The common thread between Tim Tebow and Colin Kaepernick

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It’s easy to point to the anticipated signing of Tim Tebow by the Jaguars and then point out the ongoing shunning of Colin Kaepernick. On the surface, there’s some basic merit to the double standard arising from Tebow finding a past back to pro football while Kaepernick still waits.

When it comes to Kaepernick, the best argument for not signing him is that he hasn’t played in four years. The fact that eight seasons have passed since Tebow played in a regular-season game — he last played in 2012, the season Kaepernick first became a starter — makes the “Kaepernick hasn’t played in four years” excuse ring hollow.

But Tebow was shunned for twice the time Kaepernick has been frozen out of the game. Some still insist that Tebow lost his NFL job due to his Christianity, an argument that overlooks the extent to which coaches and players and others in the league openly embrace it.

For Tebow, his superstardom made it impossible to have him on a team in a backup role. And he was a superstar. The Broncos experienced nothing like Tebowmania. He was bigger than Peyton Manning, Von Miller, or any other star players Denver has had in recent years.

Indeed, when Tebow made the rounds at the Indianapolis Super Bowl following the 2011 season, I saw people in the media center brush past Joe Montana in order to chase Tebow.

After his failed stint with the Jets, the concern became that making Tebow a backup would invite constant pressure to then make him the starter. Also, the fact that he was a very poor practice player kept him from helping other players prepare for games.

So why is he back? He’s back because Urban Meyer became the coach of the Jaguars. Meyer is the one coach who would have signed Tebow.

Indeed, if Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh would have become the Jaguars coach, Harbaugh quite possibly would have signed Kaepernick, given the numerous times Harbaugh has gushed about Kaepernick over the past four years, based on their time together in San Francisco.

So that’s the common thread. The Jaguars hired the one coach most likely to sign Tebow, not the one coach most likely to sign Kaepernick. If/when an NFL team hires Harbaugh, that’s when Kaepernick could get another chance.

55 responses to “The common thread between Tim Tebow and Colin Kaepernick

  1. Tebow is also not being signed as a QB…. that’s a significant detail to ignore in the comparison. No one wants Tebow as a qb (then and now) because he can’t pass the ball. This isn’t about race or faith, it’s about ability to play a position on the football field in a professional manner.

  2. Some still insist that Kaepernick lost his NFL job due to his Wokeness, an argument that overlooks the extent to which coaches and players and others in the league openly embrace it.

    There…fixed it for you.

  3. Record in final starting season as NFL starting QB: Tebow 8-5, Kaepernick 1-10.

  4. Kap got benched for Blaine Gabbert. He couldn’t throw passes into tight windows and once NFL defenses figured out how to neutralize the run/pass option without opening huge passing lanes for him down the seems, he was rendered pretty much useless, and, I repeat, he was then benched for Blaine freaking Gabbert.

  5. Tim Tebow also never insulted police officers, wore a Fidel Castro shirt in Miami, or had a girlfriend call Ray Lewis an Uncle Tom.

  6. Tebow has been out of Football for 8 years, but he has been a professional athlete in the interim. It’s a different skillset, obviously, but I don’t think there are questions about him being out of shape or disinterested in competing.
    Maybe if Kaepernick played in one of the multiple non-NFL football leagues that have sprung up in the last few years or let teams know he was willing to play a different position that better matched his abilities, he would get more looks.

  7. “But Tebow was shunned for twice the time Kaepernick has been frozen out of the game.”
    ——————-

    Are you intentionally ignoring the NFL-scheduled workout with multiple team scouts in 2019, specifically and only for Kaepernick, than he SKIPPED OUT at the very last minute?

    At least Tebow had the decency to show up for a couple of Jaguar tryouts. It’s ridiculous to claim you didn’t get a job even though you didn’t bother to show up for the job interview…

  8. There is no common thread. Whether or not there is agreement about Kap’s beliefs or actions, he was blackballed. Tebow was an inadequate Q’B, as a starter or sub. And Urban Meyer has had success ever in the NFL? And he is running the team?

  9. “If/when an NFL team hires Harbaugh, that’s when Kaepernick could get another chance.”

    Kaepernick had “another chance” when the Broncos made him an offer a few years ago (which he turned down). Kaepernick had “another chance” when the NFL set up a special workout just for him to showcase his talents for the whole NFL (which he backed out of at the last minute).
    The NFL isn’t shunning Kaepernick, he’s shunning the NFL. Multiple teams would sign him tomorrow if he was willing to take a 1 year prove-it contract and compete for a starting spot. It’s obvious he doesn’t want to play, and people need to respect that and stop acting like he’s out there doing everything he can to get on a team.
    Tebow has spent the last 8 years still trying to compete professionally (MLB), he didn’t make the cut there either and now he’s going to try to become a tight end NOT a quarterback. Kaepernick is still trying to be a QB (theoretically). The similarities between Tebow and Kaepernick end at- they both washed out as starting QBs. Everything beyond that is such a false comparison.

