Tim Tebow: Jets Backup QB Deserves Fresh Start with Another Team

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIINovember 24, 2012

ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 18: Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets stiff arms linebacker Mario Haggan #51 of the St. Louis Rams during the game at the Edward Jones Dome on November 18, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by David Welker/Getty Images)
David Welker/Getty Images

If the New York Jets' Thanksgiving day debacle against AFC East rival New England isn't enough to inject backup QB Tim Tebow into the starting lineup, then the polarizing player deserves a fresh start elsewhere.

As bad as starting signal caller Mark Sanchez has been for the past season and half or so, it isn't enough to assuage those clamoring for Tebow to get another chance at a starting quarterback gig in the NFL.

That chance may never arise due to the horrific use of Tebow that has been exercised by offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. In what almost seems like an unpleasant obligation, Tebow is inserted into the game in spot duty, typically to throw a quick, short pass or to dive into the line of scrimmage and hopefully pick up a few yards.

If head coach Rex Ryan were truly serious about developing a viable, ground and pound offense, Tebow would be the perfect catalyst for that system, since he sparked the Denver Broncos to lead the league in rushing in 2011.

Instead, the former first-round pick has been confined to an extremely limited role on offense and to duties as a personal protector on the punt coverage team.

Someone who made so much magic happen just a season ago at the quarterback position is suddenly off the field. The Jets could have at least given him a shot, and now with a 4-7 record, there is pretty much no reason to continue with the mocking modicum of Tebow that has characterized his 2012 season.

And yet, Ryan is still going to stick with Sanchez as the starter moving forward. That's fine, but the team is going nowhere anyway, and it's becoming more and more apparent that Sanchez—long-term contract and all—is not the long-term answer under center in the Big Apple.

That's why Tebow Time deserves to be resurrected elsewhere. But what team could possibly take a chance on him now?

Without an opportunity to bypass one of the game's worst starting QBs, Tebow's reputation as a bad practice player and someone who "can't pass" is even more strengthened.

But what also should be further fortified is his renowned genuineness, work ethic and kind nature. That was no more apparent than when he gracefully handled some anonymous teammates who ripped him for being "terrible."

Just his character alone should be enough for a team to take a chance on him, and if a team is looking for a dominant, run-first offense, Tebow could get another shot as a starting QB.

Two of the league's worst teams—the Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs—have two of the best running backs in the game in Maurice Jones-Drew and Jamaal Charles. They both lack a quarterback—Chad Henne's monster game versus Houston notwithstanding.

Without any "sure thing" QBs coming out in this year's draft—Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, really?—perhaps one of these teams will take a flier on Tebow if he becomes available.

Tebow is far from a sure thing from a passing standpoint, but he could be an intriguing option for either team as at least a far more utilized change of pace than he has been in New York. Adding him to the fold as such a dangerous running threat with those backs would be insanely unpredictable to watch, but it would certainly be entertaining.

It's the intangibles that Tebow brings to the table which makes him so special, though. He inspired a hapless Broncos team a year ago, but he hasn't had the chance to let his larger-than-life persona bloom in the larger-than-life New York media market.

What once seemed like a match made in heaven seems to be a disaster. As the current slogan bouncing around Twitter in hashtag form states:

Free Tebow.