Tim Tebow Offers Salvation to Awful Jacksonville Jaguars Season

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2013

Aug 22, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tim Tebow (5) on the sidelines in the fourth quarter of a preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

You couldn't have put it any better than the pilot who dragged a banner reading, "Tebow, why not?"

Courtesy of Darren Rovell on Twitter, a photo surfaced of a plane near Jacksonville doing its best to get the Jaguars to sign the polarizing quarterback.

The Jags are fresh off a 37-3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Blaine Gabbert got the start, going 17-of-32 for 179 yards and throwing three interceptions.

It's the team's fourth loss in as many games, and it has lost by an average of 24.5 points.

Sep 8, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert (11) scrabbles out of the pocket during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports
Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Nobody should be surprised by this. Gabbert has created quite a bit of distance between himself and the next guy when it comes to the worst starting quarterback in the league. And he's got Chad Henne behind him, who's stuck in the purgatory occupied by quarterbacks not good enough to start regularly but too good to just be a backup.

All of this really does beg the question, why not?

Yours truly is far from Tebow's biggest fan. He hasn't been anything more than a marginal starting quarterback. He's a career 47.9 percent passer and thrown nine interceptions to 17 touchdowns. He's got that playoff win, but that's about it.

That fact that the New England Patriots thought he wasn't worth the hassle isn't a good sign for his future prospects and what coaches think of his talent.

However, when you take all this into account, will signing Tebow demonstrably hurt the franchise any more than having Gabbert and Henne as the starting QBs? Jacksonville isn't going anywhere this season, and it will be lucky to win two games. It's a lock for the No. 1 pick in the 2014 draft.

In addition, neither Gabbert nor Henne are the future. There's not a long-term plan at quarterback. You're not stunting somebody's development by signing Tebow.

Jan 14, 2012, Foxborough, MA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) walks off the field after an AFC Divisional playoff game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Broncos 45-10. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Le
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In fact, the Jaguars would probably be giving themselves the best chance they've got to win in the present. That is, if they even care about winning or have simply written this season off and are focusing on their draft.

Just bring him in as a free agent on a one-year deal.

The best-case scenario is that maybe Tebow has figured out how to be a steady starting quarterback. He's 26 years old, so Jacksonville would still get plenty of years out of him. It wouldn't have to approach the offseason looking for a franchise quarterback. Maybe the Jaguars can rebound a bit and actually have a respectable finish to the season.

The worst-case scenario is that Tebow is a failure, and the Jaguars remain the worst team in the league. They're already a big enough joke, with or without him.

I'm not a huge fan of somebody saying simply, "Tebow just knows how to win" as their only defense about his brief NFL success.

On the other hand, he had five fourth-quarter comebacks and six game-winning drives in that successful 2011 season, via Pro-Football-Reference. Although his mechanics aren't as refined, Tebow is a bit like Eli Manning in that he can look like crap for three quarters but flip a switch when the game is on the line.

Dec 16, 2011; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars new owner Shahid Khan talks to the media during a press conference at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

This is also a matter of dollars and sense.

Shahid Khan is a smart businessman. He should be able to see the value in bringing a player so beloved by so many people. There's a large segment of fans that will immediately buy tickets to Jacksonville's next home game the minute Tebow would actually be signed. EverBank Field would probably be a sellout.

This is a team that's already scraping the bottom of the barrel to get butts in the seats. Case in point, their promotion to give away free beer with the purchase of a ticket, via Jaguars Twitter account.

The Jaguars have lost the argument that signing Tebow is below them in terms of reigniting the fanbase.

If you're going to be the worst team in the league, you might as well make the most of it.


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