Commentary

Tim Tebow's got fame, not game

In trading for a QB who can't pass, Jets cement status as high-profile sideshow

Updated: March 23, 2012, 10:28 AM ET
By Stephen A. Smith | ESPNNewYork.com

For those who were wondering why the Jets seem perpetually draped in second-tier status in New York, look no further than their latest exercise in conspicuous futility.

In trading for flawed quarterback Tim Tebow, the Jets not only surrendered fourth- and sixth-round draft picks -- plus an additional $2.5 million -- they shoved a big chunk of their professional dignity and credibility right out the door along with those viable assets.

Let us be clear: Tim Tebow's arrival in New York is a complete joke. It's a move so ridiculous, one could laugh openly … if only it were anyone but the New York Jets.

We can go on about how his arrival has officially reduced the Jets to being a sideshow. How they'll never match the New York Giants in stature or significance. We can even talk of how this could hinder the development of the now-other quarterback with the Jets, Mr. Mark Sanchez, whom the team has suffocated and coddled.

But that comes later.

For now, football is what should be on everyone's mind. Meaning Tebow's game, or lack thereof.

You already know about the Tebow scouting report. He won seven of eight games after the Denver Broncos inserted him into the lineup following a 1-4 start. He defeated the Jets with a 12-play, 95-yard drive for one win, beat the likes of Oakland and Chicago in others, and tossed an 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime to bounce the Steelers from the playoffs.

And now you may learn he's not even worthy of being second-string.

Tebow picks up yardage and scores touchdowns with his feet, but he doesn't throw the ball effectively. He completed just 47 percent of his passes last season. His mechanics are not good. His release is slow. He is sacked too often.

"We all know he's a tremendous kid," said ESPN NFL analyst Mark Schlereth, who blocked for John Elway in Denver. "Like John Elway said, 'If you're looking for someone to marry your daughter, you'd want it to be Tim Tebow.' He works hard and he's a great kid.

"But he can't throw the football. And that's what makes this a disastrous move for the New York Jets."

That's just one of the things.

The other is Gang Green's flagrant attempt to improve the roster via headlines more than anything else, then have the audacity to spew rhetoric that winning games is actually a priority.

Just nauseating.

Evidently, the Jets think we've all forgotten they swore Sanchez was their leader. That Santonio Holmes literally ended the season by giving up on his teammates. That coach Rex Ryan openly admitted he'd lost the pulse of the locker room.

And we all know the Jets still need a top-notch receiver and running back.

So Tim Tebow is suppose to fix this?

Perhaps the Jets could pull off a miracle, win their fair share of games and become championship relevant again. But that would happen by galvanizing the locker room and coming together, not polarizing it with someone known for being elevated above the crowd due to fame instead of his game.

"I just don't think he's the right fit," Jets great Joe Namath said. "I'm a Tebow fan, but I'm more of a Jets fan."

You could say that proudly once upon a time. But not now. Not with this charade.

This circus coming to town.

Probably with just as many wins as last season, too.

Stephen A. Smith | email

ESPNNewYork.com columnist
Stephen A. Smith is a featured columnist for ESPNNewYork.com, host of a weekday show for ESPN New York 98.7 and a regular on "SportsCenter" and "First Take."

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