Tim Tebow Must Take Arena Football Opportunity

Jeremy FuchsCorrespondent IIIMay 24, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 23: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets leaves the field after loss to San Diego Chargers at MetLife Stadium on December 23, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky /Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Polarizing quarterback Tim Tebow has been offered an opportunity to play in the Arena Football League. If he wants to rehabilitate his career, then Tebow must take this opportunity.

Ron Jaworski, a former NFL quarterback and current NFL analyst, is a part owner of the AFL's Philadelphia Soul. He reached out to Tebow to play for the Soul, according to Fox Sports, but he has not yet heard back. 

''I love the guy,'' Jaworski told Fox Sports. ''I want him here just for his leadership.''

Tebow had a difficult year with the New York Jets and is currently a free agent with no immediate NFL interest. He has yet to prove he can be a consistent, effective quarterback. He was never able to get on the field ahead of Mark Sanchez, who had a disappointing year in his own right. 

Not only would the AFL give Tebow a chance to play and start—something he's unlikely to find in the NFL—it will also give him a chance to improve his craft, according to Jaworski [via Fox Sports]:

''You've got to learn to get rid of the football, quick. You've got to process information, quick,'' he said. ''If those are challenges Tim has, that's it. If you get reps and you're dropping back 40-45 times, with people in your face, you get better. He needs to play. He needs to be on the field.''

''He's a hard worker, that's great,'' he said. ''But you've got to be on the field in live action getting that experience. I think the Arena Football League would give him that opportunity.''

The AFL differs from the NFL in that the field is just 50-yards. It requires even quicker decisions than the NFL entails. However, the level of competition is not as good, and Tebow would enter the AFL as one of the best players.

It's not yet clear if Tebow is interested in joining the AFL. However, he has little choice. No NFL team seemingly wants him. Even if he does sign with a NFL team, he will be relegated to backup duty.

Tebow certainly has skills. He's a terrific runner and has had success in the NFL in a Wildcat scheme. He's a terrific leader and motivator. However, his passing needs work, as he's completed just 47.9 percent of his passes in the NFL.

Steve Addazio, the Boston College head football coach, notes that Tebow's skill-set matches that of many of the young NFL quarterbacks. Like Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton, he has tremendous running ability. With some passing improvement, Tebow could really succeed:

If he were to join the AFL, he will get the reps that are needed to improve. He will be able to refine his passing ability to become a more complete quarterback. As Jaworski noted, with more reps, he will get better. He can then take the skills learned from the AFL and apply it to the NFL.

It would not be the first time someone made a successful jump from the AFL to the NFL. Famously, Kurt Warner spent three years in the Arena League before jumping to the NFL and becoming one of the most prolific passers in history.

Tebow's pride might be hurt by going to the AFL. After all, all Tebow has known is success. He was a two-time National Champion in college and won the Heisman Trophy in 2007. He won a playoff game with the Denver Broncos, as well.

But right now, Tebow has no other option. He has no other choice. Going to the Philadelphia Soul will give Tebow much needed playing time. It will allow him to rehabilitate his career in a lower-pressure environment. And eventually, it will allow him to earn a starting job in the NFL.