Will Jets consider Tebow? It's a long shot

March, 19, 2012
3/19/12
7:58
PM ET


New York already had Linsanity. What about Tebow-mania?

The Jets are often linked to star players when they become available -- see Peyton Manning -- so now everyone is speculating about Tim Tebow. The chances of them aggressively pursuing Tebow are "a long shot at best," a league source said Monday.

Tebow probably will be looking for a new home because Manning reportedly has picked the Denver Broncos as his new team. Once Manning's contract with the Broncos is finalized, they will try to trade Tebow, ESPN.com reported Monday.

Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum has a reputation for exploring just about everything and, after all, a "long shot" doesn’t mean no shot.

Realistically, Tebow probably wouldn't truly pique the Jets' interest unless he's released and becomes a free agent.

The Jets' quarterback depth chart appears set, led by Mark Sanchez, who received a three-year, $40 million contract extension two weeks ago. Just last Friday, they signed former Detroit Lions backup Drew Stanton to a one-year, $1.25 million deal to be their No. 2 quarterback. Greg McElroy is slated to be third string.

One potentially intriguing aspect to Tebow is the Wildcat offense. Tony Sparano, the Jets' new offensive coordinator, introduced the Wildcat to the NFL as the Miami Dolphins' head coach in 2008. The Jets have used it in recent years, but they cut down on it last season because they lost Brad Smith to the Buffalo Bills.

Plus there's always the box-office factor with Tebow, who would generate a tremendous buzz for a team competing in the same market as the defending Super Bowl champions. On the downside, his presence could be distraction to the team and Sanchez.

Tebow's contract isn't prohibitive. He's due to make $1.1 million, $1.055 million and $895,000 over the next three seasons, with the possibility of making $11.25 million in 2013 and 2014 if he takes approximately 40 percent of the snaps in 2012.

The Jacksonville Jaguars, Tebow's hometown team, and the quarterback-needy Miami Dolphins have been mentioned as the most logical suitors. The New England Patriots have been mentioned, too, because offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels coached Tebow in Denver.

The Jets are one of the teams that helped start the Tebow phenomenon last season. In November, Tebow led a 95-yard drive in the final minutes, scoring the game-winning touchdown on a 20-yard run with 58 seconds to play.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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