New York Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow seemed destined for the Jacksonville Jaguars, especially when Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported that it was a "virtual certainty" he'd be with the Jaguars in 2013. Fast forward to January 2013 and the only thing that appears certain is that Tebow will not be a member of the Jaguars.
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"He is a member of the New York Jets so I can't imagine a scenario where he would be a Jacksonville Jaguar," Jaguars newly hired general manager David Caldwell said in his introductory press conference. A reporter asked Caldwell to repeat what he said, to which he responded, "I can't imagine a scenario where Tim Tebow would be a Jacksonville Jaguar."
"Even if he's released," Caldwell added.
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If the Jaguars aren't interested in Tebow, even if he's a free agent, who will be? Only two teams had legitimate interest in Tebow when he was on the trading block in the 2011 offseason; one appears to be getting ready to unload, while the other publicly distanced itself from him. Even if Tebow is released, there doesn't appear to be much interest in him as a team's starting or even backup quarterback.
The issue with Tebow is that he is still a massive unknown as a passer and has the potential to be a complete and utter disaster on a team. While it's possible he could wind up a successful NFL quarterback, any team's required investment to find that out would be massive. You can't hold a quarterback competition with Tebow, because he'll lose. He can't run a conventional NFL offense, so in a competition with other quarterbacks who can, even moderately, he'll lose out because he simply looks awful in practice.
A team will have to literally hand Tebow the starting position, tailor its entire offense scheme and players around what Tebow does well and then still hope it works out. Teams simply aren't willing to do this because if it's a failure, everyone will get fired. The general manager will get fired and the coaching staff will get fired. That's a massive risk for a team to take, even the bad ones.
Not only that, but the circus that comes with Tebow on the roster isn't worth the headache. If Tebow isn't your starting quarterback, the story will constantly be why he's not the quarterback. Anytime your starting quarterback has a bad day or throws an interception, the circus starts and you have to deal with answering questions about whether Tebow will get a shot. Unless you have Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, or Tom Brady as your quarterback, it's going to be one big media headache week after week.
The best thing for Tebow to do if he's still dead set on playing quarterback is to head to the Canadian Football League (CFL). The Montreal Allouettes currently hold Tebow's CFL rights and their starting quarterback, Anthony Calvillo, 40, decided he would return for one final season. Tebow could take his shot in the CFL to learn as a passer, even if he has to sit a season behind Calvillo and learn. Going to the CFL shouldn't be seen as a failure for Tebow, either.
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There are a handful of players that many didn't think would make it in the NFL who took the CFL or even Arena Football League (AFL) route before being an NFL success. Many people didn't think Warren Moon would be a success in the NFL, but after years of being an elite player in the CFL he headed to the NFL with great success. Doug Flutie was another in the line of "unconventional" quarterbacks who found success in the CFL before the NFL. Kurt Warner, who was a Super Bowl MVP, was originally an NFL washout, made a career in the AFL and then came back to the NFL with great success.
Another option for Tebow would be to just change positions. There is an example Tebow could follow if he's finally willing to swallow his pride and give up being an NFL quarterback, and that's the path of former Penn State quarterback Michael Robinson.
Robinson was a quarterback in college for the Nittany Lions, kind of like Tebow. He was an OK passer when it called for it, but his real strength was running the football with power. Robinson finished his senior season in 2005 fifth on the final Heisman ballot, was the Big Ten player of the year and was voted the MVP of the Big Ten.
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Robinson was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round of the NFL Draft but was converted to running back, which he embraced and impressed then-head coach Mike Nolan with his toughness and willingness at the position. Robinson eventually worked his way up to being No. 2 on the depth chart behind Frank Gore and become a reliable goal line back. In 2010 Robinson signed with the Seattle Seahawks, transitioned to fullback and was voted as an alternate to the 2012 Pro Bowl.
As it stands, however, unless Tebow is willing to give up being an NFL quarterback for now, his career in the NFL could be close to finished. There doesn't appear to be an NFL team willing to give Tebow the chance to be an NFL quarterback.