One of the most polarizing football players in recent memory may finally have found a home.
After a thoroughly forgettable season as the backup quarterback of the New York Jets, Tim Tebow is reportedly garnering interest from the unheralded Arena Football League. Considering the utter lack of interest that NFL teams have shown Tebow, the opportunity may not be so far-fetched. Brett Bouchy, the owner of the AFL’s Orlando Predators, certainly seems open to the idea.
"Tim would certainly want to first exhaust his opportunities in the NFL, but we'd love to have him," Bouchy told the Orlando Sentinel. "I think he would definitely improve as a quarterback in our league.
Despite toiling in relative anonymity, AFL players have, at times, experienced success at the NFL level. For example, future Hall of Fame quarterback and two-time MVP winner Kurt Warner honed his skills with the now-defunct Iowa Barnstormers before his triumphant return to football’s biggest stage. Spending a few years adjusting to the Arena League’s fast-paced style of play might be the perfect remedy for Tebow’s perceived lack of accuracy and ability to quickly get rid of the football.
"Kurt Warner told me once that when he got back to the NFL after playing in the Arena League, the NFL game was like slow motion,” Orlando Predators owner Brett Bouchy told the Orlando Sentinel. “Everything in the Arena League is just so much faster and quicker and predicated on accuracy. Whenever Tim is willing, we have a contract waiting for him to sign."
Still, as humble as Tebow is, would a quarterback who once led the Denver Broncos to an impressive playoff run be willing to swallow his pride and head to Orlando? The former Florida Gator standout has been insistent concerning his belief that he’s a starting-level player, but a gig in a football backwater like Orlando probably isn’t what he had in mind.
Of course, all of this speculation is contingent on the fact that Tebow is indeed released by the New York Jets, which at this point appears to be inevitable.
At once a pop culture darling and football pundit punching bag, Tebow’s skill set (or lack thereof) has been a source of endless debate. Despite his unequaled success at the college level and impressive record as an NFL starter, questions about Tebow’s fundamentals and conventional passing skills have relegated him to the sidelines. Meanwhile, his advocates argue that the southpaw’s intangibles and “will to win” are enough to overcome his deficiencies.