Tim Tebow to Packers: Why This Move Actually Makes Sense
With the signing of Peyton Manning to a monster deal, Bronco's GM has made it evident that incumbent starter and polarizing young quarterback Tim Tebow is now expendable, making him available to the highest bidder on the trade block.
That's right, the one-year removed Super Bowl champions, complete with reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, are interested in bringing Tebow into the fold and as strange as it sounds at first, this move actually makes sense for Green Bay if the price is right.
With Miami and San Francisco now officially out of the race, the odds only increase that the former Gators stud could end up in Green Bay next year.
Many will disagree with this potential move because of the polarity that Tebow brings to any discussion, but I believe that this would be a good pickup for the Packers regardless.
Here's why Tebow wearing a Packers uniform next season isn't quite as far-fetched as it sounds.
Green Bay Needs a Backup Quarterback
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First and foremost, this move only makes sense for Green Bay if it fills a need, and with the recent departure of Matt Flynn, the Packers need a backup quarterback.
Quarterback is the most important position to have a good backup at in the NFL today. This logic applies two-fold for Green Bay in that Aaron Rodgers is the engine that drives this team's success.
Rodgers has already shown a susceptibility to concussions in his years as a starter, so having a proper backup is essential. Losing him without having a solid replacement would be devastating for an extremely talented, championship contending team.
Tebow, while not the most consistent passer, brings characteristics that good backups have: leadership to rally the team around him, the ability to make plays and he has a winner's mentality. Tebow-led teams never believe they are out of a game and that ability to hang in and win close games is extremely valuable.
Coach McCarthy Can Use Tebow
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In his tenure as head coach and offensive play-caller, Mike McCarthy has turned the Packers into one of the most explosive and prolific offensive teams in the NFL with a number of different sets and formations designed to confuse even the best defenses. One of his greatest skills though as a coach has been his ability to maximize the talent of his weapons within the offense.
Part of the reason the Packers used a second-round pick on Kentucky prospect Randall Cobb last offseason was due to his versatile skill set. While playing for the Wildcats, Cobb played receiver, returner, running back and even quarterback at times and this versatility appealed to the Green Bay coaching staff.
Tim Tebow also represents a significant, if raw, offensive talent and I believe that McCarthy would be able to find new and effective ways to utilize that talent. Furthermore, McCarthy has publicly praised Tebow as a player and would only embrace acquiring him for Green Bay.
McCarthy could wreak havoc by using Tebow in short yardage sets with his dual-threat ability either at quarterback or even behind Rodgers in the backfield. The possibility of a Wildcat-esque formation or even the revival of Tebow's famed college "jump pass" would add further wrinkles to the Packers' attack.
The point is that Tebow's versatility and talent could be used effectively in Green Bay as a role player or specialist.
Tebow Could Learn from Aaron Rodgers
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While Tebow's athletic ability and intangibles have never come into question, a great deal of criticism has been devoted to his ability (or lack thereof) as a passer.
Tebow has shown flashes of brilliance when making throws (just watch some of the throws he makes against Pittsburgh in the playoffs), but he is much too inconsistent right now to sustain success as a passer. Admittedly, I believe that Tebow needs a talented quarterback to show him the ropes if he has a real chance as a quarterback.
Denver now has two such Hall of Fame quarterbacks for Tebow to learn from in Elway and Manning, but the Broncos are quite set on sending their young quarterback packing. That's fine with me because Rodgers in Green Bay might just make a better teacher anyway.
For as supremely talented as Peyton Manning is and how good of a teacher he would be for Tebow, Aaron Rodgers' style as a quarterback is much more similar to what I think Tebow should and will develop into as a quarterback.
Rodgers is not only one of the best pocket passers in the NFL, he is also extremely adept at using his athletic ability to move outside the pocket and make plays. Tebow's ability as a scrambler would naturally play into this more mobile style of play in addition to limiting his reads on a play to one side of the field or the other.
