The New York Jets have been a media circus since Rex Ryan got hired as their head coach, but the spotlight has been intensified by a thousand since New York traded for Tim Tebow. How would Mark Sanchez, who has been called coddled by his teammates, react to having a super-popular miracle worker as his backup? The team had to give him a rich extension just for thinking about talking to Peyton Manning to help repair Mark’s hurt feelings, so bringing in someone for Jets fans to call for in place of Sanchez couldn’t possibly go over well.
Surprisingly, though, Sanchez has been fairly composed through this offseason. He’s seemed to ratchet up his workouts and preparation and has publicly embraced Tebow as a member of the team (to the utter joy of Jets slashfic enthusiasts). Turns out though, that’s been something he had to work on, which we now know thanks to world’s worst teammate/confidant Santonio Holmes.
Today is Tim Tebow’s 25th birthday, and while he’s not doing Jesus-pose photo shoots with GQ, he is still trying to find his role with the New York Jets. Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Tony Sparano seem to looking for somewhere, anywhere, to put the polarizing backup quarterback, giving him reps with the second team, developing a “secret” wildcat package, and even putting him on the field as personal protector on punts. While the Jets seem a little hazy on what they’ll do with the holiest of hurlers, but don’t worry Jets fans…Chad Pennington IS HERE TO MENTOR!
NFL training camps are opening up this week, which means its time for the blind optimism of the coming season to make coaches and players say ridiculous things. And if there’s one team that can be counted to say more than its fair share of rediculous things in training camp, it’s the New York Jets. This time, it’s cornerback Antonio Cromartie, as famous for his cover skills as he his for his uncanny ability to father children, who, after taking ONE snap at wide receiver in a training camp practice, has named himself the Jets’ second-best wide receiver. And he might not be wrong…
New York Jets’ wide receiver, and noted locker room cancer, Santonio Holmes has been in the news this offseason for many of the wrong reasons. After being one of the central figures in the Jets’ late-season collapse last year, Holmes came into offseason workouts out of shape due to a commitment to the USO, and complained openly about being asked to participate in a full practice. He was also non-commital about attending Mark Sanchez’s “Jets West” private workouts for the quarterbacks (including Tim Tebow) and receivers, but eventually decided to attend. His thoughts coming out of the mini-camp? Two quarterback systems never work…but the Jets should do great with it!
One of the great things about the rise of social media has been the availability of athletes and celebrities with their fans. Sure, some of it has gotten us uncomfortably close to some, but for others it’s allowed fans to connect with their heroes in all new ways. One of the more popular recent trends has been to ask some athlete or celebrity to a function, like Justin Tiberlake going to the Marine Corps Ball with one of his fans. That was what young Rachel Bird of Kingsley, Iowa, had in mind when she started trying to get Tim Tebow to accompany her to Prom last Saturday. She tried asking him through Twitter, through his agent, and even through the Jets, but wasn’t able to get any response back (man, what a jerk). Most would have glumly accepted their fate and gone to the dance solo, but Bird wasn’t having that.
After the Denver Broncos announced the signing of Peyton Manning earlier this week, the team made it clear that they would be shopping their former first-round quarterback, Tim Tebow, as his services would no longer be required. The suitors lined up and sent their most appealing mid- to late-round picks to Denver for their consideration, and the New York Jets came out as the winners of the Tebow-trade-a-palooza! Then there was some questions about the language of Tebow’s contract, language that the Jets apparently hadn’t read. In short, Tebow’s contract stipulated that his new team would be responsible for paying $5 million back to his old team in Denver. The Jets, in their excitement to sign the head of the Church of Tebow, pushed back, feeling they shouldn’t have to. That opened the door for Jacksonville to jump in, yell “WE’LL PAY,” and throw the money towards the Broncos, but the Jets quickly pointed out there are no takesies-backsies and went through with the deal, compromising to pay the Broncos around $2.5 million over the next two seasons. In all, Denver sends Tebow and a 7th round pick to New York for the Jets’ 4th and 6th round picks this year, or as Deadspin points out, Denver is getting about a 12 percent return on Tebow’s value as the 25th pick in the 2010 draft. Good drafting Josh McDaniels! So now, the Chosen One heads to the Big Apple, where Gang Green is going to use him…somehow…to do…something?
When word got out that the Colts would be “parting ways” with long-time quarterback and future Hall-of-Famer Peyton Manning, pretty much every team with a hint of doubt about their quarterback situation lined up to throw money at Manning and his agent. One of those teams was the New York Jets, who failed for the third straight time to deliver on head coach Rex Ryan’s Super Bowl Guarantee after imploding down the stretch to miss the playoffs for the first time in three years. One of the big reasons why, according to many, was the regressive play of quarterback Mark Sanchez. Fans and teammates have started to question whether “the Sanchise” has the mental makeup to grow into an elite quarterback, or if the coddling of the Jets coaching staff and front office would stifle him and keep him as the stunted, interception-prone, prima-donna he seems to have turned into. Questions like this led the Jets to explore the possibility of bringing Manning to the Meadowlands. However, there quickly failed to make the first cut, and have regrouped by making sure Sanchez doesn’t feel unappreciated…by signing him to a 3-year extension worth $40.5 million. As Stephan A. Smith so eloquently asks, “Um, what??”
Watch your step today if your making your way through the Jets’ locker room because the cracks in there are starting to get even bigger. After a tumultuous and unceremonious end to the regular season, in which Gang Green imploded down the stretch, finishing 8-8 and missing the playoffs for the first time in Rex Ryan’s boisterous tenure as head coach, the claws came out for the Jets. Players on the field for the final loss to Miami accused captain Santonio Holmes of quitting on the team and being an all-around jerk. Then rookie quarterback Greg McElroy, who spent the entire season on IR, blasted the Jets’ locker room on an Alabama radio station, calling it “not a fun place to be” when talking about the overwhelming selfishness of players on the Jets’ roster, and painting the environment as toxic (but what would you expect from a team who plays in a swamp). Later, former Jets quarterback, and Sunday pre-game talking head, Boomer Esiason criticized current Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, calling him a scared “chihuahua,” which was an unfortunate choice of dog breed, but valid criticism none the less. Any illusion of cohesion or camaraderie quickly fell down around Rex Ryan’s head as his bad season turns into a worse offseason, and it’s not done yet. Turns out, some of the current Jets players may feel the same way as Boomer, and they let the New York Daily News know about it.
The New York Jets have made failure an annual part of their offseason schedule. It wouldn’t be so bad that they have failed to make the Super Bowl in the previous two seasons or the playoffs this year, except that the team sets themselves up as Super Bowl favorites, with Rex Ryan making an annual “Super Bowl Champs” guarantee and quarterback Mark Sanchez joining in this year, which puts the proverbial target on the back of Gang Green. Instead of living up to their own hype, however, the Jests imploded down the stretch, losing their last three games to finish 8-8, relinquishing the last wild card spot to the Bengals and securing a spot at home on the couch for the playoffs. So what went wrong this year? Well, lots of things, and there’s plenty of blame to go around. However, the major talking point for this team during the offseason will be the poisonous effect of Santonio Holmes on the locker room this season and his benching during the Jets’ final rally to save the season. After the jump, we examine what went wrong in, “The Saga of Santonio!!”