There are some things in sports I will simply never understand. While there have been a variety of mistakes made by NFL front offices in the history of the league–countless, in fact–there is one move that stands out among the rest as particularly foolish.
The New York Jets have done a disservice to Tim Tebow, and they gave up precious draft picks to do it.
The Denver Broncos enjoyed a six game winning streak and an AFC West division title in 2011-12 with Tebow at the helm. The Jets have enjoyed no such success. That is probably because they have only allowed him to throw eight passes the entire year and have not given him a chance to show what he can do.
In the wake of Mark Sanchez’s benching, the Jets have decided to move forward with Tebow’s former college nemesis, Alabama alum Greg McElroy. This move makes absolutely no sense. The Jets had faith enough in Tebow to trade two picks for him, but not to let him on the field all that much.
While the fourth round pick the Jets surrendered for Tebow has yet to come to fruition for the Denver Broncos (C Philip Blake has been on IR all year), 6th round pick Danny Trevathan has played a pivotal role on one of the best defenses in the league as well as contributing to a variety of special teams units.
The Jets haven’t had the cajones to start Tim Tebow and see what he can do, and that’s going to cost people jobs–including Tebow. There is going to be no trade market for Tebow, and the Jets are tired already of answering questions about him. What’s likely going to happen to him? Well, my guess is probably the same as yours and many others–Tebow will be cut after the season is over.
I am not sure why the Jets wouldn’t do Tebow a favor and cut him now, since he’s clearly never going to see the field, but that’s another question for another day. The question becomes, what market is there for Tebow the free agent? Since a team won’t likely have to trade for Tebow, they are going to get him at his lowest possible value after a terrible, distraction filled season. Tebow hasn’t been bad on the field, he’s been poorly utilized.
Maybe he’s not that good. Maybe he’s not a fit for Tony Sparano. What I do know is this–there has been no consistency in Tebow’s career. He flourished in four games at the end of his rookie season. He showed he is capable of making plays in the clutch under Mike McCoy in Denver. He kept his mouth shut through adversity in New York.
I still believe Tebow is destined for greatness, but we can pretty much guarantee it will not be with the Broncos or Jets. So where will it be? Well, if I had to make a Tebow power ranking, I’d have to go something like this:
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
Tebow’s hometown team. If he is given a choice and there is mutual interest, this is a place where he could legitimately compete for a starting position in 2013.
2. Minnesota Vikings
Christian Ponder has been awful in year two. He will get 2013 to prove himself but then there will be changes made. I think Tebow could be a great fit in Minnesota with Adrian Peterson to hand the ball off to. If Percy Harvin is dealt, though, I would take MIN off this list.
3. Buffalo Bills
Ryan Fitzpatrick is not cutting it, and Tebow would at least provide some intrigue for this team, which has the foundation of a very good defense and a really solid running game with speed (C.J. Spiller) and versatility (Fred Jackson). Add some power with Tebow and you could really have something. Plus, Tebow would get to see the Jets twice a year.
4. San Francisco 49ers
Colin Kaepernick is the starter, no question. Alex Smith is probably on his way out (maybe to another team on this list?). I think Jim Harbaugh could find really creative ways to use Tebow. Plus, Kaepernick’s style puts him at greater risk for injury.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have an established QB, but I think that they could find creative ways to use Tebow as well. They are not likely to make this move, but I find this to be a personall intriguing fit. Ben Roethlisberger is injury prone as well, though he typically fights through injuries. I compared Tebow to Roethlisberger coming out of college.
6. Philadelphia Eagles
It will be Nick Foles and a big question mark at the QB position with a new head coach next year. Maybe their new head coach (presumably) will want to add Tebow to the fray, though this wouldn’t be a very healthy environment for him.
7. Wherever Josh McDaniels goes
If anywhere. His name is being brought up for head coaching vacancies again, and maybe he will want to actually get a chance to use the guy he traded three picks to get in the 2010 draft.