Is all the hype, attention, and drama surrounding Tim Tebow’s three-year NFL career finally over?
In the most telling sign to date, the quarterback’s camp privately told ESPN’s David Fleming they believe his NFL career is done.
And Fleming writes that the 2007 Heisman Trophy award winner’s obsessive media base is at least partly to blame.
“It's nearly impossible to find a teammate who will say anything bad about Tebow as a person—or a scout who will say anything good about him as a player,” the ESPN reporter writes. “But the sports masses mostly side with the NFL personnel people. It's embarrassing and exhausting to discuss him, which makes it official: Tim Tebow has jumped the shark.”
In a later excerpt from Fleming’s column, well-respected former NFL coach Tony Dungy broke down Tebow’s situation from the standpoint of an organization’s front office.
"There's no going halfway with Tebow anymore," Dungy said. "You either gotta sell out and give him the keys to your team or stay away. Because, unfortunately, there's too much attention for him to be a regular, developing backup like everyone else."
The New York Jets learned that last season, after trading for Tebow in an attempt to either generate media headlines or light a fire under starting quarterback Mark Sanchez. Overall, the headlines were too distracting for the Jets and Tebow managed a measly 39 passing yards all season.
And despite a fairly successful 2011 season in which he led the Denver Broncos on an improbable late season run – one that culminated with an overtime win against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the playoffs – most scouts had already made up their minds on the quarterback before “Tebowmania” officially took over.
"He's not a quarterback. When you look at his run two years ago, when you watch the tape and break it down, he wasn't really doing anything that impressive,” a scout said. “He's a tough guy, a great leader, a great person. But he isn't a good enough quarterback to have all the distractions that come with him."
If Tebow’s name never showed up on an NFL roster again, the former Florida Gator would finish his NFL career with 35 games of action, just over 2,400 yards passing on a 47.9 completion percentage, 17 touchdown passes and nine interceptions.
He has also rushed for just under 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns.