Tim Tebow Trade Rumors | Analyzing Tebow’s Fit With All 32 Teams
Peyton Manning will be wearing a Denver Broncos jersey in 2012. And with that, Tebowmania has come to an end.
While the ride was one to remember, most NFL fans and analysts will come away with the words “luck”, “inaccurate”, “read-option”, and “polarizing”. But any way you shake it, Tim Tebow is still a gifted athlete with loads of potential. That doesn’t mean he necessarily has what it takes to develop into a traditional quarterback (I think he does).
Whether it’s to groom him into an eventual franchise quarterback, use in specific packages, or deploy via an entirely different position. For his name, his marketability, his talent, and his ability to inspire, here’s a look at how he could fit in with all 32 NFL teams, starting with the one he still (for now) resides on:
Note: List not a ranking, but listing from AFC to NFC, starting with Tebow’s current team.
32. Denver Broncos
There are already whispers that Tebow is done in Denver. That’s probably about as concrete as Manning going to the Broncos. So, in case you’ve missed it, that’s pretty concrete. Still, if Tebow stuck around, he’d have one heck of a quarterback to learn from for 2-3 years, and maybe he could even help out in some packages.
Fun to think about, but it’s not happening.
31. Kansas City Chiefs
Matt Cassel isn’t exactly an elite quarterback, and it’s just be hilarious to see Tebow above Brady Quinn in the depth chart in a new city. Even if Tebow didn’t end up being the answer at quarterback here, he’d be able to help what looks to be a sick rushing attack, along with Peyton Hillis and Jamaal Charles.
This is the most likely destination in the AFC West, but unless Tebow gets flat-out released, I really can’t buy him going somewhere he could make the Broncos pay twice a year.
30. Oakland Raiders
Carson Palmer may not be as good as he once was, but it looks like the Raiders are fine with him as their starter for now. Oakland might be open to Tebow as a grinding fullback with Michael Bush possibly leaving, but with Tebow set on playing quarterback, a position switch isn’t the likeliest of moves.
As for the quarterback position, Terrelle Pryor is one developmental project too many for a Raiders franchise that is trying badly to ditch the Al Davis “measureables” line of thinking.
29. San Diego Chargers
Philip Rivers is in San Diego. The Chargers could actually use a H-back/fullback with Mike Tolbert gone to Carolina, but this still doesn’t make much sense.
28. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts got rid of Peyton Manning to make room for Andrew Luck. They’re not about too make a brand new mess by adding the drama that surrounds Timmy Teebs.
27. Houston Texans
If the Texans didn’t want to make a splash by adding Manning when they had the chance, why would they add Tebow? They have one of the best ground games in the league and T.J. Yates is a suitable backup behind a quality starter in Matt Schaub. Tebow isn’t needed here.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars
Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner. Kind of. I know they just signed Chad Henne and drafted Blaine Gabbert in the first round last year, but Henne isn’t a polished product, and Gabbert actually looked more inaccurate than Tebow for most of 2011. Tebow would return to Florida, increase the fan base, and light a fire under a team that badly needs it.
This is the first serious option on this list, and it’s still a real possibility.
25. Tennessee Titans
The Titans have a stud young passer in Jake Locker, who is more athletic than Tebow and a better passer. Already. And beyond Locker, they still have a quality veteran in Matt Hasselbeck. The Titans are going to take the rest of the off-season to get over the Peyton Manning whiff. They don’t need Tebow adding to the trouble.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
Big Ben is still the man in Pittsburgh. The Steelers won’t even take a look at Tebow.
23. Cincinnati Bengals
Andy Dalton may not be what Carson Palmer could have been, but he’s a solid player with a seemingly bright future. The Bengals could possibly take a look in regards to their rushing game, which will almost certainly be saying good-bye to Cedric Benson, but this is still pretty unlikely.
22. Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore did just lose Ricky Williams to retirement, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see him return right before the preseason. Other than coming in as a fullback/h-back, Tebow doesn’t make a ton of sense here, either.
