We were a little more than three months from living in a world where Tim Tebow was at the center of the sports universe, but now that Peyton Manning's under center for the Broncos, Tim Tebow is on the outside of the huddle looking in, waiting on a trade. The way this all went down will never not be surreal.
Tebow may not have been perfect, but he was still evolving, and as recently as three weeks ago we had a lot of reasons to believe he'd be the face of the Broncos for the next two or three years. Then this week happened, and it's all happening; the Broncos really seem determined to trade him and wash their hands of Tebowmanina.
Which leads to the next question: Where do we go from here?
One of the biggest stars in the NFL could be had for something like a fourth or fifth round pick, and if not a starting quarterback, he at least gives any offense a fun toy to play with in the redzone. On the other hand, Joey Porter does a nice job explaining why certain players might be disappointed if their team brings in the player he calls the "Justin Bieber of the NFL."
My position on Tebow is pretty clear, but still. This is the NFL's Bieber we're talking about, so no matter what happens, it'll be fun to see where he ends up. And as overmatched and overrated as he seemed for parts of last season--the Broncos may have started 1-4 without him, but they finished 1-4, too--Tebow's still an interesting gamble for a handful of teams. So, with that in mind, let's take a look at 10 of the most interesting landing spots.
In no particular order...
#TeamSantorum! Phillip Rivers endorsed Rick Santorum a few weeks ago, Santorum has been called the Tim Tebow of the Republican race for President, Tim Tebow is the pro-lifeiest pro-lifer of them all, and I don't know what Norv Turner's politics are, but he's the Paul Begala of NFL coaches, powerless to stop the movement. "The Chargers could use him in the redzone," because that's what everyone says about Tim Tebow's potential utility for any team that already has a quarterback. More importantly, the Chargers could consolidate Conservative star power in the ongoing war over America's eroding values. It's a dark time in America right now. You want to know who's going to lead us back into the light? Santorum's Chargers, that's who.
The Packers are reportedly interested in Tebow, but it makes no sense. The only reason they're on this list is so that we can talk about how stupid this is. Aaron Rodgers was the NFL MVP last year, and he's just about as perfect as a quarterback gets. The Packers have one of the most dominant offenses in the NFL with Rodgers in charge, and he strikes fear into every defense in football. You don't want him on the field LESS.
"But it's a change of pace! It'll mix up the defense!"
NO. Taking Aaron Rodgers off the field is still taking Aaron Rodgers off the field.
But taking Joe Flacco off the field...sometimes that makes sense. The Ravens are a mess on offense roughly 60 percent of the time. Flacco played well in the AFC Championship game, but having Tebow around for some of Flacco's more sucktastic performances may not be a bad idea. Tebow could be a nice change of pace off the bench and a running game with Tebow and Ray Rice would actually be pretty terrifying. Most importantly, watching Tebow try to compete with Ray Lewis' prayers would be fantastic.
If you're the Bills, why not? You're the Bills.
This could totally happen. It makes no sense for the same reasons it makes no sense in Green Bay, but that's why it could happen. Aside from dressing like a homeless person and being miserable, what makes Bill Belichick the most hipster coach in the NFL is his tireless dedication to proving that the thing you think is terrible is actually kinda great, and you're just not smart enough to see how to use it. Much better to play Julian Edelman in the nickel, put Tim Tebow at linebacker, and start Aaron Hernandez at running back.
"Burn shit, kill people, f*** school, sign receivers" -- Bill Sweatshirt
This would be fun. Remember when Jerry Jones was drunkenly bashing Bill Parcells and Tim Tebow before the 2010 draft? Those were the days, man. Anyway, this would give America one more legitimate reason to hate the Cowboys, it'd give Jason Garrett one more way to overthink things on offense, and it's so stupid and unnecessary that only the Cowboys (or Redskins) could pull it off. If Dallas fans complain, Stephen and Jerry Jones can always just threaten to bring Terence Newman back instead.
See, THIS would make sense. San Francisco could shuttle Alex Smith and Tebow early on, and depending on who's playing better on a given day, the Niners could go with that guy late. San Francisco's already has solid personnel for the run game, and Randy Moss is maybe the best receiver in history at catching underthrown balls. If the Niners could possibly get him, there's no reason not to roll the dice on their end.
Let's be honest: At least 80 percent of the fun in any Tebow trade is dreaming up the worst possible outcomes for Tebow and his cult following. On that front, forcing them all to root for Michael Vick is just about the best you can do. Bonus points are awarded here because it'd give Andy Reid another way to outsmart himself, but most importantly... They deserve each other. Tebow and Philly fans, you guys. TEBOW AND PHILLY FANS.
Ah, yes. The Jets are apparently dead serious about their interest in acquiring Tebow this week. Antonio Cromartie has already spoken out in opposition, telling Twitter:
We don't need Tebow. We sell out every home game let him go to Jacksonville Tampa or Miami. Our wildcat offense can b ran by J. Kerley or Joe McKnight we straight
But come on, it would be GLORIOUS. Just for the interactions between Tebow and guys like Cromartie, Bart Scott, and Santonio Holmes, not to mention Rex Ryan. If Elway is really trying to exact revenge for months of torture, he'll send Tebow to the most Godless city in America, probably the most dysfunctional locker room in football. It would be like a KSK skit come to life, only better, because there's a decent chance it could end in a psychotic break where Tebow snaps and goes on a John Rocker type rant about Jets fans, Rex, and the New York City subway. We want that rant. We need that rant. THE JETS NEED TEBOW.
The wet blanket scenario. Tebow goes to Jacksonville and turns next year's Jaguars into last year's Broncos. It's the most likely outcome here, but it's not the no-brainer everyone thinks. As SB Nation's Jags blogger, Alfie Crow, explained on Twitter Tuesday night:
The whole problem with Tebow in Jacksonville is this: The team/fans only win if Tebow actually becomes a good QB. If they bring in Tebow and he's not starting, people will say "he's not a practice player" and scream for him. If Tebow comes in and is an utter failure, fans will say the team "used him wrong" and it's the coaches' fault. The likelihood Tebow actually becomes a good QB, however, is just so far against the odds... If you bring him in and it blows up in your face, you fracture a large portion of the diehard fans, then lose the fair weather people. Then what? The only way to survive the "anger" of not having Tebow is to keep your hands completely clean of him. Because if you get Tebow and he fails, it's not going to be Tebow's fault. It's going to be the Jaguars' fault.
All good points. The Jaguars are already struggling to stay alive in Jacksonville. Tebow's looked at as the savior on that front, but as Alfie points out, how will they recover if he doesn't work? In that case, the Tebow cult will never forgive the Jags for sabotaging their hero and the rest of the Jags fans may never forgive their front office for selling the team's soul to Tebow.
That's the epitome of why it's so complicated allowing Tim Tebow to control your franchise's future. It's a win-win scenario, unless he doesn't win. Then everybody loses, people get fired, fans riot. When you think about it like THAT, his demise in Denver makes more sense, doesn't it?