When was the last time a team did what the Jets did in trading for Tim Tebow?
When was the last time a contending team with an established (but maligned) quarterback took a flyer on a talented back-up with a unique skill set and promised to only use him in special packages?
Answer: 2009 when the Philadelphia Eagles shocked everyone by signing Michael Vick to back up Donovan McNabb.
The respective QB situations of the ’09 Eagles and the ’12 Jets are different in a bunch of key ways, including:
- McNabb was a veteran on the tail end of his career, whereas Sanchez is still young and getting better.
- Vick just got out of prison for killing dogs, whereas Tebow has never killed anything, ever.
- Vick was a proven NFL starter once upon a time, whereas Tebow had a handful of good games.
But there are legit similarities there, including:
- Vick was not a good passing quarterback when he got to Philly, and neither is Tebow at this point.
- McNabb was under intense pressure to either succeed in 2009 or find a job elsewhere, just like Sanchez is right now.
- The Eagles brass said they would only bring in Vick to run quirky wildcat plays, just like the Jets front office is saying now.
The Philly situation ended with Vick playing well in limited action, McNabb playing poorly, and the Eagles shipping Donovan to Washington and giving Vick the reigns in 2010.
Given that Sanchez is still so young and the Jets are still heavily invested in grooming him into an elite QB, it’s hard to believe that situation in NYC could play out like it did in Philly.
But the ’09 Eagles show that taking a risk on a flashy back-up won’t necessarily go as planned.
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