Tim Tebow: 8 Potential Trade Destinations for New York Jets' Embattled QB
Disregarding many the most extreme arguments, those who do not have much faith in Tebow feel his non-traditional skill set is better-suited for the college game than the NFL, while his backers believe Tebow just needs to find a team that is built (or willing to build) around his strengths.
In this article, I have attempted to identify the NFL teams whose schemes and/or personnel groupings seem to be good fits for Tebow.
Given the weak market for Tebow last offseason, it would be a surprise to see the Jets get much in return for the quarterback after minimizing his role (no starts in 2012) in the offense last year.
But these teams might at least take a look at the former-Gator.
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Of the eight teams I have identified, the Raiders are probably the worst fit in regard to offensive scheme and personnel required to run the read-option offense that many envision a Tebow offense featuring.
But the Raiders have been mediocre on offense for years, have a propensity to make big offseason moves and often place a high value big-name players who are tremendous athletes.
Stranger things have happened.
The Raiders did show the willingness to give dual-threat quarterback Terrelle Pryor a chance in Week 17 (along with a chance to compete for that starting job in 2013) and his presence on the roster may be the biggest obstacle to a Tebow trade. If the Raiders are willing to listen to offers, the Jets would be wise to try to build a trade around a Tebow-for-Pryor swap.
Kansas City Chiefs
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On the surface, the Chiefs appear to be a very good match for Tebow. It remains to be seen how their offseason management overhaul will affect the team's philosophy going forward.
Andy Reid has obviously spent a fair amount of time working with Michael Vick, so he is at least open to the idea of building around a running quarterback. But the Chiefs may just decide to blow everything up and pick their next quarterback in this year's draft instead.
The Chiefs have speedy weapons like Jamaal Charles and Dexter McCluster, both of whom should work well in a read-option style offense.
The Chiefs certainly have a hole at the quarterback position and, if Reid is open to the idea, Tebow can be a viable option to fill the void.
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The Titans represent a somewhat similar opportunity for Tebow as the Chiefs, with the speedy Chris Johnson playing a role similar to Charles.
The concern here is that Tennessee may not be willing to give up on Jake Locker just yet, though he hasn't proven himself worthy of a protected starting job. The Titans' receivers aren't burners and may be more suited to a traditional attack.
That said, this is another team in transition that certainly has to consider all options, and they even have a veteran backup that the Jets should have mild interest in in Matt Hasselbeck.
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Interdivisional trades aren't particularly common in the NFL, but trading a team's backup quarterback likely wouldn't be subject to too much restriction.
Commonality in division aside, the Bills are one of the best fits for Tebow as a starting quarterback. C.J. Spiller is a fast and an every-down threat, who would thrive in a read-option offense.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is not the answer in Buffalo and is hardly over-the-top to suggest that the Bills should cut him and turn to a cheaper, younger option such as Tebow.
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The last sensible fit for Tebow as a starter, the Philadelphia Eagles' potential interest in the quarterback is directly related to new head coach Chip Kelly.
Aside from Michael Vick, who has been dangerously turnover and injury-prone in recent seasons, the Eagles do not have the prototypical quarterback to run Chip Kelly's preferred offensive style, as backup Nick Foles lacks great mobility.
Enter Tebow. His strengths are a perfect match with Kelly, as he understands how to make good decisions in the running game and is capable of breaking off the big plays that make Kelly's system so effective. Tebow would benefit from a better offensive line, but the quick-play nature of the offense will mitigate that concern.
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The remaining teams on this list are set at the starting quarterback position for the near future. But teams who have built their offenses around dual-threat quarterbacks are better off with backups who can effectively execute a similar system.
There may be an opportunity for a win-win trade here, with Tebow a better fit in Seattle than Matt Flynn and Flynn a better fit in New York, where the need is a quarterback with a more traditional style of play who may be able to start immediately.
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Carolina finds itself in a pretty similar situation to Seattle. Running quarterbacks get injured somewhat frequently and it's important to have a quarterback who can step in without having to modify the offensive scheme.
The Panthers aren't quite as good a fit in Seattle, mainly because they don't have a player like Flynn that can be unloaded and Cam Newton is more of a downfield thrower than Russell Wilson at this stage in his career.
That said, the Panthers' offense is built around their running game and Tebow is the kind of backup quarterback who might be able to step in as another quarterback who is a threat to run in Newton's absence.
New England Patriots
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The Patriots are known for using role players in unconventional ways and capitalizing on the unique football skills they have. Tebow can certainly play a useful part in that system.
The biggest question is probably whether Tebow would want to go to New England in this scenario, given that it may force him to focus on a position other than quarterback.