What a year for Tim Tebow.
At the end of the 2011-12 season, Tebow was the starting quarterback for the AFC West champion Broncos. He put up over 300 yards passing in a dramatic playoff overtime win against the Steelers and was adored by NFL fans across the country.
Fast-forward a year.
Tebow was traded from Denver to the New York Jets in order to make room for the great Peyton Manning. In New York, many assumed Tebow would beat out struggling, butt-fumbling incumbent quarterback Mark Sanchez for the starting job. He didn’t even come close to it.
Tebow barely saw the field this past season. He was used sparingly as a wild-cat quarterback, and most of his playing time came as a punt-protector on the Jets special teams unit. The media bombarded coach Rex Ryan with questions about why Tebow wasn’t being used more, but all Ryan would say is that “the best players will play.” With how terrible Sanchez was last year, that’s saying something.
As the season came to a close, Tebow’s future with the Jets was unclear at best. When New York drafted West Virginia Quarterback Geno Smith in last week’s draft, Tebow's time with Gang Green was done. He was released by the Jets on Monday.
So what will Tebow do next? One coach and scout after another has publicly said Tebow just doesn’t have the arm to play quarterback in the NFL. The Jets tried to trade him before the draft, but no team was willing to pick up Tebow and the media circus that accompanies him everywhere he goes.
Rumors said the Chargers, Bears, and Jaguars were interested in Tebow, but all three teams have publicly shot down those rumors. The verdict on Tebow is clear: He’s simply not a talented enough quarterback to put up with all of the media attention and distractions he brings to a team.
The key here is that he’s not a talented enough quarterback. Aside from his poor throwing abilities, Tebow is a big, strong, and athletic player. This might be the key to Tebow’s future NFL career.
Many scouts have said Tebow could be an ideal H-back, fullback, or tight end in the NFL. He’s been stubborn about the idea of switching positions in the past, but he might just be desperate enough now to do it. If Tebow publicly states that he’d be willing to sign with an NFL team at a position other than quarterback, he might find a team or two calling him pretty quickly.
Although most of the league has written Tebow off, there is one team I think would be willing to give Tebow a shot: The New England Patriots.
The move would make tons of sense for both sides. Bill Belichick can suppress a media circus like few men in history can. Josh McDaniels, the coach who drafted Tebow in Denver, is New England’s offensive coordinator. Tom Brady is eternally entrenched as the starting quarterback in New England, so there is no chance of quarterback controversy rumors. New England’s coaching staff is among the most brilliant in the league. If anyone can get production out of Tebow, it’s them.
Belichick has shown he’s willing to take risks on controversial players in the past. He’s done it with Chad Johnson, Albert Haynesworth, Aqib Talib, and Legarrette Blount, to name a few.
Why not Tebow add Tebow to the list? I really don’t see the media attention causing problems in New England. The worst thing that can happen is Tebow doesn’t pan out and Patriots cut him. But if he does pan out, Belichick will add a solid player to his team and another stroke of genius to his résumé.