  10. jameshodges says:
    Tim Tebow also never insulted police officers, wore a Fidel Castro shirt in Miami, or had a girlfriend call Ray Lewis an Uncle Tom.
    ===============

    So you agree the reasons are not about football.

  11. Tebow also hasn’t made outrageous financial demands before signing. He’s trying to make an NFL roster regardless of his original position.
    The other guy? He wants/wanted to be paid at level beyond his performance.

  12. Nice article Florio. I love mixing sports and politics. A lot of great athletes become politicians, and we are the voters, so that means we’re ok with it, too. This is a very interesting era in American history. A huge percentage of Americans are ready to quit on democracy and go to some type of dictatorship. That’s what 40 years of gutting education spending will do. Never been so polarized. Lying has become normal for lots of people. Lots of people are so traumatized by their own ideology, they aren’t even sure when they’re lying or telling the truth. Lying has become ok. Remember Jim Jones and the death cult in Guyana that drank the deadly Kool Aid and fed it to their kids? I’ve seen a lot of Kool Aid drinking lately.

  13. Wow. Kudos to Florio. This isn’t the CK7/TT15 comparison I was expecting, but it’s probably the one I deserve.

  14. Tebow was bigger than Manning and Von Miller?? Not even close. Elway, Manning and Miller are all on the Denver Mt. Rushmore. Tebow was simply a footnote. I’m a life-long Broncos fan, former season ticket holder and experienced all three, in person. Tebow was not bigger than either of them. Not even close. He was cringy to watch and we all just hoped he would not embarrass us too bad. He usually did. Anyone remember the game against KC where he went 2 for 8 passing for 69 yards and 44 yds rushing. It was one of the most embarrassing game in Denver history – most people forget Denver won that game it was so embarrassing. To the MEDIA he was bigger than life. The MEDIA were the ones who dubbed it “Tebow-mania.” Nobody here in Denver thought that.

  15. wj24 is right, there is no common thread here. One plays a QB, one plays a TE (now). This fact is something the majority of society will brush off as unrelated. But, that’s exactly why there is no comparison to make here. Kaepernick’s story is unique to him, as Tebow’s is to him. In other news, Jacksonville is well on their way to a 4-13 record with this bush league move.

  16. They have 1 thing in common. Both are not NFL qbs. Tebow wasn’t signed to play qb. I think anyone with common sense recognize Tebow was signed to be a lockeroom presence. Not play football.

  17. The difference between Tebow & Kaepernick is the difference between Jesus Christ & the Devil.
    It’s not difficult to determine who is which.

  18. “When it comes to Kaepernick, the best argument for not signing him is that he hasn’t played in four years”. No, the best argument for not signing Kapernick is that he’s an inaccurate passer, went 1-10 in his final season in the NFL, and chose to use his “superstar platform” to facilitate political change rather than practice his profession to become a better football player.

    The guy doesn’t want to play professional football, and has proved it time and again by ignoring opportinuties to compete in other leagues, or attend a tryour specifically scheduled for his benefit.

    Say what you want about Tebow, when he joins a team he is all-in, he works hard every day, and he is constantly focused on sport and team. The knock on Kapernick, and the reason he will never again see an NFL roster, is simple: he would rather focus on social issues and outside distractions than becoming a better player or competitor.

  19. Here’s where the article went side ways …

    “When it comes to Kaepernick, the best argument for not signing him is that he hasn’t played in four years.”

    Not true at all. The best argument for not signing him is his talent level doesn’t warrant a starting position or commensurate salary. Period.

    To complicate matters it finishes with …

    “So that’s the common thread. The Jaguars hired the one coach most likely to sign Tebow, not the one coach most likely to sign Kaepernick. If/when an NFL team hires Harbaugh, that’s when Kaepernick could get another chance.”

    So apparently it has zero to do with skin color on the Tebow commonalities and more to do with teams not having the correct coach.

  20. jameshodges says:
    May 11, 2021 at 5:03 pm
    Tim Tebow also never insulted police officers, wore a Fidel Castro shirt in Miami, or had a girlfriend call Ray Lewis an Uncle Tom.
    __________________________________________
    Spot on, Castro was just as much as a monster as Stalin, Hitler and mao. Why some people give a pass to Castro t-shirts is beyond me. He was an absolute monster who stated he was willing to obliterate his own country if it aided in the destruction on the US.

  21. Tebow and Kapernick were 2 quarterbacks shunned for different reasons but shunned nonetheless, and the only way either would get a shot is from a personal connection to a Head Coach, which happens to work out for Tebow. But great summary of the situation Florio! Like many personnel decisions, this is a personal one, not one based out of undeniable merit, and that is hardly a new concept.

