Move over Linsanity, it's time for Tebowmania.
The New York Jets acquired QB Tim Tebow on Wednesday from the Denver Broncos, just a day after they officially signed Peyton Manning, making their 2011 starter obsolete in the Mile High City.
FOXSports' Jay Glazer and Adam Schefter of ESPN broke the news.
Glazer and Schefter originally reported that the Jets are sending a 4th round pick to Denver. Jason La Canfora from the NFL Network says that the Broncos are receiving a 4th and 6th round pick in exchange for Tebow and a 7th round pick.
It's unclear at this point what Tebow's role with the Jets will be because they recently gave their incumbent starting quarterback Mark Sanchez a contract extension.
Tony Sparano, the former head coach of the Miami Dolphins is now the Jets' offensive coordinator. Under his watch, the Dolphins were successful in running plays in the Wildcat formation in which a player takes a direct snap in the shotgun formation and then runs. Tebow could be a perfect player to execute plays in the Wildcat formation.
While the dates and times have not been announced for the 2012 schedule yet, the Jets will be visiting EverBank Field this season.
It didn't take Denver VP of football operations John Elway long to find a willing suitor for the polarizing southpaw even as the Broncos were removing Tebow's pictures from their Englewood, Colo., facilities prior to Manning's introductory press conference yesterday.
"This is a tough business," Elway said Tuesday. "I will tell you the toughest thing about this whole thing is Tim Tebow because of what I think about Tim Tebow. ... The things that he did last year were tremendous in helping turn this organization around from a 4-12 team to a playoff team and winning the division.
"I have a great deal of respect for him as a person and the things that he does. There is no question the hardest thing about this business is the personal side. We just had to make a decision as an organization ... for what would be the best opportunity to be competitive for a world championship, and Peyton Manning was that. That is why we chose to go that direction."
The Jets, who locked up Sanchez through 2016 with a three-year extension March 9, are a bit of a surprising destination for Tebow. Though there seemed to be a desire to obtain a player to push Sanchez -- newly signed Drew Stanton and untested Greg McElroy are the other backups -- Tebow's arrival would only seem to invite full-blown controversy the next time any struggles arise for Sanchez, who clearly already has a somewhat tenuous relationship with some teammates ... not to mention a fickle and unforgiving fan base.
However for all the flak Tebow takes for his 47.3% career completion percentage, Sanchez isn't much better (55.3%) and was outdueled by No. 15 in Denver last season. New York HC Rex Ryan has also pledged a re-commitment to his beloved ground-and-pound philosophy, and Tebow could certainly be an asset in numerous roles -- especially in a Wildcat package -- remember, the Jets used to employ it frequently and effectively before Brad Smith left for Buffalo, and new OC Tony Sparano made the gimmicky formation famous again in Miami.
Including playoffs, Tebow went 8-5 as the Broncos' triggerman in 2011 after taking over a 1-4 squad in Week 7. Denver won seven of his first eight starts, often in riveting style, before losing its final three regular-season games and backing into postseason as the AFC West champions.
Tebow's 20-yard TD run with 58 seconds remaining sparked a 17-13 Week 11 defeat of the Jets in Denver.
"That's what he does. You keep the ball in your playmaker's hand," Jets HC Rex Ryan said at the time. "We thought he was going to carry the ball and he didn't disappoint us. But he ran for a touchdown. The kid's a competitor and makes big plays with the game on the line."
Tebow's 80-yard crossing strike to WR Demaryius Thomas on the first play of OT in the wild-card round gave the Broncos a shocking 29-23 upset of the reigning AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Tebow was ineffective and battered in the following weekend's season-ending rout at New England.
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The majority of this story was written and compiled by USA Today.
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