Jets GM: Mark Sanchez is starter; Tim Tebow is backup, wildcat specialist

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com
Namath is wholly unimpressed with what the Jets are doing. (Getty Images)

Joe Namath is many things -- Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Hall of Famer, charter member of the Suzy Kolber fan club, and outspoken when it comes to the Jets, where he played for 12 seasons from 1965-1976. Whether it's fat jokes at head coach Rex Ryan's expense, or unsolicited opinions on why Peyton Manning should avoid the Jets, Namath has weighed in.

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So it's hardly surprising that he wasn't keen on the idea of Tim Tebow serving as Mark Sanchez's backup in New York even before the first trade was finalized (it eventually fell through but the Jets didn't give up).

"I do not agree with this situation," Namath said during an appearance on ESPN 1050. "I can't agree with it [the Tebow trade]. I just think it's a publicity stunt. I really think it's wrong. I can't go for it."

Namath, like most people, feared that adding Tebow to the roster would complicate Sanchez's life in much the same way Denver's Kyle Orton went from starter to the bench to the street in a half a season.

"I don't think they know what they're doing over there right now," Namath said. "They give Sanchez a new contract, they pat him on the back and then they bring in two more quarterbacks."

The other quarterback is Drew Stanton who, according to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora, could ask for a trade or his release days after signing with the team. Apparently, Stanton was promised that the Jets weren't looking at adding another quarterback. (Perhaps Stanton and Tebow can commiserate over organizations telling them one thing then doing another.)

"I think Sanchez should be angry about what's taken place," Namath added.

Before that happens, there's some good news, Mark. During a conference call with reporters late Wednesday, Jets general manager Mike Tannebaum said that Sanchez is the starting quarterback. "[Mark and Tim] are both very clear on what their roles will be," he said according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Lisa Zimmerman. "Every quarterback in the NFL has a backup and we just changed who ours is," he added.

As for Tebow's role, it will be mostly wildcat-related. You know, because the wildcat hasn't been popular since 2008. "For us to run an effective wildcat is not a pipe dream," Tannenbaum said. "To see what Tim Tebow has done with the ball in his hands is not a projection." Zimmerman writes that Tannenbaum cited this offensive wrinkle as making the Jets more difficult for opposing teams to defend.

No way this ends badly. For now, one last word from Namath:

"I'm baffled," he said. "I just think they're kind of mixed up over there, and I'm talking about the folks that are making the decisions. The owner of the team says they're not interested in Peyton Manning, and that's good, but meantime they end up being interested in Tebow? Come on, this is crazy."

Crazy … or crazy like a fox? (Okay, it's crazy. Clearly.)

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