Is Tim Tebow being blackballed by the NFL? The short and simple answer is that Tim Tebow is not good enough as a player to be a distraction in the NFL, and the media circus around him is a distraction.
There's no question Tim Tebow is one of the biggest media stories as an athlete. Forbes just named him America's most influential athlete. The Onion just named him America's most influential former athlete. He inspired a potential change in Alabama's state law as a high school recruit. He helped lead the Florida Gators to two national championships, including key contributions as a freshman backup. He won the Heisman Trophy.
His play for the Denver Broncos in 2010 and 2011 showed, though, that he is, at best, a work in progress when it comes to throwing the ball at an NFL level. He posted the worst completion percentage in the league. He was sacked a phenomenal amount behind an offensive line that did not have trouble pass-protecting for Kyle Orton (or for Peyton Manning in 2012). The Broncos tried to get around his limitations as best they could by instituting a run-heavy option offense. Tebow's experience should have made him a good fit there, but as long as he's played in an option-oriented scheme, his option decision-making has been relatively poor.
The Jets in 2012 tried to find a use for Tebow in the right niche, as a backup who drew occasional use in goalline and maybe some third down situations. The result was an unsuccessful season. Mixing Tebow in with Mark Sanchez only prevented either player from getting into anything like a rhythm and produced perhaps the league's most dysfunctional offense. Tebow barely threw the ball, but not because he didn't have opportunities to make plays in the passing game. He ran the ball much more than he threw it but his runs were inefficient. After drafting Geno Smith in the second round, the Jets released Tebow.
And now we come to the point where we were. What Tim Tebow has done at the NFL level indicates he does not do many things that can help an NFL team win games. Could he in time? Perhaps. Notwithstanding his flaws as an NFL quarterback, he remains an incredibly popular player, one who has won some games in the NFL thanks to a low-scoring defense and a healthy dose of luck, with a personal fanbase that will pepper his team with questions and claim he should be starting notwithstanding his lack of NFL success.
A good contrast with Tebow came in April's NFL draft. The biggest off-the-field distraction in terms of potential prospects came from Notre Dame middle linebacker Manti Te'o. His fake girlfriend story earned him a great deal of media attention, very little of it positive. His presence on an NFL team would inevitably produce jokes aimed at him and the team that drafted him. And where he did he go? Early in the second round, precisely where his on-field football talent indicated he should have gone. The San Diego Chargers drafted him because they thought he could fill the void at inside linebacker created by the loss of Takeo Spikes. That was enough to get him drafted pretty highly.
Let's be honest. The media is the problem. You won't leave the man alone. If there's a circus it's because you, THE MEDIA, created it. You behave like a group of adolescent teenagers the way your crowd around him. Part of Tebow's problem is that has been willing to discuss just about anything when asked: his faith in god, whether he's had pre-marital sex, his overseas missionary work, his ad campaign with Jockey. You have an agenda. Tim Tebow in briefs? Big deal! Tebow's take on doing the ads is straightforward - everyone wears underwear. He's not a complicated guy. Accept it and stop putting so much focus on every step he takes. Tebow just may be that diamond in the rough. Belichick sees possibilities and we'll all find out if he was right. Tebow's been given a second chance and I believe he'll make the most of it. Will he ever meet the media's inflated expectations? Who cares? That's not his problem! What Bill Belichick thinks is all that matters.
You have to wonder why Tebow chose NY over the offer to go to Jacksonville when Denver gave him the choice. I don't see how he thought there was a "better chance" to start in NY. I would wonder if he was more concerned with spreading his "message" to a bigger audience. Jax is where he belongs. They don't have a QB, it's Gator country and they understand what he brought to Florida that made the team work. They could build a team that compliments his skill set and - more than anything - they could sell more tickets (which - let's face it - is what they really need).
His only other option - imho - is to switch to tight end or running back which he doesn't seem to desire. I would imagine some innovative OC could figure out a way to use him behind the QB or in the TE slot and mix it up with his limited QB skill set. I hate the wildcat - always thought it was nothing more than a cheap gimmick - but Tebow is built like TE. If he could learn the position AND bring a little QB skill to the position - I would think he could be useful.
@Indy! Indy, a few corrections here. Tebow did not "choose" New York. He was traded there by the Broncos. Players have no choice in trades. They go where they are sent. The question is WHY did the Jets deal for him when they had no clear idea of how to use him?
The Jets did Tebow and themselves a disservice by not giving him a shot as full-time QB starter after 6 or 7 weeks of Sanchez. He couldn't have been worse. Also, Tebow did not do anything to "spread a message" while in New York. If anything, he toned it down. He was fully focused on football while there.
As for Jacksonville, the Jaguars repeatedly said they have no interest in Tebow, even now when he is a free agent. I'm sure his agent approached the team. Once again, this is not his choice.
I do not agree with Tebow changing positions at this point in his career. It is not easy to do when everyone around you in the NFL is an elite athlete, including tight ends and running backs. I haven't seen Tebow catch a pass or block a linebacker. There is no reason be believe he would be good at those positions now. Better players are available at both positions. I am very certain that team GMs see it that way.
Tebow is in a tough spot, not all of it his doing. He is most probably, almost certainly done in the NFL.
@SkinsHogHeaven @Indy! Hogs: According to multiple sources - Denver gave Tebow the option of being traded to Jax or NY. Look it up. Jax is not interested NOW - apparently they WERE a year ago (I'm guessing before they picked up Henne).
So far as Tebow - I could not care less about his message. His QB skills are limited - that's why his options in the NFL are limited. Good players end up playing - obviously no one believes dealing with the Tebow Circus is worth Tebow's skill set. It's really that simple.
He's still plenty young enough to learn a new position - college QBs often have to lower their expectations in the NFL if they want to stick around.
We can agree to disagree if you like.
Some college quarterbacks make the transition to another position at the next level. Mostly you get an Antwaan Randle El performance. It's OK, but only OK. Denard Robinson cut Tebow out of that role with the Jaguars. We'll just disagree on Tim's ability to make that change.
Tebow HAS to play QB if he's going to make it. He needs a team that will run an option offense. The teams most likely to do that, Redskins, 49ers, Seahawks, do not need a QB. Tough spot.
Tim Tebow seems to be a nice guy. He is strongly committed to his faith, but that doesn't make him any better than the next guy. The Bible is specific about that: "God is no respector of persons..." He had a successful college career, but just doesn't have - as very few do - the skills and mechanics to quickly and accurately throw a football down field. He is what he is. What messed him up were all the wannabe groupies who have no lives of their own and glom on to someone else to live their lives through. It's unfortunately the new "American Way' and it's killing the once great virtues and values of this country.
Wow, You would think the NFL would just give Tebow a shot and put this whole thing to bed. No team with a bad record is going to loose anything by letting Tim get a fare shot. Strange how the possibility that NFL could be wrong about a player gets into the heads of everyone. Just give the guy a fare shot and see who is right or wrong.