The Denver Broncos had the best free agent signing in NFL history, signing former Colts QB and future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, but now the team must figure out what to do with its other quarterback. You may have heard of him. (Hint: His name rhymes with Slim Bebo.)
If the Broncos didn't sign one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, they would've been very happy sticking with Tim Tebow, who was the ringleader behind the Denver Broncos' incredible, dramatic, unbelievable, magical, heart-pounding last year.
After a rough 1-4 start under quarterback Kyle Orton, the Broncos organization took a big chance by benching him for relative newcomer Tim Tebow, effectively giving him the reins to their entire season. Under pressure by the organization, and countless analysts who have damned Tebow's NFL career from the beginning, the former Florida Gators QB exceeded all expectations, winning seven clutch games in the fourth quarter or overtime to bring home the victory. Tebow even led his team to the playoffs, where they managed to knock off Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers before being bounced by the New England Patriots 45-10.
Tebow is a great quarterback, who can bring in a lot of fanfare and excitement to whichever team or organization he plays for. However, after yesterday's press conference welcoming in Peyton Manning, it certainly seems like Tebow will be playing elsewhere next season, even though Manning was maybe the only person who opened his arms to Tebow at the presser.
I know what kind of player Tim Tebow is, what kind of person he is ... and what an awesome year he had this year, Manning said. If Tim Tebow is here next year, I'm going to be the best teammate I can be to him; he and I are going to help this team win games. If other opportunities present themselves to him, I'm going to wish him the best.
Broncos executive VP of football operations John Elway acknowledged that trading Tebow is possible, and is something the organization is currently exploring. But unless the Broncos decide to bench Tebow and risk the crowds chanting Tebow's name instead of manning, Tebow will go become a starting quarterback for one of the team's in the league. But which one?
Tebow wants to be a starting QB, so let's first eliminate the teams that have the starting quarterback position locked up. Those teams include the Chicago Bears (Jay Cutler), Detroit Lions (Matthew Stafford), Green Bay Packers (Aaron Rodgers), Carolina Panthers (Cam Newton), Atlanta Falcons (Matt Ryan), New Orleans Saints (Drew Brees), Dallas Cowboys (Tony Romo), New York Giants (Eli Manning), Washington Redskins (No. 2 overall draft pick), Philadelphia Eagles (Michael Vick), San Francisco 49ers (Alex Smith), Seattle Seahawks (Matt Flynn), St. Louis Rams (Sam Bradford), San Diego Chargers (Philip Rivers), Denver Broncos (Peyton Manning), New England Patriots (Tom Brady), Buffalo Bills (Ryan Fitzpatrick), and the Indianapolis Colts (No. 1 overall draft pick).
Let's break down some of the teams that make the most sense:
Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jags had a rough season in 2011. The team was 5-11 overall, and rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert played like a rookie, while RB Maurice Jones-Drew did most of the heavy lifting. Going to Jacksonville would be a great homecoming for Tebow, which would give him an opportunity to play in the city where he grew up and won a high school national football championship. The Jaguars need a reason to be excited again, and Tebow could be it.
Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs just signed Brady Quinn from Denver, and they could sign Denver's other QB. The team has some great receivers (Dwyane Bowe) and runners (Jamaal Charles), but Kansas City hasn't clicked yet with QB Matt Cassel, formerly Tom Brady's back-up. Kansas City would enjoy Tebow, who prefers the run to the pass, but could always heave a long ball down the field to Bowe for big plays.
Everyone thinks the Jets would sign Tebow, but New York just signed QB Mark Sanchez to a three-year extension worth $40.5 million, including $20.5 million guaranteed over the next two seasons. The quarterback position in New York is locked up, and while adding Tebow would give Rex Ryan and the Jets an option that they used to have in Brad Smith (now with the Buffalo Bills), everyone would be chanting for Tebow when Sanchez plays poorly, and the Jets don't want that kind of pressure. Ryan has his own rules, and submitting to Tebow-mania doesn't seem like one of them.
There are plenty of places Tebow can go. He's got the passion, the drive, and the fans, and he's working on the skill. He's a fast runner, smart with the ball, but more importantly, he will be the best teammate and student of the game for any team that chooses him. It's a lottery and anyone can win Tebow, but any organization should be prepared to accept the good with the bad with Tebow.