Polarizing free agent quarterback Tim Tebow has not found a job in the NFL yet this regular season. Now, Jacksonville City Councilman Don Redman has gone on record questioning why the Jaguars franchise wouldn’t sign the enigmatic player, according to Michael Clinton of the Jacksonville Business Journal.
After being asked the status of pending decisions on potential upgrades for EverBank Field by team lobbyist Paul Harden, Redman responded, per Clinton, “If you want to sell tickets, get Tebow in there. Draw a crowd. I don’t know why they wouldn’t consider it. It would be as good for the city as the jumbotron.”
While a politician throwing out his opinions about sports isn't typically noteworthy, the fact the Redman’s comments came to a lobbyist for the Jaguars looking to secure funds indicates the lack of Tebow on the roster could cost the franchise more than it anticipated.
If Redman and the rest of the members of city council feel that the Jacksonville organization isn’t trying to make the team better on the field and more appealing to fans overall, there is a chance that the city could think twice about publicly funding upgrades to the team’s stadium.
The city would have to contribute $43 million for the new scoreboards, per Clinton.
The Jaguars are not required to listen to a member of the city council on personnel moves, but this goes well beyond the football field. Redman knows that Tebow is a brand that a national audience would support, but the allure dates all the way back to his time playing high school and college football in Florida.
Tebow is a home-town player and would become the face of the franchise. With both Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert proving that they aren’t the answer for the future in Jacksonville (the Jaguars are 0-8 this season and ranked 19th in the NFL passing the ball and 31st on the ground), Tebow could be a stopgap until the franchise can draft the quarterback of the future.
As terrible as Tebow’s throwing mechanics have been throughout his career (has averaged an abysmal completion percentage of 47.9), he has shown just how much talent he possesses running the ball and playing quarterback in a system catered to his needs. Look no further than the Denver Broncos' 2011 playoff run for proof.
The current game plan for Jacksonville obviously hasn’t worked this season, and a complete overhaul of the offense for Tebow would be the infusion of energy the team needs to build momentum moving into next season.
Councilman Redman’s comments may not change the franchise’s point of view, but it shows the rest of the league that the franchise and the community surrounding the team would be open to Tebow playing quarterback.