New England Patriots Ditch Tebowmania: Realistically, What's Next for Tim Tebow?
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Would he be a backup/successor to Tom Brady? Would he change his position? Would he even make the roster? Well, all of these questions were answered today with a resounding “no” as the Patriots parted ways with the former Gator.
His career to date has been pretty laughable outside of the magical half-season he had with the Denver Broncos, which culminated in a malicious defeat by the team that cut him today. His release comes after a weak training camp and shaky preseason. That’s putting it nicely.
So, what’s next for the media’s favorite quarterback? It’s unclear. While you’d think there might be a team out there who could use a guy like Tebow, the market was a dried-up well the last time he was a free agent.
If anyone could have brought out the star football player in Tebow, it would have been Bill Belichick. But even he couldn’t figure out what to do with him.
It’s not that there aren’t other positions that Tebow may flourish at, it’s the fact that he’s seemingly unwilling to play them. Although he was mainly used as a runner when he was with the New York Jets, it was almost always from the quarterback position.
There are a few scenarios that could play out with Tebow from here, although only a couple are realistic.
Rebuild with a team
Tebow did well with the Broncos because the coaches completely shifted their offense to complement his skill set.
It’s evident he’s not a regular quarterback, so the Broncos changed their offense to best suit what he can do, and it obviously paid off for a good stretch of time. Many would credit Denver’s defense and kicker over Tebow, but it’s clear he played a major role in winning those games as well.
His best chance at being a starting quarterback in this league will be with a rebuilding team that can mold their offense according to Tebow’s abilities. For many teams, it’s hard to completely strip down their offense just to service one player. But for a team that is rebuilding, it wouldn’t be that hard at all.
It’s similar to what the Washington Redskins have done with Robert Griffin III. They centered their offense around what RG3 does best; a situation that would also benefit Tebow. Obviously he’s not the same passer that Griffin is, but it worked for him in Denver and could work somewhere else.
Run, Tim, Run!
Tebow would have a much better chance of finding work in the NFL if he was more open to a change of position. Not like when he was a part-time runner with the Jets, but instead a full-time running back.
He has great size at 6’3”, 240 pounds and has shown flashes of being a pretty good power back in the past. He has averaged five yards a carry throughout his career and also has 12 rushing touchdowns to his credit.
Tebow has had great success running the ball since his days in Gainesville, and he’s proven his body can take the punishment attached to being a running back.
In fact, Tebow’s running style has some parallels to a former NFL star—Mike Alstott. On top of that, Tebow is also comparable in size to A-Train; Alstott is two inches shorter and was only eight pounds heavier during his playing days. Both of these guys are stocky, yet muscular and can run hard.
Alstott had great numbers during his time with Tampa Bay, and it’s not incredibly far-fetched to think that Tebow could at least somewhat mirror what Alstott did.
Tebowmania in the AFL?
Ron Jaworski, NFL legend and part-owner of the AFL’s Philadelphia Soul, offered Tebow a spot on his Arena League franchise the day after the Jets released him earlier this year.
Apparently, Jaworski still believes in Tebow as a quarterback and would want to work with him on refining his technique. Jaws believes that the former Heisman winner just needs to play in order to get better (via ESPN.com):
You've got to learn to get rid of the football, quick. You've got to process information, quick. 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.
There’s really something to that, though. The coaches wouldn’t put Tebow on the field because he wasn’t prepared or ready as a quarterback, but you need more than half-speed practices to get better as an NFL player.
Who knows? Maybe some time in the AFL would be good for Tebow, allowing him to get better and make a return to the NFL in a couple of years.
Hang ‘em up, buddy
Should Tim Tebow just retire?
At 26 years old, it would be a shame for Tebow to retire from the NFL, but now it’s looking like a distinct possibility.
He’s not injured and still has plenty of gas in the tank, but no one wants to take a chance on him. Whether it’s the media circus that follows or his lack of quarterback traits, no one seems to want him.
If the season begins and ends with no expressed interest, it may just be time for him to retire. I mean, what can he really do if no one wants to sign him? It would really be a waste considering he’s got great character, leadership and athletic ability, but he may not have any other choice.
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