So Peyton Manning is apparently going to join the Denver Broncos. That’s pretty much par for the course if you’ve followed the professional career of Tim Tebow at all. That guy can’t catch a break, and now he’s out of a job. As much as the Broncos have treated Tebow like a human yo-yo during his time there, it’s probably best that he gets the heck out of Dodge if he’s ever going to get a fair shake in the NFL.
After working for John Elway, Tebow likely can’t figure out which side of Elway’s mouth to believe–the one that runs him down one week, or the one that praises him to the moon the next. For whatever reasons, Tebow draws the strongest of passions of out both his supporters and his detractors, too. People generally either worship him or loathe him.
I’m one of those rare folks who fall somewhere in between. I think it’s fun to watch Tim Tebow play football, and I’ve thought so since his days at Florida. You can just never count him out until that final gun has sounded. He’s unconventional, he’s exciting, and I really don’t care if he takes a minute to thank his lucky stars after good plays. Most touchdown celebrations by other players are infinitely more painful to watch.
At any rate, I feel badly for the guy. I really feel like he’s been jerked around in Denver and treated like yesterday’s newspaper, even after leading the Broncos to a division title and the playoffs, as well as a home playoff victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers. I can’t remember a quarterback taking his team two games into the postseason and getting such a cold shoulder from his fans.
He definitely needs a new team, and Denver is likely happy to oblige. Here, then, are five ideal landing spots for Tebow in 2012:
No. 5: Indianapolis Colts
This seems like the most fair thing to do. Denver takes Indy’s quarterback, so Indy will take Denver’s. Sure, Andrew Luck is probably headed to the Colts in the NFL Draft, but Indianapolis hasn’t had a running game to speak of in years. Put Tebow in at running back–at 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds, he’ll withstand the pounding–and if anything happens to Luck, they’ve got their second-string quarterback already warmed up. Besides, Colts fans are going to need a reason to show up at Lucas Oil Stadium for the next few years. Watching Tebow play could do the trick.
No. 4: Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins seem to be hot to trot for a new quarterback, and having lost out on Manning and Matt Flynn, they may now be interested in Tebow. They’ve tried that Wildcat offense in the past with dual-threat quarterbacks, so it shouldn’t be hard to switch back to that to maximize Tebow’s diverse talents. It doesn’t hurt that going to Miami would take Tebow back to his native Florida.
No. 3: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay is another Florida team that’s jonesing for a quarterback after Josh Freeman was less than impressive in 2011. Ten straight losses to finish out the season have to come back to the quarterback at some point. Besides, Vincent Jackson is in Tampa now for whenever Tebow decides to fire up his throwing arm.
No. 2: Cleveland Browns
With Colt McCoy under center, the Browns owned one of the worst passing offenses in the league. Surely Tebow is better than Seneca Wallace and can take his spot as the dual-threat backup quarterback until McCoy flops for a few more games and the Dawg Pound starts chanting “We want Tebow!” at every home game and putting up billboards and such. If Tebow can lead Denver to the playoffs, surely he can get the Browns there, too. After all, he obviously already knows how to beat the Steelers, which has to count for something in Cleveland.
No. 1: Jacksonville Jaguars
This is really the top choice for so many reasons.
First, Blaine Gabbert. Enough said.
Second, Jacksonville had the worst passing offense in the NFL–even worse than Denver. Anything beyond 157 yards per game is going to be welcomed with open arms by Jaguars fans.
Third, Jacksonville is just over an hour away from Gainesville. The Jaguars would sell out every game of the season in about 30 seconds with all of those Florida fans within a stone’s throw of Tebow’s home turf. That would be a welcome relief for the 8th-worst team in attendance.
Fourth, can you imagine the havoc that a two-pronged rushing attack consisting of Tebow and Maurice Jones-Drew would cause with opposing defenses? The Jags could even occasionally line Tebow up at halfback, snap the ball to Jones-Drew, and have MJD keep the ball or have Tebow as a threat for an option play, a halfback pass, or some sort of other trickery. I’m already drawing a few plays up in my head just imagining that combination.
If I was John Elway, I’d have Shahid Kahn on speed dial.
The author is a Featured Contributor in Sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network, and you can follow him on Twitter at @RedZoneWriting and onFacebook.
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