  22. MD says:
    May 11, 2021 at 5:01 pm
    Some still insist that Kaepernick lost his NFL job due to his Wokeness, an argument that overlooks the extent to which coaches and players and others in the league openly embrace it.

    ================

    Sigh

    It couldn’t possibly be the team going 2-14 his last year in the NFL and losing his job to Blaine Gabbert … Blaine Gabbert

    All this on the heels of the team going 5-11 the year before and 8-8 the year before that. Delusional fans tend to forget that there were 3 years removed from his SB appearance where he was borderline average. And yes, staying healthy (despite being more RB than QB) is part of the equation as well. If you aren’t sure you don’t have to go any further than the same team with Garoppolo to see how that plays itself out.

  23. The only real common thread they have is neither one is a very good passer.

  24. Pretty sad the extent you’ll go to for this “comparison”. The nfl and some of its teams have put in a lot of effort to try to get Kaepernick am oopportunity. Tebow was internationally disregarded.

  25. Tim Tebow has always conducted himself as a gentleman. Crapanick is a communist loving bag of crap. He doesn’t want to play he just wants to play victim. That joke of a “tryout” he pulled said it all. The NFL is better without him and his Castro shirt and pig socks. What a joke.

  26. Sometimes it’s about who you know, but again this is a try out for a job, not a promised roster spot where he’s the go to TE. This story is being made bigger than it should be, it would be like a basketball player getting a tryout at TE

  27. jameshodges says:
    May 11, 2021 at 5:03 pm
    Tim Tebow also never insulted police officers, wore a Fidel Castro shirt in Miami, or had a girlfriend call Ray Lewis an Uncle Tom.

    =================

    If Tebow was a talented QB nobody would give 2 fig newtons about his religious beliefs.

    If Kaepernick was a talented QB nobody would give 2 fig newtons about his political beliefs.

    Holding onto moral superiority over political ignorance isn’t any more of a problem than if it was reversed.

  28. It’s ridiculous to think that some people actually believe that Tebow was somehow blackballed because of his religious beliefs. There are MANY openly Christian NFL players. No one cared that Tebow was a Christian. He just wasn’t good enough. And if he was, someone would’ve kept him as a QB. The NFL is too concerned with winning and money to jettison a guy like Tebow.

  29. dangguy says:
    May 11, 2021 at 5:45 pm
    Tim Tebow has always conducted himself as a gentleman. Crapanick is a communist loving bag of crap. He doesn’t want to play he just wants to play victim. That joke of a “tryout” he pulled said it all. The NFL is better without him and his Castro shirt and pig socks. What a joke.

    ==============

    Tebow 10 style points
    Kaepernick 0 style points

    sheesh

  30. karmakalled says:
    May 11, 2021 at 5:41 pm
    MD says:
    May 11, 2021 at 5:01 pm
    Some still insist that Kaepernick lost his NFL job due to his Wokeness, an argument that overlooks the extent to which coaches and players and others in the league openly embrace it.

    ================

    Sigh

    It couldn’t possibly be the team going 2-14 his last year in the NFL and losing his job to Blaine Gabbert … Blaine Gabbert

    All this on the heels of the team going 5-11 the year before and 8-8 the year before that. Delusional fans tend to forget that there were 3 years removed from his SB appearance where he was borderline average. And yes, staying healthy (despite being more RB than QB) is part of the equation as well. If you aren’t sure you don’t have to go any further than the same team with Garoppolo to see how that plays itself out.

    ===========

    I think you’ve entirely missed the point of my post.

  31. Tebow is humble and is willing to do what it takes to earn a roster spot at an essentially entry level salary.

    Kaepernick is expecting a starting position with the salary that comes along with it.

  32. The main difference is that Tebow realizes he can’t play QB in the NFL and is finally willing to try another position.

  33. Well we all kmnew this article was coming. The only thing they have in commmon is they both stink at playoing QB. Kaep was benched BEFORE he ever took a knee, why does everybody seem to forget this?

  34. Tebow has what Kap doesn’t: Charisma. Also, Tebow’s not demanding $20M a year as a starting QB. Tebow, I’m sure, will get the league veteran minimum and not complain.

  35. To repeat what a few have said this might actually be something if Tebow was signed as a QB, he was not he is trying out for TE, I must have missed the part where Kap was willing to play another position. This is just the activist players driving more people away from the game (just like the NBA) with there completely falsified news.

  36. Tebow was signed by his college coach for what amounts to a tryout, at a different position, with no guarantees, and he accepted this. No other team in the NFL would have given him a second look. This isn’t “the NFL” giving Tebow another chance, it’s one guy.

    Kaepernick, all along, demanded to be paid as a starter and to be given a chance to compete to start, despite years of mediocre play leading up to his exit from the league.

