The hammer has been dropped. Peyton Manning will reportedly take his talents to Mile High and join the Denver Broncos, pending contract negotiations. Broncos fans are definitely rejoicing right now, as they may be getting arguably the best QB of his generation, as well as one of the all-time greats.
One person who does not have a smile on his face right now is the Broncos' starting QB from last season, Tim Tebow.
Tebow took the reins for the Broncos after they started off the season 1-4. With the help of great defensive play, he guided them into the playoffs, where they pulled off a huge upset, knocking off the Steelers in the first round. Ultimately, they lost in the second round to the Patriots.
The feeling was that Tebow was going to get his shot at being the starting QB in Denver, but as soon as Manning became available, that all changed.
He now finds himself on the trade block, waiting to find out where he will play football next season.
Believe what you want, but Tim Tebow brings something unique to a franchise. And if all the pieces come together and the team buys into what Tebow does, the ceiling could be a lot higher than many of you might think.
Who are some possible suitors for Tebow? Let's find out.
The first team many people will mention is the Jacksonville Jaguars. For good reason, too. You could make a good case for Tim Tebow going to the Jaguars.
First off, the team is having trouble selling seats on game day. With Tebow comes his loyal legion of fans. Those fans will fill up the stadium. So from a business point of view, it makes perfect sense for them to get Tim.
Tebow is well-known in the state of Florida; there should be no reason he can't bring tons of attention to the Jaguars, creating a steady stream of revenue for the team.
When it comes to on-the-field production, it could be a good fit for him as well.
Tebow is a great leader. He brings confidence, toughness and belief (not just religious), among other qualities, to a team. The Jaguars would benefit from all those things.
If you were to transform the offense into something like what they had in Denver, it works. Maurice Jones-Drew is one of the best running backs in the league, so if run is the direction you are going to go with, it makes sense.
The receiving corps could use some help, however. Despite the signing of Laurent Robinson in free agency, the Jaguars still need to add more weapons in the passing game.
Robinson is still a question mark as a receiver. He had a solid year last season, but before that, the numbers don't really jump off the board.
Mike Thomas is a good, young receiver and Marcedes Lewis is a solid, young tight end. And while MJD can catch the ball out of the backfield, adding at least one more weapon would do this team a lot of good.
You could take a shot at restricted free agent Mike Wallace but you would have to surrender a first-round pick, and the No. 7 pick is not one I'd be okay with giving up. Yes, Wallace is a solid receiver, and yes, he could be very deadly on a long bomb with Tim Tebow, but worth surrendering that high of a pick? I wouldn't think so.
The Jags could hope that Justin Blackmon falls to them at No. 7, but with Cleveland and St. Louis both picking ahead of Jacksonville, I wouldn't count on it.
They could trade down and get multiple picks for their No. 7, including one that they use to select Michael Floyd from Notre Dame.
There are also some veteran WRs out there that they could take a chance on.
If Tebow can instill the very underrated Jags defense with the confidence and toughness he did with the Broncos, this could be a team to watch out for.
Assuming they do add another piece to the passing game, what kind of impact could Tebow have?
Predicted Record: 9-7, Possible Wild-Card Team
Tim Tebow could do a lot with Jacksonville; it's just a matter of the Jaguars going out and getting him.
With all the talk about the Miami Dolphins going out there and getting a quarterback this offseason, it hasn't exactly gone as planned, has it?
Peyton Manning did not take his talents to South Beach. Matt Flynn, whom most felt was a lock to be a Dolphin, ended up going to Seattle.
The Dolphins did go out and get David Garrard to join Matt Moore in Miami. Moore and Garrard, huh? The question is, why wouldn't they go out and grab Tim Tebow?
The question then becomes, what pieces can they still bring in to help Tim Tebow? Brian Hartline and Davone Bess are the top two receivers at the moment, with Anthony Fasano the feature tight end.
Anybody remember Braylon Edwards? Well, he's still out there on the free-agent market. Hines Ward, Jerome Simpson, Steve Smith—all still out there.
Edwards has always had all the potential to be great and has constantly underachieved, failing to reach it.
