After an unexpectedly exciting run as the Broncos’ starter, Tebow time soon will be over in Colorado. The question becomes where it will continue.
With the Broncos reportedly not expecting much for the 2010 first-round pick, who has a contract tied in large part to actually playing in games, the Broncos could pull a reverse Manning, hand picking the next place where Tebow will play. All things being equal, it would be shrewd to send him to the city where’s he’ll be the least likely to prove the Broncos wrong for giving up on him.
Regardless, two teams should be at the front of the line for Tebow. (Do I need to mention them since they’re in the headline?)
In Jacksonville, the tarps would be put in storage until Tebow’s career ends, with Gator fans joining Jaguars fans and filling EverBank Field up like it only is when Florida plays Georgia there. Yeah, they signed Chad Henne last week. So what? This is Tim H. Tebow; he’s a phenomenon. Tebow gets acquired first for business reasons and second for football purposes.
If G.M. Gene Smith doesn’t like it, he can leave. (He may be leaving anyway after the draft, but that’s a rumor to be mongered later.) This is now owner Shad Khan’s show. While the competitive goal is to win championships, making money remains a key component in the ownership of a team. The Jaguars would make a lot more of it with Tebow.
The same thought process applies in South Florida. Last year, the ridiculous Florida reunion game at SunLife Stadum, which was held in the University of Miami’s stadium and which celebrated the starting quarterback of the visiting team, sold tickets. And that was Tebow’s first start of 2012. If they’d played that game later in the season, the place would have been full of Tebowmaniacs of every size, shape, and rooting interest.
Besides, at a time when a string of coaches and quarterbacks are telling owner Stephen Ross “no thanks,” Tebow cant’ turn down the Dolphins. He goes where the contract goes, and Tebow isn’t wired to gripe.
For that reason, don’t rule out the Patriots, who could trade for him and move him to a new position and cash in from Tebowmania while also being competitive. It’s not like he can make a case for sending Tom Brady to the bench, and Tebow would be reunited with Josh McDaniels, who drafted Tebow two years ago. So Tebow would have to smile and bear it, and play whenever and wherever he gets a chance. (Given Bill Belichick’s fondness for two-way players, Tebow could also play a little linebacker, in theory.)
While the Broncos retain the exclusive ability to do whatever they want with Tebow, we fully expect the league office to work behind the scenes to place Tebow in the city that meshes with the league’s best interests. In New England, they don’t need Tebow in order to sell tickets; in Jacksonville and Miami, they do.
And even though the chase for a championship fuels the passions of the fans, it means nothing unless it can be converted into cold hard cash. That’s why the Jaguars and Dolphins should be salivating over the prospect of bringing Tebowmania to town, permanently.