HARTFORD (CBS Hartford) — What will happen to Tim Tebow?
That’s the question surrounding the former Heisman-winning quarterback after a disastrous season with the New York Jets where he ran more plays on the punt team than behind center.
Tebow is expected to be released soon from the Jets despite all the hoopla that surrounded “Tebowmania” following his trade from the Denver Broncos, who he led to a playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers the season before.
Tebow rarely got any playing time behind the dreadful Mark Sanchez, and was even bypassed over by third-stringer Greg McElroy to start.
Suffice it to say, Tebow’s stock has taken a hit. Now the question is will another NFL team give the 25-year-old quarterback a chance?
“[T]he reality that Tebow may be unemployed next season is stunning,” WFAN’s Jason Keidel says. “Forgive the cliche, but all the man does is win, even if his form is hardly pro forma in pro football.”
Tebow does not have gaudy stats to say the least. He’s only completed nearly 48 percent of his passes during his young NFL career, with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions, to go along with his 12 rushing scores.
But like Keidel pointed out, all Tebow does is win. He took over for Kyle Orton and the struggling Broncos and pulled off six straight wins to help lead the team to the playoffs. Tebow even has one more playoff win than Peyton Manning as a Bronco quarterback.
A major obstacle Tebow faces is that many teams don’t view him as a traditional quarterback. Instead of being a “utility” player or a situation/goal line back, it appears Tebow doesn’t have many options within NFL circles.
“The problem with making Tebow anything other than a quarterback is twofold,” Keidel says. “First, he has only played quarterback his entire life. Second, he only wants to play quarterback his entire life.”
CBS Boston sports producer Michael Hurley believes that Tebow shouldn’t let other teams dictate what position he should play.
“I hope teams don’t try to make him switch positions,” Hurley says. “He may not be the world’s best quarterback, and he may not even be in the top five or 10, but he’s proven to be much better as a quarterback than whatever he was last year for the Jets.”
What Tebow needs to find is an organization with rock-solid leadership and structure. Could Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots be that answer?
“Enter Bill Belichick, whose New England autocracy is never questioned,” Keidel states. “Belichick could take a flier on Tebow because the ornery coach … likes unselfish, humble, and hardworking players in general and loves tweaking the Jets in particular.”
It’s intriguing to picture Tebow in a Patriots uniform, but with him only wanting to play quarterback, there is no way he gets on the field with Tom Brady still in the fold — especially after just signing a three-year contract extension.
“I thought that if Tebow was on the board in 2010 when the Patriots were making a second- or third-round pick, he was the type of guy that Bill Belichick would want to have around, strictly as a backup quarterback and a locker room/weight room leader. I think that ship has sailed though,” Hurley says. “[O]ne of Belichick’s signature messages to his players being ‘ignore the noise,’ I can’t possibly see the team showing any interest in him this offseason.
A team that does sign Tebow, though, needs to plan on starting him and not using him as a glorified bench-warmer for the season.
“Someone will sign Tebow because he’s impossible to resist,” Keidel says. “But no matter where he lands, you can be sure Tim Tebow will outwork his competition, even if he can’t outplay it. Either way, he deserves a chance to double down on his Denver deeds. As long as the Jets aren’t dealing the cards.”