As most football fans are aware, Tim Tebow's stock as the Broncos' quarterback of the future seems to be dropping fast. Both Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn are having superior training camps and NFL talking heads are discussing the flaws in Tebow's passing motion and his poor decision making skills. Tebow is also a daily reminder of the Josh McDaniels era and the cards—as well as the head coach—seem to be stacked against him.
As a Chargers fan, I really don't care if Tebow throws another pass in the NFL. In fact, with his potential and track record at Florida, I would prefer the Broncos not give him a chance just in case he becomes another John Elway.
However, as a football fan I am definitely intrigued by the type of player he could become. Of course, he may end up being just another over-hyped college quarterback who can't translate his success to the NFL. The only way to find out is if he is given the opportunity to play consistently or at least receive a public commitment from the coaching staff. Tebow should be given the opportunity to work his kinks out with the coaching staff during practice with full knowledge that he does not need to look over his shoulder.
There is no question that Tim Tebow doesn't fit the mold of a typical pro-style quarterback. Even in college there were questions about his mechanics and a lack of interest or ability to correct those flaws. Tebow seems to make up for those mechanical issues with his physicality and leadership presence on the field, something that is much easier to accomplish when you are playing in college against lesser competition than what is seen every Sunday in the NFL.
The same criticisms have been leveled against many a quarterback, including Michael Vick and Cam Newton, however, neither has been publicly flogged about holes in mechanics as much as Tebow has been during the last year. Vick was handed the keys to the Falcons offense during his rookie year and all indications are that Cam Newton will be allowed to learn on the job this year as well. Why is Tebow not given the same opportunity after a test drive last season?
Unless the Broncos are willing to give Tebow the backup quarterback spot, it seems that is in both his and the team's best interest to trade him to a team that will give him that opportunity. After all, if the Broncos decide that Tebow is not capable of beating out Brady Quinn as the backup quarterback, why keep him as the third-string quarterback where he will have limited opportunities to showcase his progression?
While this would allow the Broncos to keep an eye on his development and give them an extended opportunity to make a final decision about his place in their long-term plans, having Tebow run with the third team probably won't give the team many quality reps to evaluate.
If the decision is made to trade him, the trade would have to be made out of sheer hope and another team's coaching staff feeling certain they can either live with or "fix" Tebow's flaws. Not only that, but who would want to take him as a highly paid project?
While the St. Louis Rams, with Josh McDaniels as their new offensive coordinator, have popped up as a possible destination, it seems as though that may be a worse fit than Denver. Kyle Orton only has a year left on his contract, but Sam Bradford seems to have already established himself as the franchise quarterback of the Rams for the foreseeable future, leaving little space for Tebow.
It's too early to write the Broncos off completely, but it doesn't look like they will be a serious contender in the AFC West in 2011. At the very least, they should give Tebow the backup quarterback position so he can learn under a veteran NFL quarterback like Kyle Orton. Otherwise, they need to bite the bullet and give Tebow the ball.
What do the Broncos have to lose by putting Tebow in for an extended period of time and seeing what he can do? Worst case scenario, Tebow proves his critics right and has a miserable season. However, this could potentially put the team in line for the number one overall draft pick next April and give them the ability to groom a new possible franchise quarterback, Andrew Luck.
There are definitely worse outcomes than that, especially considering what happened with the last quarterback the Broncos got from Stanford.