- Last Updated: 9:11 AM, March 27, 2012
- Posted: 1:31 AM, March 27, 2012
PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Jets’ biggest rival is welcoming Tim Tebow to the AFC East with open arms, and the NFL commissioner thinks it’s a fine move, too.
You might wonder if it’s because his Patriots routed Tebow’s Broncos by a combined 53 points in two games last season, but New England owner Robert Kraft said yesterday he had different reasons for heartily endorsing the Jets’ trade last week for the quarterback
“I think it’s exciting,” Kraft said during a break in the NFL’s annual meetings at The Breakers. “I think it’s a lot of fun. You know, the NFL is about rivalries, and ... I’m a big fan of Tim Tebow.”
So is NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who smiled when approached by The Post last night about the trade.
“He is a wonderful young man who’s going to be great for the Jets and their fans,” Goodell said.
Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch have taken subtle digs at their MetLife Stadium rivals for adding Tebow, especially for their decision to have a No. 2 quarterback hold a virtual coronation of an introductory press conference, but Kraft wasn’t interested in tweaking the Jets.
Kraft said Tebow’s devout faith — and occasionally open expression of it — makes him an even more interesting figure.
“I love that he’s into spirituality, and I think it makes the rivalry even a bigger rivalry,” Kraft said. “I don’t know if there will be enough media hype around the game, but it will be a lot of fun.”
Kraft’s team was thought to have interest in acquiring Tebow after the Broncos signed Peyton Manning last week, in large part because head coach Bill Belichick loves to use versatile players in different ways and new Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels drafted Tebow two years ago when McDaniels was head coach in Denver.
Kraft initially declined comment when asked if the Patriots made a play for Tebow last week, but his follow-up words indicated it was likely they seriously discussed it.
“I know that both our head coach and our offensive coordinator are fans of Tim Tebow and appreciate his unique skills,” Kraft said. “He’s just a great young man, and we’re looking forward to the rivalry.”
The only jab Kraft wanted to take at Tebow was over the player’s reported choice in Broadway musicals. Tebow supposedly took in “Wicked” on Saturday, drawing mock dismay from Kraft.
“I understand he went to see his first Broadway play since being back in town, so that’s good,” Kraft said. “Tell him to see ‘Evita,’ because we’re investors in it.”