Tim Tebow’s future as an NFL quarterback has been a hotly debated topic since his freshman season at Florida. Three years after Tebow was drafted in the first round by the Denver Broncos and nine days after the New York Jets placed him on waivers, the former Heisman Trophy winner finds himself without an NFL job.
Sports television network execs may be waiting to pounce on the world’s most influential athlete according to Forbes, but are there ANY teams still considering taking a chance on Tebow behind center?
Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports reports the same hype and media circus that makes Tebow attractive for ratings and sponsors is likely keeping him out of most NFL camps. Some of the chatter Silver dissects includes a Patriots source saying the team is unlikely to sign Tebow because Coach Bill Belichick “hates” him as a player. The Patriots, with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels — the former Broncos coach who drafted Tebow — have been linked to Tebow as a possible destination. But the Patriots’ source said the team won’t take a chance on Tebow as a situational player because “they wouldn’t like the circus that comes with it.”
Circus seems to be a familiar thread that NFL executives fear when considering adding Tebow to their roster — even if it’s of no fault of his own. He’s a proven leader, but his poor mechanics, footwork, throwing motion and lack of accuracy appear to be too much of a gamble when combined with the media and fan frenzy that have followed his NFL career in Denver and New York.
“He seems like a great guy to have on a team, and I’d be tempted to bring him in as our backup,” one NFC head coach said Wednesday. “But it’s just not worth dealing with all the stuff that comes with it.”
In a business in which coaches and general managers strive to avoid distractions, Tebow, as one NFC offensive coordinator told me last spring, carries more of a stigma than Terrell Owens.
Or, in the words of one AFC head coach to whom I spoke recently: “You don’t want to put up with the circus.”