Furthermore, Matt Flynn was able to use his own mobility in the Packers system to great effectiveness in limited action, panning out to a new deal with Seattle this offseason.
In my mind, Tebow has the potential to be a good quarterback given the proper tutelage and there is perhaps no better or more willing teacher in the league today than Aaron Rodgers.
Tebow Is a Team-First Player and a Competitor
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Agree or disagree with Tebow's beliefs or personality, his two years in the NFL have shown us that despite his incredible popularity, he is incredibly humble, constantly deferring praise to his teammates and coaches before himself.
Whether he is the star, the starter, a backup or a benchwarmer, Tebow will always compete and put the needs of the team ahead of his own.
He will never whine or complain about touches or snaps like some other stars in the league are prone to do. Coaches and teammates can be confident in the fact that Tebow will consistently put his head down and work for the betterment of his team and his teammates rather than becoming disgruntled or a distraction.
Green Bay Fans Would Embrace Tebow
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Admittedly, I watch a lot of sports and a lot of different teams. Few franchises in the NFL, much less the whole of American sports, can match the passion, loyalty and devotion that Green Bay fans have for their Packers.
After the utter hysteria that "Tebowmania" stirred up in Denver and across the nation, bringing Tebow to an enthusiastic fanbase in Green Bay might only enhance the phenomenon further.
Watching any Packers game shows the love this community and this fanbase have for their team and their players. From stars like Rodgers, Woodson and Matthews to role players turned local favorites like John Kuhn, Cheeseheads love this team game in and game out, year in and year out.
If that's not enough, examine the move from a financial perspective. MVP Aaron Rodgers had the highest-selling jersey in the NFL last year. Who was No. 2 on that list? That's right folks, the Florida phenom himself, Tim Tebow. Tebow would bring even more money and popularity to an already successful team and rabid fanbase.
The Packers Can Develop Quarterbacks
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In the last decade, the Packers have had a great deal of luck developing talented backup quarterbacks to be successful starters in the NFL.
This trend started back in 1998 when the Packers selected quarterback Matt Hasselbeck out of Boston College with their sixth-round draft pick (and yes, that's him in the picture). Hasselbeck rode the bench behind Brett Favre for two years before being traded to former Green Bay coach Mike Holmgren's new team, the Seattle Seahawks.
With Hasselbeck under center, Seattle became a perennial contender in the NFC West, winning multiple division crowns and even representing the NFC in the Super Bowl, ultimately falling to Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
More recently, the Packers sat now star quarterback Aaron Rodgers behind Favre for his first three seasons before taking over as the starter and taking the league by storm on his way to a Super Bowl title, MVP award and recognition as arguably the best player in the league today.
More similarly to Hasselbeck, Flynn was a late-round draft pick who has developed on Green Bay's bench the last few seasons and shown a good amount of talent, warranting his signing this offseason with the Seahawks.
I believe given proper time and coaching, Tebow could develop similarly and give the Packers a nice trade chip should they choose to move him or a talented backup to Rodgers for years to come if they don't.
Packers Shouldn't Overpay for Tebow
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The one stipulation I have for making a move to acquire Tebow is this: If Ted Thompson and the Packers choose to make a move, they need to make sure they don't overpay to acquire him.
The Packers are a championship contender with their roster right now and should not do anything to sacrifice that opportunity by trading key personnel. For Green Bay, Tebow represents a luxury commodity, not an essential pickup.
I believe that if the Packers are able to trade a reasonable draft pick (maybe second or third round) or a player from a position with depth (such as wide receiver or linebacker), the team would do well to acquire Tebow and the benefit he represents.
If an offer is anything greater than that, this trade will ultimately weaken the team and any benefit of bringing in Tebow will have been lost.
If you have questions, comments, points I've overlooked, opposing viewpoints or the inevitable Tebow hate this will draw, please leave a comment below. Thank you!