Quarterback Tim Tebow's trade to the New York Jets from the Denver Broncos was confirmed late Wednesday night, after a day full of speculation. Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum announced that the trade had been finalized in a conference call to reporters in order to explain the confusing events that had transpired throughout the day.
The first point Tannenbaum made was that Tebow will not be replacing Mark Sanchez as the team's starting quarterback. Instead he will serve as backup for the position, though he will still be used in the Jet's Wildcat package.
We're gonna do a lot of great things with [Sanchez], Tannenbaum said. Every quarterback in the NFL has a backup.
The Jets' GM said that both head coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Tony Sparano immediately jumped at the opportunity to add Tebow to the team. Both men were head coaches for teams that lost to the Broncos while Tebow played for Denver in 2011. Tannenbaum noted that Sparano first noticed Tebow's abilities as a quarterback while coaching him in the 2010 Senior Bowl.
Rex has always believed in the Wildcat package, said Tannenbaum, and [Tebow is] another playmaker to add to thmix.
Complicated negotiations throughout the day led to rumors that the Jets might be unable to afford the high costs entailed to trading for Tebow, but Tannenbaum assured reporters he was comfortable with the agreed price. They will continue to view Tebow as a backup quarterback through the 2014 season, when Sanchez's contract expires.
It's exciting to know we've solidified that position. He's our type of guy, he's a competitor, he's a winner, said Tannenbaum, adding It was an unexpected opportunity.
Although the Jets' newest acquisition may be coming on as a backup, he should have plenty of opportunities to win over his new fans.
We have a vision for the player, we have a role for the player, said Tannenbaum.
Tebow will fill an important gap in the Jets' Wildcat gap. The Wilcat was first popularized by Sparano while serving as the Dolphins' head coach. Hopefully for New York, Tebow will revitalize that component of the team's offense.
Tannenbaum also assured reporters and sports fans that the team carefully considered the contract before accepting it, rather than quickly agreeing to a deal and then haggling over the details.
We knew what the contract was, we had read it, he said. There was a disagreement on how the [salary] advances should be handled.
He also admitted that the deal almost fell apart earlier, suggesting that Denver may have had second thoughts. The trade is expected to be completely official as of Thursday.