The internet is going to collapse on itself. The two most-trafficked NFL stories of last year, Peyton Manning’s injury and resulting move to another team, and the Tim Tebow phenomenon, have collided when the Hall of Fame QB made his decision to direct his agent to negotiate a contract with Denver this morning.
From a football perspective, it’s a relative no-brainer to bring in Manning. What of the teams that just missed out on Manning? Are there any that might be interested in a Tim Tebow trade and all that brings with it?
The problem with acquiring Tebow, of course, is that a) you instantly get pressure from a vocal minority to play him, and b) you have to adapt the offense to what he can do (move around, run, throw deep passes with limited reads) and can’t do (throw with accuracy when forced to read defenses, get rid of the ball quickly, etc). Denver adapted because they had to, not because they wanted to. Other teams have that choice. They may not want to commit to that.
Here are a list of teams where Tebow would arguably at least be able to compete for touches if a team was willing to adapt, based on who’s there:
- New York Jets
- Miami Dolphins
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Cleveland Browns
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Minnesota Vikings
- San Francisco 49ers (if Smith signs elsewhere)
I don’t see the 49ers going down that path, even if Smith signs, though it would be a choice of Kaepernick, acquiring someone else (Josh Johnson’s name comes up because of ties to Harbaugh), or Tebow. We already know that Tebow is great in the final two minutes of 13-10 games, but I doubt the 49ers want that after coming up short after Manning.
Jacksonville and Minnesota have young quarterbacks who looked far from certain of ever being a good starter in this league, but would have to commit to Tebow. Probably not, though the Florida factor cannot be overruled.
Kansas City just brought in Tebow’s buddy Brady Quinn as a backup to Matt Cassel (yummy!). Probably not happening there, though Tebow’s ability to open running lanes because edge defenders fear his running ability would be insane with Jamaal Charles, and it’s not like Matt Cassel is any good.
Cleveland is trying to run a West Coast system, not going to happen unless they decide to scrap it for a year, let Tebow come in to replace Colt, and try to find a passer next year.
The Jets are committed to Sanchez, sort of. Tebow and Sanchez combined would probably get them over the hump, since the combination of a quarterback good enough to get a team to two championship games and one good enough to make the playoffs and create fumbles and missed field goals should create magic.
Then there’s Miami. Could any organization be having a worse
decade year month? They had a Tebow day last year when he came in, for heaven’s sakes. He’s from Florida, and the fan base would likely go crazy for a little bit, after all the perceived failures of recent years. It would have to be a PR play and come from ownership, though. Joe Philbin was just hired from Green Bay and I guarantee you he wants nothing to do with Tebow running his offense.
In the end, there are a few teams where it might make sense short term for one season, because their QB situation is such that a 48% passer who can make plays with his feet and has good leadership ability would help. The Broncos aren’t getting much if they trade him, though. I’m not sure any team wants to deal with altering their team for multiple years for Tebow.
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