Tim Tebow: Which Team Could He Play For in 2012?
Following are some of my thoughts on who Tebow could land with and make them better, now and for the future.
But first let's eliminate a few where we know he won't be headed to.
San Francisco 49ers: After having a Hall of Fame quarterback in Steve Young, they have no real taste for a running, scrambling quarterback. They will stick with a draft pick, Alex Smith or a has-been on the rounds looking to next year's draft.
Seattle Seahawks: They signed Flynn—story over.
St. Louis Rams: They don't need a quarterback; they need an offensive line and help for a good quarterback.
Oakland Raiders: Bad fit. They have signed Carson Palmer and are happy, and they should be.
Indianapolis Colts: No, they have the luck of drafting Luck. Though fans of Manning don't wish Andrew Luck ill luck, they wouldn't mind if the Colts suffer for a few years without Peyton.
The Jets have Sanchez, for now, and the delusion they will beat New England sometime this decade for the AFC East.
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Minnesota has a real problem with its quartet of underperformers.
Sage Rosenfels, for his 12 years, is on the way out and can't carry a team to the playoffs, let alone be a future franchise quarterback.
Joe Webb, in three years, can't beat out Rosenfels, and McLeod Bethel-Thompson didn't play at the level necessary to carry a team.
Christian Ponder has potential.
He has a good blood line from Florida State but he didn't perform and do what Tebow has done, and he brings virtually nothing to the front office in terms of ticket sales and memorabilia sales. Tebow's jersey is sold out, Ponder's is still on the shelves. No, they are still in the boxes in the back room.
Tebow brings $6-10 million in additional sales from fans nationwide. Bring Tebow in for a third-round draft pick and put everyone else up but Ponder for trade. The money is a plus, the publicity is a plus, and Minnesota could be back in the winning column again.
Tebow could make a significant impact in the land of dauntless Vikings; we will see if they have the patience to work with him to make him one of their own.
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Tennessee has Matt Hasselbeck and at 14 years and counting, the clock is ticking. But the key here is Hasselbeck has the experience to tutor a Tim Tebow, who could come in and provide an alternative to Jake Locker, with Rusty Smith heading out the door.
The question is would Tebow be willing to compete for the No. 2 job, and when Hasselbeck leaves, compete for the No. 1?
I think Tebow has the work ethic to be the No. 3 on the Titans. Give him a couple years to mature into an NFL quarterback and he could do it.
He is humble, a hard worker and developing the skills of Ty Detmer in reading offenses and defenses. He could be the best No. 3 in the league and, with a little effort, in a couple years be able to compete with anyone. All he needs is that chance to improve in a situation that is home to him.
Tennessee is close to his home in Jacksonville, and the audience is a natural to bring him back into the South where a little praying now and then is seen as a good thing. In Nashville Tebow gets the style points and supportive fans he would need to bring him along in a system that would mature him.
And, you never know, if Hasselbeck gets hurt, Tebow does have the ability to pull of wins that otherwise the world is betting against him.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Tampa Bay is another southern team that might be a great home for Tim Tebow. Here is another team with four quarterbacks who are not producing. A middle-round draft pick could bring in Tebow, who would arguably be better than all four of those in Tampa. And he has playoff experience.
The mobility of Tebow would make up for a lot of weaknesses in Tampa Bay and give the the Bucs an opportunity to use their high draft picks to get additional skill players or beef up the offense surrounding Tebow.
Again he would bring dollars in the front door and fans nationwide. That is something Tampa Bay needs desperately.
With Tebow, win or lose, Tampa Bay gets on the map, in the press and noticed for more than the departure of Hall of Famers like Steve Young and Tony Dungy.
They need a marquee that draws fans and followers nationwide. Tampa Bay can afford the experiment for at least three years with Tebow. If it loses, it will still have a larger fanbase than it has now simply because of Tebow, and in the process pick up the draft picks it needs to surround him with all the quality he needs to win.
If on the other hand Tebow continues to improve, he may lead the Bucs to the playoffs more than once in those three years. Who knows, with a little "Tebowing" miracle or two, he could end up winning more than anyone knows.
After all, who thought Denver could make the playoffs last year with a start of 1-4, and who thought Denver could beat the Steelers in a postseason playoff game? Tim Tebow did. That's the kind of fate Tampa Bay needs.