We are finally going to find out how the "Tim Tebow thing" in Denver plays out.
We think so, at least.
After Kyle Orton's struggles led to Tebow's heroics last week, Denver has a week six bye before taking on the Miami Dolphins in week seven. The Broncos seemed almost reluctant to be finally giving Tebow his chance.
They don't really have a choice anymore.
I believe Tebow is a talented player who could be a legitimate starter, but I view him as at least partially damaged goods in Denver. The Broncos have managed him horribly throughout his first 18 months as a professional quarterback, and rumors that Denver is actively shopping Brandon Lloyd make me wonder if they are gearing up for total sabotage efforts on the Broncos' 2011 season.
The Broncos are a bad football team that could be in the "Suck for Luck" sweepstakes, which is something that will obviously intrigue John Elway. Seeing Andrew Luck sitting at the top of next year's draft board, a can't-miss Stanford prospect, Elway must feel like he has the chance to travel back in time 28 years and draft himself.
If only he can do something about this Tebow guy.
It's clear that John Fox will be around much longer than Tebow in Denver, because this wasn't the regime that wanted him. This regime, with Fox and Elway, wants a fresh start. They want the pro-style quarterback with the classic drop-back and the ideal delivery.
They want Andrew Luck.
It's unfortunate that Tebow's performance will likely have no bearing on the likelihood of him remaining in Denver. Denver is likely playing Tebow, hoping to watch him progress, only to drive up his trade value for a future deal that could help the Broncos land Luck.
There is absolutely no way they truly want or believe Tim Tebow will be their franchise quarterback. While we are in the final scenes of this drama, it won't end nicely. Tebow will likely moderately well throughout the rest of 2011, but the Broncos' front office will use a 4-12 or 3-13 record as evidence that Tebow can't win as a pro, and should be dealt. If Denver isn't picking first in 2012's draft, Elway will be prepared to give up Tebow and possibly two other No. 1 draft picks to make his move on Luck.
It's an unfortunate situation for Tebow. Such a classy guy deserves a fair shake, and the treatment he's received, along with the Broncos dangling his best target as trade bait, shows that Denver has already given up on him and the 2011 season.