    If the demands/expectations of these two guys were reversed, it’s very likely Tebow would be ignored and Kaepernick would have been given a shot somewhere. I can’t think of a single player who has made Kaepernick’s demands – along with insulting owners with accusations about their character – and gotten signed by anyone.

    So there still isn’t really a comparison for Kaepernick, and that’s still of his own doing.

  37. So if Harbaugh does return to coaching in NFL and he doesn’t get Kaepernick on his team, then what?….will there be one article about why Kaepernick is not in the league?….,or maybe you will address the cons of having Kaepernick on board, such as what has been mentioned in previous comments, i.e. Castro, Ray Lewis/uncle Tom, calling cops “slave trackers, etc.?

  38. Or maybe if Kaepernick didn’t make a mockery of his chance to showcase what he may still have left by changing venues last second, he could have proven whether or not he is still an NFL caliber QB. This is all on Kaepernick. That’s not to mention his last year starting 1-10 and being benched for Blaine Gabbert prior to the kneeling for the National Anthem. His benching had nothing to do with kneeling. It had all to do with poor performance and not being able to win football games.

  39. Kaep was benched before he took a knee because they didn’t want him getting hurt so they could release him from his contract

    And why are we cherry picking their final season as starters? Kaep took that team to the SB. By the time of his final season that roster was absolute dog shiz. Tebow went 8-5 and got demolished by the Pats in the playoffs with a roster that Manning won a SB with and set offensive records with. Context matters. If RG3 can be a backup in this league this so can Kaep.

  40. I’m a firm believer that kapernick never cared about the police.

    He was just pouting because he got benched. Then it morphed into something bigger than him.

  41. I think what happened to Kaep is gross, and this Tim Tebow stuff is a clown show — but what do they have to do with each other? This is silly.

  42. Hmmmm here I thought the common thread was neither of them are thought of as NFL qbs by any team.

  43. We hate to admit it, but Kaepernick was right. Dude is an international hero. Very unpopular among Nazi’s, but popular with everyone else.

  44. The best argument for not signing Kaepernick is that he’s a lousy quarterback.

    During the Super Bowl season Kaep wasn’t the starter until the ninth game, and he greatly benefitted from a defense ranked #2 and Frank Gore in his prime. Kaep had only two 16-game seasons, and never threw as much as 3,500 yards: the first one got the ‘niners to the NFC Championship game behind only 3200 passing yards, and the second 16-game season ‘niners lost half of them. He got benched during the following season for Blaine Gabbert. The season after that, he lost the starting job after game 2 of the pre-season…to BLAINE GABBERT. He still had to start 11 games due to injury, lost TEN of them.

    I’ve watched Kaep play, lots of times. He does not pass my eyeball test.

  45. It seems respect and manners still do go along way in these United States

  46. Tebow will play special teams and, Kaepernick will not. Now let’s talk money and demands to start…..

  47. If Kaep were to show up for a workout and agree to league minimum to compete in training camp for a backup job on a team like the Ravens, he’d probably have a job.

  48. Tebow also, you know, is CHANGING POSITIONS. Is Kaep gonna come back and play WR?

  49. Honestly, if you ignore the political angle their careers were quite similar. Both had their shots and looked good at times early on (with Kaep looking a lot better at his peak) but then fell off/never developed further and thus lost their jobs.

  50. Its amazing people that can log a post can’t do a simple google search on stats…Kap was hardly washed up or out….facts:What was Colin Kaepernick’s quarterback rating in 2016?
    Passing
    Year Age Rate
    2013 26 91.6
    2014 27 86.4
    2015 28 78.5
    2016 29 90.1
    career comp.perct. 59.75

    Tebow
    2011 72.9
    2010 82.1

    career comp.perct. 47

    Tebow sucked…Kap didn’t. However, I believe everyone is entitled to live their lives and realize their dreams. I am all for Tebow getting a shot…just like I am sure Kap got blackballed then made so much coin while not playing football the risk reward ratio was not enough to go back to play for less than starter money. He makes more than back ups from Nike annually so why get the snot kicked out of you for less money? I would call Kap the smart one…and Tebow realizing his dreams..nothing wrong with either. None of us know whats in Tebow or Kap’s head. Wish them the best and enjoy the show.

  51. Fell off…Kaps last year passer rating was above 90 and his second highest. We have a lot of revisionist historians. Check the tape please and don’t let the facts get in the way of your opinion….lol.

  52. I stand corrected his 2016 year was his 3rd best rating of his career which proves the point even more…he was getting better with a lousy team that changed management and coaching staffs. He asked for his release because he was not going to get resigned and the rest is history…Tim Tebow wasn’t anywhere close to Kap as a player…its not even comparable in the pros….Now in college he was a total beast….I’m done now…enjoy.

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