Tim Tebow is looking ahead after New York cut him yesterday. Is Oakland his next stop?
No, this isn't a joke.
The arguments are there. Here are a couple that stand out:
Oakland's uncertainty at quarterback
Despite the addition of free agent Matt Flynn and rookie Tyler Wilson, the Raiders are still seeking to identify a franchise signal-caller.
General manager Reggie McKenzie told reporters after the NFL draft (Raiders.com) that he prefers to have four quarterbacks compete this summer for a starting role that could well extend into future seasons.
Recently signed undrafted free agent Kyle Padron may be that fourth option, joining Flynn, Wilson and Terrelle Pryor.
However, if the Raiders are looking to add a veteran, they could do worse than a recent playoff winner and member of a division rival.
The team also has placed a premium under McKenzie on adding hungry, team-first athletes who love football and who demonstrate spiritual faith, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
That profile perfectly fits Tebow, who has demonstrated nearly unparalleled character on, and off, the field since his time at the University of Florida.
His varied skill set also could appeal to a team eager for playmakers during a rebuilding effort, as NFL.com's Marc Sessler also suggests.
An intriguing current roster
If Oakland were to add Tebow, it would have the personnel to explore some unique offensive sets.
Running back Darren McFadden is still on hand in case the team were to commit to using Tebow in the Wildcat formation.
Another possibility—explored in more depth at tradetyrant.com, a fantasy sports web site I contribute to—is a two-quarterback set featuring Tebow and the speedster Pryor.
One iteration of possibly many could feature both quarterbacks in the backfield. They would line up in the shotgun or pistol and form a skinny triangle with the center, who could snap to either.
Silly as that may sound, both quarterbacks are capable of throwing, running and catching. The quarterback who doesn't receive the snap still would offer some use, even as an across-field option to take a lateral and throw.
Pryor effectively ran a similar kind of play against Carolina last season, taking a screen pass from lead-footed Carson Palmer and, after weighing his options, tucking it and running for six yards.
Throw in a Wildcat-esque jet sweep by a running back or a wide receiver and the play-calling options would grow exponentially.
The Raiders could also explore using Tebow at tight end, which is still a position of need after the team selected one-trick ponies Nick Kasa (blocking) and Mychel Rivera (receiving) in this past weekend's draft.
While Tebow is believed to be committed to playing quarterback (ESPN), he may not have a choice if teams fail to call.
Raiders head coach Dennis Allen has said this offseason that the offense will adapt to the players it has (csnbayarea.com), which suggests that the team isn't categorically ruling out adding anyone who could contribute.
Do we have a match?
Should Tim Tebow Join the Oakland Raiders?
Despite the thoughts above, it's unlikely that Tebow ends up a Raider.
It's been shown that wherever Tebow goes, quarterback controversy is most certain to follow. That likely doesn't jive with McKenzie's desire merely to create competition.
Indeed, the team would have to weather an immense media storm.
Tebow's struggles with the Jets last season may have dulled his luster somewhat, but ESPN is sure to be a fixture at whichever training camp he attends.
I'm not sure McKenzie wants another kind of circus atmosphere around this franchise so early in his tenure, if ever.
Finally, there's the reality that Tebow simply isn't a good quarterback—mechanically speaking at least.
His inconsistent delivery and consequent lack of accuracy (career 47.9 percent completion rate) makes him even more of a project at quarterback than Pryor.
Ultimately, the Raiders would be justified in concluding—as will most in the league—that whatever skills and talents Tebow offers, the costs of adding them are likely to outweigh the benefits.