The Tim Tebow experiment does not look like it will work out with the New York Jets.
After trading for the former Heisman Trophy winner in the offseason, the Jets have used him sparingly as a quarterback in 2012. He’s taken 70 snaps in 2012, and thrown just eight passes. Tebow hasn’t come close to playing 20 snaps a game, like Rex Ryan suggested before the start of the season.
Even with the struggles of Mark Sanchez, Tebow hasn’t been given an opportunity to start. Sanchez has been benched for the final two games of the year, but Ryan has decided to give the starting job to Greg McElroy, who has been listed as the No.3 quarterback on the roster for the entire season, and hasn’t been active for most games.
If Tebow is not being used in the Wildcat package and not starting when Sanchez is on the bench, New York doesn’t appear to have any real plans for the quarterback. He showed in 2011 that he can lead a team to the playoffs, when he did so with the Denver Broncos. Now, reports say that he wants a similar opportunity in 2013.
New York will likely look to trade Tebow, as well as Mark Sanchez, in the offseason. Sanchez is owed $8.25 million next year, and regressed in his fourth NFL season. At this point, Tebow may have more value than the man who started in front of him all year.
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The New York Daily News reported on Wednesday that they’d like to trade Sanchez and Tebow to make room for Michael Vick. There’s a good chance the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback could become a free agent in the offseason, and Ryan reportedly has an affinity for the dynamic playmaker.
Tebow hasn’t started in a year, and there were doubts about his ability even after he helped Denver beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in last year’s playoffs. Still, there are a few teams that could improve by making Tebow their starter.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are the most likely destination for Tebow. They almost traded for him in March when he was shopped by the Broncos, but Denver executive vice president John Elway said the quarterback preferred to go to New York.
Jacksonville spent their No.1 pick in the 2011 draft on a quarterback, but he hasn’t proven that he can be a quality starter in the NFL. Blaine Gabbert registered just a 65.4 passer rating last season, and hasn’t been able to stay healthy this year. Even in the 10 games he played, he had more turnovers than touchdowns.
The Jaguars would also have extra incentive to acquire Tebow, because of his popularity. He was a legend in college at Florida, and could bring some excitement to Jacksonville. The Jaguars haven’t made the playoffs since 2007, and might make the move in an attempt to reenergize the franchise.
Arizona could also benefit from acquiring Tebow. The Cardinals might have the worst quarterback situation in all of football. Three signal callers have thrown at least 141 passes for Arizona in 2012.
Kevin Kolb hasn’t found success with the Cardinals, since being acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles. He lost his job at the start of the season, and suffered a rib injury later on. Reports say he is likely done in Arizona.
John Skelton and Ryan Lindley have also split time with the Cardinals, but neither one has looked like a quality NFL starter. They’ve combined to throw just two touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
The Cardinals ideal option might be to find a quarterback in the draft, but it won’t be easy for them to do so in 2013. They have five wins, and may not land a top five selection. If they can’t land Matt Barkley from USC, it might not be worth it for Arizona to draft a quarterback.