With the plethora of NFL trade rumors surrounding New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow, one would have thought Tebow would have switched teams by now, but the 2012 NFL trade deadline has passed, and Tebow will remain a member of the Jets for the duration of the 2012 NFL season.
As a result, the lack of a Tebow trade has us wondering—will the Jets ship Tebow out of New York this offseason?
The idea isn't outlandish, with the aforementioned Tebow trade rumors primarily involving the Jets shipping Tebow to his hometown Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars were one of several teams interested in Tebow when the Denver Broncos were shopping him around, so the rumored interest at the deadline isn't shocking.
Tebow still holds some value for the Jets this season, so it makes sense that the organization elected to hold onto him. For one, he's a great gadget for special teams trick plays, as he has converted several short-yardage situations while being a punt protector.
Secondly, Tebow is somewhat of an insurance policy if starting quarterback Mark Sanchez should falter. Sanchez hasn't been brilliant by any means, and if he is injured or benched then the Jets coaching staff will want to at least see if Tebow has a legitimate shot of being a starting NFL quarterback.
Outside of on-the-field value, Tebow has been great for the Jets off the field. As possibly the most polarizing figure in sports, Tebow has brought the spotlight in New York back to the Jets despite the fact that they are in the same town as the Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
Tebow has also brought in a massive amount of revenue in jersey sales and has put fans in seats for home games. Those are two factors that teams interested in dealing for Tebow are surely fully aware of at this point in his career.
The fact of the matter is that the Jets organization will have to make a decision on Tebow this offseason, or he may do it for them. Don't put it past Tebow to demand a trade—he's a competitor and if he cannot start in New York, then he will try to elsewhere.
Just after the Jets acquired Tebow, it was said that if Tebow were not the starter in New York by season's end then he would request a trade from the Jets (h/t Yahoo!):
At the end of the year, I think he will express those concerns to the Jets. He will want to move on...the one thing about Tebow is he is the quintessential team player. He would never do anything that is going to undermine the team. But he's football-aholic. It's in his blood…absolutely he will talk to the Jets or we will have misevaluated his competitive nature. There comes a point, where they get it and realize this is who I am and just accept that role. Tebow is not there yet.
If the NFL source is to be believed, it's likely Tebow will be requesting a trade this offseason—albeit quietly as to not cause a scene or hamper his image.
Tebow's starting spot isn't in New York. The Jets have made that perfectly clear. Despite sitting in dead last in the AFC East at 3-5 and Sanchez hardly completing 50 percent of his passes, the coaching staff has yet to hand the offense over to Tebow, who at the very least is versatile enough to make something positive happen.
With the Jets currently refusing to give Tebow his shot, there are a few quarterback-hungry franchises likely chomping at the bit for a chance to take advantage of this soon-to-be issue in New York.
For one, the Jaguars are a likely candidate considering Jacksonville is his hometown, and second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert hasn't impressed. Gabbert has developed, but not at a fast enough pace. Bringing in Tebow would excite the fanbase and add a new wrinkle to the stagnant offense.
Last season the Broncos started 1-4 before making Tebow their starting quarterback. Tebow not only led the Broncos to a 7-4 record and first place in the AFC West, but he also managed to notch a playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Unless Tebow can pull off a similar feat to save the Jets in 2012, it's a safe bet he won't be playing in New York when the 2013 NFL season rolls around.
Where he ends up next is anyone's guess.