MANHATTAN — It's a Hail Mary to save Gang Green.
The Jets traded Wednesday for love-'em-or-hate-'em Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, following Denver's acquisition this week of future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.
The devout Christian, known for his miraculous fourth-quarter comebacks and prayerful poses on the field, earned both praise and scorn from NFL fans while capturing national attention this past season.
"The deeply religious Tebow wowed Denver fans and the NFL and stirred national interest during last season as he stepped in at QB for the Broncos in the seventh game of the season and led them from their 1-4 start to a 7-4 finish and into the playoffs for the first time in six years..." read a note on the Jets' website announcing the move.
Despite a last minute contract snag requiring any team that picked him up to reimburse Denver $5 million in advance salary that the Broncos had paid to the quarterback, the deal was finalized Wednesday evening, according to the Daily News.
The Jets have now pinned their hopes on the enigmatic Tebow to complement current quarterback Mark Sanchez.
Shortly before the trade was announced Wednesday afternoon, Jets fans said they were skeptical about whether Tebow is the solution to the team’s problems.
"That guy is overrated," said Marty Pollio, 40, a contractor from the East Village. "I don’t think Sanchez can take us to the Super Bowl, but he’s better than Tebow."
Chris Toriello, 43, a real-estate property manager from Bayside, Queens, said he still had faith in Sanchez despite last year's mediocre season.
“He’d gotten us to the AFC championship game two years in a row, and you gotta give him credit,” Toriello said. “He did struggle last year, but the locker room was in chaos.”
A Giants fan took an opportunity to rag on the Jets over the trade.
"The Jets always do the wrong thing and the Giants always do the right thing," said Brooklyn resident Carlton Murdock, 55. "As soon as [Mark] Sanchez throws a couple interceptions people will be chanting 'Tebow! Tebow!'"
Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie took to Twitter Tuesday to say he didn’t want Tebow coming to New York.
“We don’t need Tebow,” Cromartie tweeted. “We sell out every home game let him go to Jacksonville Tampa or Miami. Our wildcat offense can b run by [Jeremy] Kerley or Joe McKnight we straight.”
Jets fan Pollio said he admired Tebow’s charisma, but added that only goes so far.
"He’s a great human being,” he said. “But that’s not going to win you games."