Tim Tebow Rumors: All the Destinations and How Much He Will Cost
Peyton let down fans of the Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers, but also let down all the Tim Tebow fans in the Mile High City. Those fans, and Tebow himself, are likely wondering what will become of Tebow now that Peyton is the starter.
First, let’s look at the asking price for Tim Tebow.
Elway and co. can barely contain their disdain for Tebow, so it should be obvious to teams around the league that his asking price will be low. Some have speculated that the Broncos could also just cut Tebow if no trade materializes so they won’t have to go into training camp with another Tebow led circus.
However, Tebow’s contract will be a major deterrent for teams willing to trade for the young quarterback. Considering some of the organizations interested would likely utilize Tebow as a gadget player or have him ride the pine for a while—Tebow will have to take a pay cut.
Tebow’s current contract has escalators pushing it to over $7 million per year, by 2013.
While cutting Tebow may be the only real option for the Broncos, it is still in their best interest to trade him. Teams know Tebow is a potential cut, so his starting price will likely be a very late draft pick.
The Broncos could drive a hard bargain with a team that is overly interested in Tebowmania too though (aka Jacksonville Jaguars), so we could see anywhere between a fourth and seventh round selection.
Next, let’s look at the teams with any type of grumblings that they could be interested in Tebow’s services.
Across the rumor mills we are hearing that the teams interested include:
Teams Looking for a Starting Quarterback: San Francisco
The 49ers and Browns are both in peculiar situations and could be involved in the Tim Tebow market.
After swinging and missing on Peyton Manning the 49ers have a troubled situation at quarterback. Alex Smith went and visited the Miami Dolphins for five hours, and despite some previous rumors, it appeared as if Smith actually was interested if they were willing to shell out the cash.
If the Dolphins do intend on making Smith their franchise quarterback, the 49ers will have to scramble.
Jim Harbaugh is a good quarterback coach and could possibly mold Tebow into an actual drop back passer someday. It just isn’t likely that it will happen.
The 49ers went from having one of the worst receiving corps in the league to being very dangerous with the additions of Mario Manningham and Randy Moss to go along with Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree.
They are a win now team and will want to get these new additions involved—something that likely won’t happen with the insertion of a pistol formation and Tim Tebow.
It is more likely that if Smith walks, the 49ers will instead go with a truer passer in Colin Kaepernick or try to sign free agent Josh Johnson who was Harbaugh’s quarterback at the University of San Diego.
Of course the alleged offer of a three-year, $24 million contract to Smith may be enough to keep him as well.
Teams Looking for a Starting Quarterback: Cleveland Browns
The Browns were in the hunt for another quarterback this season, Robert Griffin III. They somehow got beat out by the Washington Redskins for the number two overall pick and thus will be out of the running for Griffin.
It’s unlikely the Browns will use their first of two first round picks on a quarterback, and they could be too late to get a worthy quarterback with the 22nd overall selection.
Yet, the Browns would have to see Tim Tebow as an upgrade over Colt McCoy. This is an argument that could spark a wide debate.
Tim Tebow has a winning pedigree in the NFL and has led his team to a playoff victory. Colt McCoy is a better, true passer with a college winning pedigree that has not yet been able to win a game on his own.
The Browns fan base can be as fanatical about McCoy as some Tebowmania followers can be, so adding Tebow in Cleveland may be too much of a distraction for the Browns to survive.
Considering they missed out on Griffin this year, some have speculated that we could see the Browns tank their way into the Matt Barkley draft race next season.
Teams Looking for a Starting Quarterback: New York Jets
The Jets already have their starting quarterback in Matt Sanchez. Of course, his teammates have said that his poor work habits stem from his franchise label, and it's holding him back.
While that could be a very real scenario with the Sanchize, Tebow is allegedly one of the hardest working men in football, regardless of position.
The Jets were rumored to be in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, but probably realized there wasn’t a snow balls chance that Peyton would play there with all the drama they have had recently. They could look for a more dynamic option at quarterback via trade.
Let’s face it, as farfetched as this rumor may seem, it would definitely be something Rex Ryan would try out.
Tony Sparano is currently the running game coordinator for the Jets, but you may remember him as the coach that used the wildcat offense with success in Miami.
Is there any quarterback more capable of pulling that off again than Tim Tebow?
No, there is not.
Tebow could work with the right offensive line and offensive philosophy—something the Jets may be better suited for than any other team interested in acquiring the young quarterback.
Tebow the Next Tom Brady or Just a Gadget?
Some of the teams rumored to be interested in Tebow may be a bit puzzling for their respective fan bases as well.
Well in some cases it may not be because they actually want Tebow to be a quarterback, and in others, it may be because they don’t want him to be the quarterback yet.
Tebow as the Heir: Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills were interested in Tebow prior to the 2010 draft but obviously missed out on the chance to draft him. The team recently gave quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick a seven-year contract extension so we can probably rule them out as a potential option for Tebow as the long-term starter.
More importantly however, the Bills have become a high octane passing offense with Chan Gailey as head coach. While Gailey could always try and mold the young Tebow, his real prowess comes with developing wide receivers.
Tebow would be too much of a work in progress for the Bills to spend money on.
Tebow as the Heir: Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy also loved him some Tim Tebow going in to the 2010 draft but didn’t feel his team needed to draft a quarterback that highly.
