Tim Tebow Isn't the Cure for What Ails Jacksonville Jaguars

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 1, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 16:  Tim Tebow #5 of the New England Patriots warms up prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium on August 16, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars are the worst team in the NFL, and Tim Tebow is the highest-profile quarterback available in free agency. It may seem like a match made in heaven on the surface, but signing Tebow would be little more than a publicity stunt for the Jags, and it wouldn't help the on-field product whatsoever.

Through four games, the Jaguars are 0-4, and they are easily the worst offensive team in the league. They're averaging less than eight points per game and have looked over-matched in each of their losses. The quarterback combo of Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne certainly isn't getting it done, but there's no reason to resort to Tebow at this point.

Jaguars fans have been suffering since the David Garrard era came to an end, so what's another three months of suffering at this point? The Jags aren't going to turn things around this season unless they figure out a way to pull off the trade of the century for a competent quarterback, so the best course of action is to ride the storm out.

Will Jacksonville go 0-16 if it continues to trot Gabbert out onto the field on a weekly basis? It's very possible and perhaps even probable, but that wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. The 2014 NFL draft class figures to be chock full of talent at the quarterback position, and the Jags will have their pick of the litter, including the likes of Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Tajh Boyd.

Any one of those signal-callers could be a star at the NFL level, and each would certainly increase fan interest significantly. While signing Tebow would provide a Band-Aid effect in that regard, it would empower the irrational subsection of the Jaguars' fanbase that is pushing the organization to sign him.

It's understandable that Jaguars fans are disgusted with the team right now as it feels like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, but there most definitely is. When Peyton Manning missed an entire season for the Indianapolis Colts a couple years ago and Indy finished with the league's worst record, things looked dire. The Colts promptly drafted Andrew Luck No. 1 overall and were a playoff team the next season with a supporting cast that was largely the same.

Jags fans may doubt that they'll have the same good fortune as their AFC South rivals, but drafting a guy like Johnny Football could make the Jaguars relevant and a competitive football team in one fell swoop.

Desperation could literally be seen in the air at EverBank Field on Sunday when the Jaguars faced the aforementioned Colts. According to John Breech of CBSSports.com, someone took it upon themselves to fly a plane above the stadium with a banner attached that said, "Tebow, why not?" as seen in this photo courtesy of Steven Schnake's Instagram account.

That was essentially the only source of excitement for Jaguars fans on Sunday as the Colts destroyed Jacksonville 37-3 in front of a sparse crowd, as seen in this tweet by The Big Lead's Jason McIntyre.

Pathetic attendance may convince Jaguars owner Shahid Khan that something drastic needs to be done, but the changes should be saved for the offseason. Signing Tebow would create a buzz, but it would take time for him to learn the playbook, and he probably wouldn't even be a factor until the late stages of the season anyway.

Also, Tebow's skill set doesn't play to Jacksonville's offensive strength at all. The Jags have two supremely talented receivers in Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon, and there is no way that Tebow could consistently get the ball in their hands. After all, Denver Broncos receivers Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker didn't truly break out until Denver replaced Tebow with Manning last season.

If the Jags want to make a quarterback move this season that could actually help them, then trading for or signing embattled Tampa Bay Buccaneers signal-caller Josh Freeman is a much better option. He may not have the same cachet as Tebow, but he's a 25-year-old, former first-round pick who threw for more than 4,000 yards and 27 touchdowns last year.

The Bucs are desperate to move Freeman, according to ESPN's Ed Werder, and the Jaguars would obviously be a good fit.

Even though Freeman has struggled mightily this season, he led wide receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams to strong campaigns in 2012, and he could conceivably do the same with Shorts and Blackmon.

Freeman probably wouldn't be a starting option beyond this year, but if he could recapture some of the magic he displayed in 2012, perhaps the Jaguars would have a huge steal on their hands. That scenario simply wouldn't be possible with a guy like Tebow.

Regardless of what they do at this point, 2013 is a lost cause for the Jaguars. Signing Tebow would get people talking, but it would be at the expense of the organization becoming a circus sideshow. Tebow isn't a smart investment from a football perspective, and the Jaguars have done a nice job of realizing that thus far.

Even though pressure will continue to mount as the losses pile up, Khan and the rest of the Jags' power structure shouldn't stray from what they have committed to thus far. A turnaround could very well be on the horizon, and it doesn't involve Tebow.


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