Tim Tebow: The Jaguars Have to Sign Him in the Offseason or Forget About Him

David LevinSenior Writer IIDecember 22, 2012


Let me first start off by saying I am not a Tim Tebow apologist. I do not agree with the way the New York Jets handled the signing of the uber-popular football player, and I do not agree with the way the Jacksonville Jaguars were tepid in their two attempts to acquire the local hero. 

As odd as this might seem, I am in favor of the team acquiring Tebow for a myriad of reasons, as long as the team and the fanbase understand the ramifications of signing such an "enigma."

He is a polarizing type who gives one of the NFL's lesser-known teams instant "credibility" and exposure. He also moves the pendulum in terms of national coverage by writers, Sports Illustrated, ESPN and Bleacher Report. 

But Tebow also brings baggage with him. The hitch in his throw. The constant cameras in his face. The five-minute segment on ESPN for a "two-yard scramble." And that, my friends, could cause a problem in the locker room.

With Tebow, as I have written before, you get the Breakfast Club approach to football; you get the athlete, the marketing dynamo, the entrepreneur and the religious preacher all in one package. In a town like Jacksonville, this works. In other towns (as we have seen in New York), it does not.

Something the Jaguars also have to consider is the reasons for bringing in such a powder keg of media attention.

Are the three men in charge of this decision—Shad Khan, Gene Smith and Mike Mularkey—all in favor of this? Will the new general manager or head coach or both be on board for this decision? Can Mularkey use someone like Tebow effectively in his offense, and if he is brought in, what happens to Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne?

Essentially, if you bring Tebow back to Jacksonville, you bring him in to start for the team in 2013. There can be nothing less on the team's itinerary. Failure to do this will lead to the same situation that is taking place in New York. 

The Jaguars have many holes to fill on the field and in their staff as the 2013 season approaches. Quarterback is a hot topic. So are defensive line, offensive line and secondary.

This is a team that needs to make a splash in the offseason. The draft must be good to them. The free-agent market must be good to them. And the choices the front office makes must be good to the team. Anything else is an ultimate failure.

Tebow, for whatever reasons, is a lightning rod. This team needs that kind of spark and while I do not agree with his use of the NFL to spread his gospel, I agree the "rock star" is a commodity this team could use. The NFL is not a pulpit for that kind of situation, but this team, this Jaguars organization, needs a push.

Tebow gives them that.

If all parties in this process can work together to get him home, then this works. If not, then the idea should never be brought up again. This is Jacksonville's third strike. There are other quarterbacks who present more of an improvement at the position this team could look at (Mike Vick, Alex Smith, Matt Hasselbeck). But none of those bring the intangibles a Tebow brings back to his hometown.

If the Jaguars cannot persuade him to come home, then they should not ask him again. Period.