A little over a week after the Jets gave Mark Sanchez a contract extension, they made a trade with the Broncos to acquire Tim Tebow.
For much of the offseason, there has been speculation that the quarterback will eventually take over the starting job.
In his first two seasons in the NFL, Sanchez led the Jets to the AFC Championship Game. Last season, Gang Green finished a disappointing 8-8 and missed the playoffs.
New York has stated that Sanchez will be at the helm all season long, but Las Vegas doesn't seem to agree. According to Las Vegas insider RJ Bell of pregame.com, the odds suggest that Tebow will likely start at some point in 2012.
It's almost a certainty that Sanchez will begin the season as the starter. The odds of Tebow starting in Week 1 are 6/1, while the chances of him taking over for Sanchez in any of the next three games are 5/1.
According to Las Vegas sportsbooks, the chances of Tebow starting increase exponentially later in the season. Winning a $100 bet that states Tebow will start sometime between Week 5 and Week 9 would net a gambler $300. The odds of Tebow starting after Week 10 move to 5/2.
The odds of Tebow not starting a game the entire season are 2/1. While the Jets insist that Tebow was brought to New York to play behind Sanchez, bookmakers have set the odds of him starting at least one contest at 71 percent.
After a disappointing 2011 campaign, there were rumors that the Jets would look to replace their quarterback. A few anonymous players criticized Sanchez in the media and questioned his ability to lead a winning team. New York also reached out to Peyton Manning before he decided to sign with Denver.
Head coach Rex Ryan says Tebow is the team's backup, but will still see a lot of playing time in different packages. New offensive coordinator Tony Sparano ran the Wildcat offense in Miami, and will introduce the package with the Jets. Tebow could be on the field for as many as 20 plays per game.
Through two preseason games, the have Jets picked up where they left off last year, struggling mightily on offense. They've been outscored 43-9 in games against the Bengals and Giants.
Sanchez has completed 76 percent of his passes, but he's thrown for just 80 yards on 17 attempts. He has no touchdowns and one interception. Tebow has been even worse, going 9-22 for 96 yards and an interception.
If Sanchez struggles early in the 2012 season, the Jets may turn to Tebow to right the ship. He took over for a struggling Kyle Orton five games into 2011, eventually leading Denver to the playoffs.
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