Today marks the official end of Tim Tebow’s run in New York. Tebow played 70
offensive snaps last season while making $4 million in total salary (or about $57 grand per snap), getting passed over for Greg Mcelroy after Mark Sanchez struggled late in the year. When the Jets made that call, they had no shot at the playoffs, several major contributors were injured (see: Santonio Holmes, Darrelle Revis) and they really had no legitimate reason not to start Tebow at quarterback. So what does that say about his future in the NFL?
Following a miraculous run into the playoffs that included a thrilling win over Pittsburgh in 2012, only two teams made inquiries about Tebow’s availability: the Jets and the Jaguars. Neither team wants him today, and the Jaguars have emphatically denied having any interest in Tebow, even as a free-agent.
Just hours after being released, multiple teams joined the Jags in a chorus of clubs who want absolutely nothing to do with him. According to USA Today’s Mike Garafolo, the Bears, Eagles, Buccaneers, Cowboys and Seahawks all denied interest in Tebow on Monday. Does Tebow have a future in professional football? Or is it time to trade his shoulder pads for a pulpit? If he has any hope, it’s with one of these teams:
If Tebow manages to land with an NFL team (a very big if), it will need to be a team with an unquestioned starter, an experienced head coach and a need for a read-option quarterback. Just a few weeks ago the Redksins signed former Dolphin Pat White, who flamed out of the league as a second-round pick and has never shown an ability to make professional passes. Why not pay a similarly dirt-cheap price for a guy with better talent and essentially the same skill set?
New England Patriots
Often-speculated as a possible landing spot for Tebow, Bill Belicheck has a great relationship with Tebow’s old coach at Florida, Urban Meyer, who will probably be the first guy Tebow calls to help him get back in the league. The Patriots floated Ryan Mallet as trade-bait leading up to and during the draft and only have three quarterbacks on the roster. Also, with the read-option taking the league by storm it would make sense for Belicheck to pick up a guy to throw at his defense as a running threat during practice.
This is definitely a stretch, as current General Manager Mike Lombardi has not been shy in criticizing Tebow’s ability as a professional passer. That being said, new coach Rob Chudzinski could use a guy with read-option ability to actually implement at least some aspects of his option-oriented playbook. Not to mention, the Jets signed Tebow almost entirely for marketing purposes (we now know), and its hard to think of a team more boring than the Browns.
Canadian Football League – Montreal Alouettes, Edmonton Eskimos or Winnipeg Blue Bombers
The most widely-speculated options for Tebow aren’t even in this country.
While the Alouettes hold Tebow’s negotiating rights, he could realistically work out a deal with any of these teams before the start of their season. Seems ideal right? Tebow can go up north, refine his passing skills, and gallop back into the NFL on a gorgeous white stallion a few years later, like a sexy Doug Flutie.
But hold your horses.
While it’s a commonly-held belief that dual-threat quarterbacks translate better to the CFL than the NFL, and is true to an extent, that suggests one can get by as a less-than-average passer. Tebow is an even worse passer than that, struggling with the coverage schemes and defensive nuances of the NFL. In the CFL, he’d need to relearn those schemes, route trees and, above all, greatly improve his accuracy as a passer. Having only three downs in the CFL instead of four, a team can’t endure wasted plays on account of errant throws by the quarterback. These reasons, as Yahoo! Canada Sports writer Andrew Bucholz points out, are why CFL all-star teams tend to feature older/experienced players, rather than young/athletic speedsters.
Then again, Tebow can always just learn an entirely new position (h-back, tight-end) and try to earn a roster spot over someone who’s played there his entire life. Good luck with that.