Tebow Time?

Tebow Time?

With the Peyton Manning Sweepstakes officially coming to a close, the Tim Tebow derby is now underway. Are the Jets contenders for Tebow's services or mere pretenders?

Pairing the NFL's most controversial coach, Rex Ryan, with the league's most polarizing quarterback, Tim Tebow, may sound like shear madness at first thought.

But there may be a method to the madness.

As Peyton Manning starts a new chapter of his career in Denver, Tebow on the other hand is being jettisoned after leading the Broncos to the AFC West title and an improbable run to the divisional round of the 2011 playoffs.

While Broncos general manager John Elway all but assured Tebow the starting job this upcoming season, the lure of Manning's mystique eventually became too much for Denver's front office to resist. Tebow is officially on the trading block and among the teams expressing interest in acquiring the spiritual lefty is the New York Jets.

Initially characterized as a ‘long shot' for Tebow's services, the Jets have emerged as a viable option for the charismatic quarterback. Tebow's base salaries for the next few seasons: $1.942 million in 2012, $2.266 million in 2013 and $2.590 million in 2014 would still allow the Jets salary cap flexibility.

Maligned for a lack of leadership and locker room turmoil, New York's front office is convinced that Tebow's intangibles and positivity would alleviate the team's chemistry problems. With the Jets committed to Mark Sanchez for the long-term, Tebow would fall behind ‘Sanchize' on the depth chart, but could potentially be utilized as a situational player in New York.

While Tebow thrived in the spread option offense, a system predominantly employed in the college ranks, the Jets desired return to a ‘ground and pound' philosophy would befit the former Heisman Trophy winner's strengths.

Newly appointed Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano popularized the use of the Wildcat offense in the NFL, creating a wave of excitement for fans and sleepless nights for opposing defensive coaches. Tebow could flourish in Sparano's run heavy schemes albeit in a diminished role with the offense.

Bringing in Tebow might usher in a couple issues. For one, if Sanchez struggles once again in 2012, it wouldn't be long before fans rained down a chorus of boos followed by a "We Want Tebow" chant. At the same token, there's widespread belief that recruiting a quarterback to rub shoulders with Sanchez would help motivate the Jets franchise signal caller to reach new heights.

While the Jets have not made an official trade offer to Denver, the front office has had internal discussions about putting together a trade proposal to obtaining Tebow.

With several twists and turns remaining in the free agency period, the Tebow Derby is sure to dominate the attention of the football world.

Rick Laughland covers the New York Jets for Greenandwhitereport.com

You can follow him on Twitter @rlaughland By: TwitterButtons.com

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