The 2012 season hasn't even finished yet and the 2013 offseason rumors are in full bore. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported on Monday Night Countdown (on Saturday) that it is a "virtual certainty" that Tim Tebow will be playing football for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013.
Tebow was passed over for the starting job with the New York Jets when Rex Ryan decided to go with Greg McElroy instead of a struggling Mark Sanchez, reportedly prompting Tebow to ask for his release or to be traded at the end of the season.
Naturally, the easy target for Tebow is with his hometown team, the Jacksonville Jaguars. The claim is that he will sell tickets, despite evidence he doesn't and he's not needed to, and that the Jaguars owner Shad Khan wants him. When Khan took over the Jaguars, he was asked about Tebow and said he would have drafted him. To most media, that means Khan wants Tebow regardless of his abilities, for marketing purposes.
The Jaguars were one of only two teams in the 2012 offseason to attempt to trade for Tebow when the Denver Broncos were attempting to move him, but by most reports Tebow chose to go to the New York Jets. The offers by the Jaguars and the Jets were virtually identical, so, according to reports, the Broncos allowed Tebow to chose his destination and he forsake his hometown team to play in New York.
If Khan really wanted Tebow that badly, he simply could have upped his offer to a third-round pick and forced the Broncos' hand, but he didn't. He asked his front office to see if it made sense and try to get him if it did, which the Jaguars did, but not as a quarterback. Then Khan could have had another shot at Tebow prior to the NFL trade deadline, but once again there was no interest.
I'm not one to question Chris Mortensen's sources on a topic, because they're generally impeccable, but who would know the Jaguars' plans going forward outside of Shad Khan? It's highly unlikely the Jaguars front office staff will be employed by the Jaguars in 2013. There have already been reports of the Jaguars being linked to front-office targets like Tom Gamble for a possible general manager position. If the thought is that Khan is going to get Tim Tebow no matter what and force the front office's hand, he's had two chances already to do so and didn't, so why would he do it now?
The Jaguars have now gone three years in a row without blackouts. The 2-12 Jaguars are expecting their largest crowd of the season for their home finale on Sunday, and the team hasn't bought up any tickets all season to avoid blackouts like other NFL franchises have done. Ticket sales and interest in the team were a problem in 2009, but not any longer.
People will say it's a "money grab," but merchandise revenue in the NFL is split by all teams, outside of what's sold inside the stadium on game day, so that doesn't make much sense either.
There's only one way Tebow can work in Jacksonville and not completely shatter the fan base, and that's if he agrees to change positions from quarterback, which is highly unlikely. If it's to play quarterback, Khan will be hamstringing his new search for a general manager before it starts. He's going to have to find a general manager and likely coaching staff willing to stake their career on Tebow being a successful quarterback. Who's going to do that, honestly?
The fact of the matter is, Khan has had two opportunities to secure Tim Tebow and didn't force his general manager to do so either time. Why would that suddenly change, especially when attendance isn't an issue?