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Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Updated: March 22, 11:40 AM ET
Joe Namath rips Jets' Tebow trade

By Jane McManus
ESPNNewYork.com

Joe Namath offered scathing criticism of the New York Jets' decision to trade for quarterback Tim Tebow as a backup for recently extended starter Mark Sanchez.

"I do not agree with this situation," Namath said. "I can't agree with it. I just think it's a publicity stunt. I really think it's wrong. I can't go for it."

Namath spoke to Michael Kay and Don La Greca on ESPN New York 1050 on Wednesday while the Jets and Broncos were trying to work through a snag in the proposed trade. Kay asked Namath if he hoped the deal would ultimately fall through.

"Absolutely!" the Hall of Fame quarterback said. "And I'm a Tim Tebow fan! But I'm a bigger Jet fan than I am a Tim Tebow fan."

Namath said he thought bringing Tebow in wasn't best for the franchise, in particular Sanchez. Clearly, Tebow's popularity would rival the current starter's, and add pressure that Sanchez wasn't expecting.

"I don't think they know what they're doing over there right now," Namath said. "They give Sanchez a new contract, they pat him on the back and then they bring in two more quarterbacks."

The Jets' attempt to acquire Tebow came less than week after they signed Drew Stanton to be Sanchez's backup.

"I think Sanchez should be angry about what's taken place," Namath said.

Namath noted that there had already been plenty of discord in the Jets' locker room, something that rookie backup quarterback Greg McElroy spelled out in a radio interview after the season was over. McElroy took a lot of heat for pulling back the curtain on the inner workings of the Jets.

"Is this the Jets' way of shoving McElroy out of the way?" Namath said, "I'm baffled. I just think they're kind of mixed up over there, and I'm talking about the folks that are making the decisions. The owner of the team says they're not interested in Peyton Manning, and that's good, but meantime they end up being interested in Tebow? Come on, this is crazy."

La Greca pointed out that Namath was no stranger to attention-getting moves when he was a player, but that his Jets also won a Super Bowl -- the only one in the history of the franchise.

"It certainly seems like they're trying to make noise, get recognition," Namath said. "Well, win some games, win a championship [and] you get recognition."