After the 2011 NFL season came to an end, it looked as though Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow
had finally secured his starting spot with the team, as well as the support of John Elway
and the rest of the team’s front office. However, the current offseason has clearly shown that this is far from reality.
After a miraculous campaign last season, Tebow was able to reestablish the Broncos as a legitimate team and lead them to their first postseason berth since the 2005 season. His unique “run and gun” style of offense helped the team lead the NFL in rushing, as well as the AFC West title. Not only was he able to aid the Broncos in their unlikely playoff appearance, but he also led the team to a first round victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. As NFL fans are well aware, the game was won on an amazing 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas
on the first play of overtime. While the team’s success was also predicated on the play of stars like Champ Bailey
, Von Miller
, Elvis Dumervil
and Willis McGahee
, there is no question that Tebow was integral to the team’s success.
However, despite his exceptional play, particularly in clutch situations, the Broncos have made it abundantly clear that they are not sold on Tebow as their franchise quarterback. After his heroics last season, it became clear to John Elway that the only way he could replace Tebow as the team’s starting quarterback without the fans revolting was to add a player with a superstar talent level. However, that exact opportunity has presented it to the team in the last few weeks. Ever since All-Pro quarterback Peyton Manning
was released by the Indianapolis Colts, the team has been in hot pursuit of the legendary signal caller. The Broncos have established themselves as one of the few teams with a legitimate shot of landing Manning via free agency.
While it is unclear if the team will part ways with Tebow if they do sign Manning to be their starting quarterback, the possibility alone has caused me to speculate about his chances with another franchise. Ordinarily I do my best to prevent my personal fanhood and opinions on players and teams from influencing my writing. However, as a fan of Tebow since his career began, I have reached the point where I am tired of the Broncos' approach when it comes to their young quarterback. Ever since the team let go of head coach Josh McDaniels
(who made the decision to draft Tebow) the Broncos' organization have been looking for a reason to let go of their quarterback. As much as I enjoyed seeing Tebow and the Broncos succeed with one another’s assistance last season, I have reached the point where I am hoping that the team does land Manning and elect to send Tebow to a team that will actually back him and value his services. If he was able to have a successful year with an offense designed for a traditional quarterback in Kyle Orton
, then it certainly stands to reason that he could have a solid career on a team that is committed to building around his unique skill set.
In my opinion, the best situation for Tim Tebow would be a return to the place where he had one of the most impressive collegiate careers in sports history. While the Miami Dolphins would provide him with a better core of players, the team has shown no interest in potentially acquiring the former Heisman Trophy winner. The Jacksonville Jaguars on the other hand, have publically stated that they would be interested in adding Tebow to their roster. After the team was bought by a new owner late last year, the Jaguars made it clear that they would pursue the Broncos' current quarterback if he became available. The move would not only give the Tebow a team that would give him the support that Denver as not, but it would also reunite him with the Florida Gators fans base that fell in love with him during his tenure with the University. The move would give Jacksonville a team that has struggled to draw interest from the fans in Florida, a player with the star power to fill seats that the team’s stadium.
While the Jags have several holes that need to be filled in their roster, they have a superstar running back in Maurice Jones-Drew
. The fact alone that the team would support Tebow is reasoning enough to make this pairing work. The Jaguars also have a young quarterback in Blane Gabbert
that they could potentially send to Denver in exchange for Tebow. This swap would give Tebow the team support that he has earned, and the Jaguars a young star to build around. The move would also give the Broncos a young quarterback to back up Peyton Manning, and rid themselves of the Tebow experiment (which is clearly an objective of the team’s front office). If the team makes the proper moves around Tebow, this could be a great move for all those involved.