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.