I can’t say that I remember an NFL off season that has been quite as eventful as this one has been.
Peyton Manning is now the Denver’s starting QB and the displaced Tim Tebow ends up going to the New York Jets. I never thought I would be blogging about that turn of events as of just a few weeks ago.
Of course, the big question is Peyton Manning’s health. After sitting out for a year because of a neck injury it remains to be seen if Manning can regain his All-Pro form. Bronco Executive VP John Elway is certainly took a significant risk in signing Manning, but it was a no-brainer. Most teams in the NFL would be very happy to have Peyton Manning on their roster, but he was especially valuable to Denver. Elway he had two good reasons for signing him:
1) If Manning is even 85% or 90% of what he was pre-injury he gives the Broncos a real shot at winning a championship within the next 2 to 3 years.
2) Signing Manning enabled the Broncos to trade the very popular Tim Tebow without creating a public relations disaster in Denver.
I don’t think Bronco John Elway and Head Coach John Fox were ever totally sold on Tebow and they want to unload him all along. Signing Peyton Manning was ideal for the purpose of giving the Bronco Management team the cover they need to move Tebow.
Ultimately, I think Elway would like draft a QB that is in the mold of a classic drop back passer , which would be a QB more like himself than Tim Tebow was.
Will the acquisition of Tim Tebow payoff for the NY Jets? Well, the Jets certainly took a risk here too. Overall, Tebow played very well for the Bronco’s last season, but the jury is still out on his ability to play the quarterback position at a high level in the NFL. Still, it is almost a certainty that a QB controversy will develop at some point next season because current Jets QB Mark Sanchez has been good, but not great in his three years with the team. If Sanchez falters at all next season there will be tremendous pressure from the Jets fan base to give Tebow a shot at QB. The Jets have already indicated they plan to use Tebow at a variety positions. I think we will see the multi-faceted Tebow running, catching and throwing the ball, although I do think that Tebow would like to someday start at QB. He can’t come out and publicly state that now, but I’m sure the former Heisman Trophy winner is thinking that way. All in all, I think the Jets made a good move because the potential upside of Tim Tebow outweighs his potential negatives.
Let’s not forgot the Jets did not exactly tear the league last year, they were only 8 and 8, and they did not make the playoffs. Moreover, last season the Jets lost both regular season games vs. the New England Patriots, their chief divisional rival. The Patriots have bolstered their receiving corps in the off season and look even stronger on paper for the upcoming season. The Pat’s look like they will be strong enough to possibly make a return trip to the Superbowl. The Jets will need all the help they can get against the Patriots and other playoff contenders.