You are the Jacksonville Jaguars. You won two games last year, and five in 2011. The last time you made the playoffs was 2007. You've won one playoff game since the 1999 season. When fans around the league talk about your franchise it usually has to do with when and where you will be relocated. After neither drafting nor signing a quarterback of note this off-season, you will begin 2013 with some combination of Chad Henne, Blaine Gabbert, Matt Scott, and Jordan Palmer under center. Why would adding Tim Tebow be such a bad idea?
Jags owner Shad Khan expressed fascination with the continued questions about Tebow when he talked to the media at Tuesday's NFL Career Development Symposium. Khan wondered why of the roughly 3,000 players in the league he continues to get questions about mainly one guy, Tebow.
The answer is clear. Khan's team hasn't been very good and most observers don't think the quarterbacks on his roster are the long term solution. Even if Tebow isn't the answer, wouldn't he be worth adding?
New Jacksonville general manager David Caldwell, who has said the team is not interested in Tebow, added corner Marcus Trufant on Tuesday. Trufant is a capable if not spectacular player who is familiar with Jags coach Gus Bradley from their time together in Seattle. Trufant will probably start for the Jaguars but will likely not change the team's fortunes significantly. He is unlikely to sell any tickets.
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Tebow might not win any games either, but the Jacksonville native will certainly sell tickets. This is important for a team that has struggled to generate buzz and give fans a reason to attend games. Furthermore, Tebow will help generate interest in local team television and radio shows plus he will help sell apparel.
The notion that Tebow would become a distraction is ridiculous. First, he didn't seem to distract anybody when he was winning a playoff game for the Broncos two years ago, and second, distract them from what? Is his presence going to be so negative that they fall from two wins to one?
At worst, Tebow plays poorly, or sits on the bench, the team struggles, there is mild support from the fan base about his presence, and the team loses enough games to be able to draft Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota. At best, he plays well, the team and community rally around the forgotten franchise, and there is a ray of sunshine around the Jaguars for the first time since Mark Brunell, James Stewart and Jimmy Smith were around.
I recognize that most people don't think Tebow can play quarterback. In Jacksonville's case, what difference does it make? The goal is to win in the long term and whether it be Tebow or Henne under center, the likelihood is neither will do a lot of winning. If getting a top draft pick is the means to the end, sell a bunch of uniforms and concessions with Tebow doing the losing in the interim. At least the team would be relevant and more profitable that way.