Ward is a veteran receiver who is better known for his rough style and blocking than his receiving. He could be a good receiver to have when Tim Tebow decides to tuck and run with it.
Smith never really got a chance to do much with "The Dream Team." He could still make an impact for the Dolphins.
At 6'2" with exceptional athleticism and good hands, Simpson might be the most interesting option here. He's still young, so there's a chance for him to continue to develop. He might be a guy they could take a chance on.
There's always Mike Wallace, too, but much like the Jags' scenario, do you really want to surrender such a high pick to get him?
I would think Miami would bring in Ward to block for Tebow, if anything, along with one of the other three. You wouldn't really have a bona fide No. 1 receiver, but then again, were Eddie Royal, Eric Decker or Demaryius Thomas really that great? The jury is still out on that one.
With Reggie Bush in the backfield, a receiving corps that could still add some pieces, a good offensive line and one of the better defenses in the league, this move could have potential.
Predicted Record: 9-7, Possible Wild-Card Team
Much like the Jags' situation, they would probably be fighting for the Wild Card. As long as Tom Brady is still the Patriots' QB, there will be no power shift. Still, I do like this scenario and I think it could work.
Someone out there is saying, "The 49ers? What? Explain this one, please." I respond to that with, "Gladly."
Let's say Alex Smith does not go back to San Francisco and decides to pack his bags for Miami. That leaves the 49ers with a big gap at QB. Cue Tim Tebow?
Let's look at this for a second.
Frank Gore is the running back, and he can run the ball, as well as receive it out of the backfield.
Then look at the receiving corps. Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham, Randy Moss, Vernon Davis? Crabtree is a solid receiver, Manningham will finally have a chance to step up after being overshadowed by Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks in New York, Davis is as solid a tight end as you will find, and then, there's Randy Moss.
Moss is coming back to the NFL with something to prove. The last time we saw Moss, he was struggling. Does that mean the story will be different now? I certainly think so. As much as you don't want to pull the emotions card, Moss was hurt; he did a lot for the Pats and didn't get that contract he believed he deserved.
Moss is coming back focused and ready to go. What does that mean? It means you can expect the one-handed grabs, jump-ball catches and everything else you've come to expect of Randy. Moss is one of the greatest receivers to ever play the game, and he wants to remind everyone of that yet again.
Now the X-factor here is head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Look at what he did with Alex Smith. A guy who was labeled a bust before Harbaugh's arrival turned into a guy who outperformed Drew Brees in the closing moments of the NFC Divisional Game.
Harbaugh did an incredible job with Smith, and there is no doubt in my mind he can do the same for Tebow. Sometimes, it really is the coaching.
With that being said, think Tim Tebow with all the capability to run the ball that he has now, but instead of throwing passes that sometimes end up going nowhere, they are threaded right in there for the touchdown.
You wouldn't even have to transform the offense in that situation.
San Francisco benefits because they get a QB, and Tim Tebow benefits from a huge improvement to his passing ability.
Don't forget about the 49ers' great defense in all of this. With or without Tim's leadership, they would be as good as anybody.
What would the impact be?
Predicted Record: 14-2, Very Possible Super Bowl Trip
Not only would I look for the 49ers to have a solid year, but for Tim Tebow to have a great individual season. This move could really send the 49ers to Super Bowl. Oh, and how interesting would it be if the Broncos made it from the AFC? That would make for a hell of a storyline.
Assuming Ryan Fitzpatrick does not cut it, it could happen. The Bills are a young up-and-coming team with some potential in their division. Some good pieces around Tebow could turn Buffalo into a good team in a few years.
The Browns have not shown interest in Tim yet, but with a hole still to be filled at the QB position, he could become an option. Solid defense in Cleveland, but the offense needs help. Drafting Trent Richardson and some WR signings could do the trick.
Assuming Kevin Kolb and John Skelton don't get the job done, Tebow could be an interesting fit. Larry Fitzgerald has the best hands in the game and would definitely help Tebow. The Cardinals have a good defense, but Arizona's a tough place to play. It could make sense, to a point.