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Sanchez's passive response to Tebow trade speaks volumes

On Monday, the New York Jets will introduce Tim Tebow as their newest quarterback. Whether he is their new starter or just a change of pace QB remains to be seen. All we know right now is that Tebow wanted to be a Jet.

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How does this affect Mark Sanchez? I think greatly. I wish, upon hearing the news of Tebow's signing, Sanchez would have displayed the same anger that recently signed backup Drew Stanton showed. For all the talk of being a leader, Sanchez never operates like one. He should have leveled the Jets for making this move, and made it clear he was not interested in leaving the game for a gadget offense. Sanchez needs to stand up for himself and not appear as if he was paid off to be a good soldier.

Even though I strongly disagree with cornerback Antonio Cromartie's comments about the Jets not needing Tebow, Sanchez should have made that comment. If he is not going to stand up for himself and has to rely on teammates, how can he be the leader of the team? He can't and he won't, unless he gets ticked off.

Sanchez has to be wondering why Tebow didn't end up in Jacksonville, which made the most sense logically once the Broncos put Tebow on the block. The Jaguars need someone to make them relevant, someone who can drive enthusiasm for their fan base and potentially solve their quarterbacking issue. New owner Shahid Khan is on the record saying he would have drafted Tebow, which makes sense. Football is a business, and if Tebow could help the Jags sell tickets and engage the fan base while learning to be a quarterback, it would have been a justified decision. But the Jags' football people hated Tebow as a player. They wanted nothing to do with him, regardless of his ability to generate interest. Truthfully, though, the Jags are built to run the ball, play good defense and win low-scoring games. Tebow would have fit right in. Sounds like the Broncos of 2011.

When Tebow came back on the market after an initial snag in the Jets trade, Khan instructed his football people to review the situation again. As a business man, Khan knew Tebow made sense for his franchise. He realized that having Tebow might solve two problems (attendance and QB) and he was willing to pay to make this happen. However, the Jets' football people saw the positives that the Jags' front office missed and made the stronger play for Tebow.

The Jets, according to my league sources, failed to review the contract details before making the trade. But after much work to regroup, the Jets remained in position to acquire Tebow. By the end of the day, Denver had two offers on the table -- one from the Jets, one from the Jags. The Broncos, according to my sources, felt it would be in everyone's best interest to allow Tebow to pick his team.

Why did Tebow pick the Jets and not his hometown team? It's simple: The Jets wanted him. Remember a column I wrote back in August about player sponsorship? The Jets were willing to sponsor Tebow, from their front office down to their coaches, and the Jags were not. Tebow made the right choice for his career.


No matter what the Jets claim publicly, they don't really believe in Sanchez. They can say all the right things about him being their guy, but their actions say otherwise. How can they think their locker room is going to improve by creating a quarterback controversy? The question I keep coming back to is how is this trade going to help smooth things over with Sanchez and Santonio Holmes? That situation is worth watching.

The trade makes sense if the Jets want to be a ground-and-pound team, but I am not sure it will play well with the other players, particularly as it relates to bringing out the best in Sanchez.

Follow Michael Lombardi on Twitter @michaelombardi

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