles.

Now, even Nike and Reebok are debating over the wildly-popular quarterback.
The New York Jets created a situation where they had another unhappy player in their locker room. A couple days later, they did the right thing to correct the issue.

Backup quarterback Drew Stanton wanted out after being pegged as the No. 3 quarterback behind starter Mark Sanchez and newly-acquired quarterback Tim Tebow. Stanton recently signed a one-year, $1.25 million contract with the intention of backing up Sanchez, but Tebowmania changed all that.

On Friday the Jets traded Stanton to the Indianapolis Colts, where he can backup future No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck.

Stanton felt swerved and upset in New York. He was recruited by the Jets with the intention of being one play away. But Tebow would have ensured Stanton probably wouldn't see the light of day in 2012 unless both Sanchez and Tebow struggled or got injured.

The Jets didn't need a third-string quarterback with potential to be a malcontent. The Jets have enough locker room issues as it is. Regaining the rapport between Sanchez and No. 1 receiver Santonio Holmes and meshing Tebow in the mix are enough.

The potential Stanton headache wasn’t worth it. Both sides will be better off apart.

Video: Rex Ryan on Tim Tebow

March, 22, 2012

Coach Rex Ryan discusses how the Jets will use Tim Tebow this season.




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