Factors Deterring NFL Teams from Signing Tim Tebow as QB

Mike Moraitis@@michaelmoraitisAnalyst ISeptember 27, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 09:  Tim Tebow #5 of the New England Patriots passes the ball in the second half against the Philadelphia Eagles on August 9, 2013 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennslyvania.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Tim Tebow's latest attempt at landing an NFL job fell short when the New England Patriots cut him before the start of the 2013-14 season.

You have to respect Tebow's undying desire to play the quarterback position in the best football league in the world, but it is far from a realistic possibility at this point in his career.

There are many reasons why teams won't take a chance on him, with his lack of mechanics being one of the bigger issues. Aside from that, Tebow has other negatives against him that will hurt his chances.

While keeping the mechanics in the conversation, let's look at other reasons why Tebow isn't a viable NFL QB at the moment.


Lack of Individual Success

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 08:  Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos celebrates after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime of the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 8, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Denver Bronco
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Many supporters of Tebow will point to his "success" back in 2011-12 as a good reason to give him a chance. After all, Tebow did help the Denver Broncos to seven of their eight wins that season to make the playoffs, but it was mostly a stellar defensive effort from Denver that got him there.

In six of those seven wins, the Broncos defense allowed 24 points or fewer and kept opposing offenses to under 20 points in five of the six. That left little work for Tebow to do offensively as he only compiled 200 yards or more through the air twice all season while benefiting from the No. 1 rushing attack in football.

On top of that, the Broncos basically backed into the playoffs with an 8-8 record in what was a horrid AFC West division.

Jan 14, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) is sacked by New England Patriots defensive tackle Gerard Warren (98) in the first half of the 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butle
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Tebow's flaws came to a head after he improbably led the Broncos to a playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round. Following that miraculous win, the Broncos met the New England Patriots in the AFC divisional round and were promptly steamrolled as Tebow was unable to keep up with his Hall of Fame counterpart, Tom Brady.

The Pats scorched the Broncos defense for 45 points, which could be directly blamed on constant three-and-outs and overall ineffectiveness from the quarterback position. Tebow finished a dreadful 9-for-26 with 136 yards and no touchdowns in the losing effort.

It was abundantly clear then that Tebow wasn't good enough to keep his team competitive against the league's truly elite squads, and it was a harsh ending to the Tebow era in Denver.

In his biggest sample size as an NFL quarterback thus far, Tebow finished with an awful 46.5 percent completion rate and his career 47.9 percent mark proves he simply doesn't have the accuracy to hang in the NFL as is.



FLORHAM PARK, NJ - MARCH 26:  Quarterback Tim Tebow addresses the media as he is introduced as a New York Jet at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on March 26, 2012 in Florham Park, New Jersey. Tebow, traded from the Denver Broncos last week, will
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Unfortunately for Tebow, he decided to go to New York to be a part of the misfit Jets organization. It was believed that Tebow would help run plays out of the Wildcat formation with a good shot at becoming the team's QB at some point in the 2012 season.

That thought process seemed realistic since quarterback Mark Sanchez failed to take a big step forward in his third season. Sanchez did end up bombing for the Jets last season after failing to break the 3,000-yard mark for the first time in two years, and he also threw more picks (18) than touchdowns (13).

As the Jets quickly became the laughing stock of the league en route to a 6-10 record, it appeared to be a certainty that Tebow would get a shot near the latter parts of the season. Though he was thought to be the backup, that turned out not to be the case as head coach Rex Ryan instead decided to give third-stringer Greg McElroy the nod in place of Sanchez.

When McElroy suffered a concussion before the team's season finale against the Bills, Tebow looked primed to get a shot. That didn't happen either, as the Jets once again went back to their embattled quarterback instead of Tebow even though they had nothing to lose.

September 16, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) sits on the bench against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers won 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sp
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

His tenure with the Jets was an utter failure. Tebow spent the majority of the season running the ball with a measly 102 yards on 32 attempts, and he threw just eight passes with six finding their mark for 39 yards as he failed to get into the end zone in either facet.

Should Tebow ultimately fail, you can point directly to the Jets preventing him from playing behind center all season, thus stunting his growth and making him an afterthought to other teams. The former Florida Gator went from being a playoff game-winning quarterback the season before to a pariah on his own team the next.

Teams that may be looking at Tebow won't have a positive outlook on that despite the fact that it wasn't his fault the Jets made the head-scratching decision not to at least give him a start. The 2012-13 season was as good as a lost one for Tebow, and front offices around the league will be skeptical about potential rust and its side effects that are an added negative to Tebow's game.

It has now been over a year and a half since he's started a game for an NFL squad and his performance during the preseason for the New England Patriots didn't help the rust concerns. Tebow completed an astonishingly bad 36.7 percent of his passes with 145 yards and two touchdowns to two picks.


The Following

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 16: Fans of the Denver Nuggets Tebowing during the Denver Nuggets open practice on December 16, 2011 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this
Bart Young/Getty Images

Tebow's following is an incredible thing to behold. Chalk it up to whatever you want, but Tebow's Twitter account says he has over 2.4 million followers.

When he was sitting on the bench in Denver before his remarkable run in 2011, fans of the team posted a billboard in favor of giving Tebow a shot. As recently as 2013, Tebow supporters were still making their voices heard, even with Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning running the show.

And don't forget the "Tebowing" sensation.

Pro-Tebow chants were even heard at MetLife Stadium in the early parts of the 2012 season even though the team and Sanchez hadn't hit rock bottom yet.

That type of constant and obsessive attentionfueled by incessant media attentionmakes Tebow a tough sign for any team in any aspect of an offense

Sept 30, 2011; Denver, CO, USA; A billboard with signage in regards to quarterback Tim Tebow (not pictured) and head coach Jon Fox (not pictured) flashes a led display in North Denver Adams county Colorado. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

If Tebow is brought in to be the backup, fans will chant his name in the hopes he'll see starting time, whether the original starting QB is successful or not. If Tebow signs on to play a different position, fans will still yearn to see Tebow as their starting quarterback even though he wasn't signed on to play that position.

Even if he's a benchwarmer, the media will keep asking questions as to what role Tebow will play and when we can expect to see him on the field. It's a tiring and frustrating thing to deal with and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick found that out firsthand.

That puts teams in a tough spot and can create a fan backlash if those people don't get their wish to see Tebow play. Tebow has been and will always be more popular and focused on by fans and reporters than the guy in front of him, which takes an unnecessary amount of attention away from the team and players who may deserve it more.

Such a distraction is just another example of why teams will refuse to take a chance on Tebow.



Tebow's following will never change, but he can shake off the rust and work on his mechanics by playing quarterback in another league.

Tebow has fielded offers from Russia and the Arena Football League to be a signal-caller. He has already turned down the offer from the Moscow Black Storm, however, he would be wise to consider playing in the AFL or the Canadian Football league in order to sharpen his skills and erase any lingering doubts about his ability.

At this point, that's all he has left as NFL opportunities continue to dry up as each day passes and his career becomes more of a memory.


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