Now that Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has dropped to the bottom of the depth chart in Denver, there’s suddenly scuttlebutt and speculation that Tebow could be run out of town.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen isn’t buying it. He reported earlier tonight on Monday Night Countdown that the Broncos recently gave Tebow a check for $6.7 million, part of the guaranteed money in his first-round rookie deal. Said Mort of Tebow, “They’re not about to trade him, they’re not about to release him.”
But the question of whether to keep or to move Tebow depends on much more than $6.7 million that the Broncos committed to pay when they signed him in 2010. The issue is whether the Broncos believe Tebow has a future with the team, and whether they want to keep him around if they’ve concluded that he doesn’t.
Though it’s very possible that new coach John Fox has decided that he’s not a believer in Tebow, it would be a mistake to run him off right now. Success of the franchise in 2011 would make a Tebow trade an easier pill for the locals to swallow, and Tebow’s presence provides a little leverage in the looming contract talks with Kyle Orton, who’ll be a free agent after this season.
Then there’s the challenge of finding a trade partner. Unless former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels parlays one season as the Rams’ offensive coordinator into a second bite at the NFL apple, there may be no one who’d want Tebow.
In the end, this is simply another example of the reality that a new head coach wants his own guy at quarterback. Tebow was the last guy’s guy, which makes the new guy naturally less inclined to keep him around, absent a reason to believe that Tebow is the real deal.
If Fox thought that, Tebow wouldn’t have fallen behind Brady Quinn.