Tebow could be seen as a good replacement to Matt Flynn and, much like Aaron Rodgers, ride the pine before his chance to shine. Of course, Aaron Rodgers is also only 28 years old without much wear and tear so that could be a long time.
The Packers also aren’t the type of organization that makes splashy trades like this either, so let’s move on.
Tebow as the Heir: Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles had been rumored to be looking into trading up to acquire Robert Griffin III in this year’s draft but obviously did not offer enough.
Michael Vick signed a long term deal, but the way it is structured, the contract favors the Eagles in case they choose to part ways with Vick later on down the line. Vick also comes with some injury issues, so the Eagles could look for a backup option if Vince Young doesn’t resign.
It kind of seems like the Eagles could be a good fit, right?
I’m not sure Tebow will see it the same way.
How would it look if a player with the type of following Tebow has was backing up a quarterback that was locked up in a prison cell not that long ago?
We can’t say this looks like a great fit for either party.
Tebow as the Heir or Gadget: New England Patriots
A team that has always been active in free agency and has a penchant for using players in surprising new ways would be the New England Patriots. The Patriots, yet another team with high praise for pre-draft Tebow, could get in on the trade talks.
Tebow may not ever be a good quarterback, but he could certainly work out as a running back, tight end or H-Back.
Not many would argue that the Patriots utilize their tight ends better than any other team. No one will argue that Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez are much better options than Tebow at the position either.
Hernandez and Gronk both are playing on low level rookie contracts and will likely be looking for a bigger pay day eventually—which could also mean the team will have to part with one of them… cough cough Hernandez.
Of course, the Pats could end up using Tebow in a myriad of different ways.
They had Aaron Hernandez lined up as a running back near the end of the season and could elect to do the same with Tebow.
Tim Tebow's Homecoming Options
The most realistic options for Tebow are the teams that play in his home state. All three professional football teams in Florida have been linked to Tebow for one reason or another.
It has long been noted that the state of Florida has its trouble enticing fans for professional football. All three teams have faced blackouts in their home broadcasting regions, but adding a player with the hype of Tebow could certainly help change that.
Tebow himself even wants to return to Florida.
In a recent radio interview, Monica Culpepper (wife of Daunte) told 970 WFLA that Tebow had admitted he wanted to come back to Florida to play football.
Tebow Homecoming: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Florida team with the most consistency at quarterback and least likely to pursue Tebow would be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
They have also had a lot of trouble with blackouts lately. Though they hope the recent additions of free agents like Vincent Jackson and Carl Nicks will change that.
But it probably won’t.
Still, we just don’t see the Buccaneers pursuing Tebow and that contract any time soon.
Tebow Homecoming: Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars drafted Blaine Gabbert last season in the first round with hopes that he would become their franchise star. A shortened offseason and a lack of receiving help doomed Gabbert from the start.
It didn’t appear as if the team was ready to give up on him just yet, however.
The Jaguars brought in QB friendly coach Mike Mularkey to mold Gabbert, much like how he did with Matt Ryan. They also spent some moderate bucks on free agent receiver Laurent Robinson.
Then the Jaguars signed Chad Henne to compete for the starting job, and now Tebow is a top option.
The Jaguars have never had any success with the box office either, and with Jacksonville being the hometown of the Tebow family, his signing there could bring a rush for Jaguars’ season tickets.
Thinking the Jaguars will trade for Tebow just for the monetary aspect is a little foolish however, and may be too much to speculate on alone.
There is the outside chance that they have lost faith in Gabbert already, but with their recent signing of Laurent Robinson and the Mularkey signing, all indications are they will give him another chance.
Tebow Homecoming: Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins recently met with Alex Smith for a staggering five hours and could end up stealing the former number one overall pick away from the 49ers (though it’s incredibly unlikely). Or, they could also join Tebowmania and draft the former Florida Gator.
Last season one of the biggest crowds for the Dolphins was when Tebow came to town—on the same day the team was honoring the National Championship winning Florida Gators, of which Tebow was the quarterback.
When the Dolphins lost out on the Peyton Manning race many speculated it was because of the overall shadiness that seems to come with general manager Jeff Ireland. As recently as today, Dolphins fans were outside of the stadium picketing against the Phins’ management for not bringing in a viable QB this offseason.
Signing Tebow could appease the fan base somewhat, although it will likely be new head coach Joe Philbin’s worst nightmare.
Philbin ran a high octane passing attack in Green Bay, which is exactly what the Dolphins management wants from the team in the future.
That just can’t be done with Tebow, at least not without some years of practice and failure.
The Tebow Prediction
The Browns and 49ers will stay away from Tebowmania, while the Jets think about it long and hard, then realize they have other news to make—cue the Rex Ryan guarantee in three.... two....
The Patriots almost get a deal done that actually gets them Tebow AND the Broncos' first round pick—a deal Elway is happy to make.
Belichick is good. Getting Tebow would give him a challenge and heir to Brady. But he could also be utilized as a weapon no other team has or can game-plan for. Exactly what BB likes.
Ultimately, the thousands of death threats will make Jeff Ireland crack. The Dolphins will trade their 2013 third round pick (acquired in the Brandon Marshall trade) and make Tim Tebow their starting quarterback.
Oh, and they won't make the playoffs.