The New York Jets clearly have no plans to use Tim Tebow as a quarterback, and now the rumor mill is churning away about a return home to Florida.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that it was a “virtual certainty” that Tebow would wind up with the Jacksonville Jaguars after this season ends, either via a trade or free agency.
While it is abundantly obvious that heading to New York was not the right career move for Tebow, there is no certainty that playing in Jacksonville will allow him to forge a reputation as a legitimate starting NFL quarterback.
Here are the pros and cons of Tebow’s rumored move to Jacksonville.
One of the best reasons to head to the Jaguars is simply to get away from the Jets.
Being slighted for a player who had never thrown a pass in the regular season prior to 2012 is an insult to Tebow, who led a team to the playoffs just a year ago.
With a relentless media firestorm and a coaching staff that refused to entertain the option of playing him under center, the best place for Tebow going forward is anywhere but New York.
Being Part of the Rebuilding Process
Tebow is not the only one starting over, and after a dreadful season, the Jaguars will be looking to make major changes to their team.
Jacksonville has been reliant on its running game for several seasons now, and Tebow will fit right into a scheme that keeps the ball on the ground. If the Jaguars are able to improve their defense through the draft and free agency, they will have a similar roster to the 2011 Denver Broncos.
In addition to being with a team better suited for his skills set, Tebow would be able to take on a leadership role in Jacksonville if he wins the starting job during the preseason.
The rumored move would take him from a situation with no options to one in which the possibilities are truly exciting.
Too Much Uncertainty
Tebow very well could be walking into a situation similar to the one he was in with the Jets.
Mortensen’s report notes that Jacksonville will have an “open quarterback competition” to decide next season’s starter, and it is entirely unclear if the team is truly ready to give up on Blaine Gabbert.
While the second-year signal-caller has shown nothing to suggest he can be a successful quarterback, Tebow knows all too well how polarizing his playing style is among NFL coaches.
With Mike Mularkey’s seat getting continually warmer, Tebow will not know who will be coaching the team next year. It is all too possible that he will be walking into another frustrating situation.
What should Tebow do?
Tebow’s homecoming would be a joyous affair in Jacksonville, but it would also come with impossible expectations.
He achieved legendary status as a high school star and later as one of the greatest college football players in history at Florida. If the rumored move to his home state becomes reality, fans will be expecting more Tebow magic.
But there is a reason the Jaguars have won just two games this season. The roster has a significant amount of holes, and it would be miraculous if he were to achieve instant success with such a flawed team.
It will take time for Jacksonville to find quality starters and depth, and Tebow will have to wait for the supporting cast he needs to win consistently. But it is unlikely that fans will understand this given the hype that will surround him when he returns home.