21. Cleveland Browns
Colt McCoy has swung and missed for two straight seasons, and the Browns need to start getting a little less predictable both on and off the field. They let Peyton Hillis walk, couldn’t land Robert Griffin III, and now will be lucky to get Trent Richardson or Justin Blackmon. Maybe Tebow isn’t the answer, but it’s been pretty clear that McCoy isn’t, either.
The Browns could ship McCoy off and try Tebow out for a year. If he works, great. If not, Cleveland can chalk another bad season up with the rest of them and chase Matt Barkley in the 2013 draft.
20. New England Patriots
Josh McDaniels drafted Tim Tebow when he was in Denver and rumor has it that current Pats’ head coach wanted to draft Tebow. If New England would part with Briay Hoyer or Ryan Mallet, both men could get their wish. Obviously Tebow would be on the bench as a quarterback with Tom Brady under center, but the smart minds in New England could find a way to get some good out of Tebow being on the roster. Heck, if they can’t, who can?
19. Buffalo Bills
The Bills, like the Patriots, were another team rumored to be interested in Tebow three years ago. Chan Gailey likes athletic quarterbacks, and Tebow fits the bill. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been okay as the starter, but he’s not a serious long-term solution.
It seems like the Bills are content with Fitzpatrick, but with Tebow clearly available, that could change.
18. Miami Dolphins
Matt Moore was solid as a starter last year and the Dolphins just signed on David Garrard, but Tebow still has to be considered. Truth be told, Moore and Garrard aren’t franchise quarterbacks, and the team whiffed on both Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn. Short of taking a chance on Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill (which I think they will) in this year’s draft, they could take a crack at another young project in Tebow, and also get fans in the seats.
Garrard coming to town makes it tricky, but he or Moore could just be part of the deal that lands Tebow, just as easily.
17. New York Jets
Mark Sanchez has struggled, but he’s still got better tools that Tebow. His recent contract extension suggests the team is behind him 150%. For one more year, anyways.
16. New York Giants
Obviously Eli Manning is the king of the castle in New York, so the Giants aren’t about to mess with that. No chance.
15. Dallas Cowboys
Everyone else might not be sold on Tony Romo, but it continues to look like Jerry Jones is. Besides, Kyle Orton is backing Romo up, and there’s no way Dallas puts Tebow on the same team as Orton.
14. Washington Redskins
Tebow could be a nice fit for Mike Shanahan’s offense, but the Redskins traded up to draft Robert Griffin III. He’ll be the guy lining up under center for Washington in 2012 – not Tebow.
13. Philadelphia Eagles
Michael Vick is still the main man in Philly, but last year opened up as many eyes as 2010 did. Sure, Vick has improved as a passer and is still an elite athlete, but he’s also still as fragile as a sack of glass. With no clear-cut backup behind Vick, Andy Reid could groom Tebow, while giving himself an interesting insurance policy should Vick hit the shelf again like he did in 2011. Vick is in his 30′s, too, so perhaps Tebow could be the next guy in line once the Eagles and Vick go their separate ways.
12. Green Bay Packers
If Tebow is at all receptive to being a backup somewhere or being a gadget guy, this isn’t that crazy. Matt Flynn is gone and the Packers need to look into some insurance for Aaron Rodgers. Tebow won’t see much time as a traditional quarterback, but knowing the Packers’ creative ways on offense, you really couldn’t rule it out – especially if they can get a versatile guy like Tebow for basically nothing.
11. Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford just rocked out for 5,000+ yards in 2011. He only has one year as a guy you can count on being under centers at all times, but he’s the franchise guy, and the Lions won’t want to mess with his head. Besides, they already retained one of the better backups in the league – Shaun Hill.
10. Chicago Bears
Wouldn’t be a little funny that the Bears would roster two of Denver’s past three starting quarterbacks? Funny, but unlikely. Jason Campbell is set to back Cutler up in 2012, so Tebow isn’t a fit here.
9. Minnesota Vikings
Another real possibility, believe it or not. Here’s the real truth: Christian Ponder was a high draft pick in 2011, but he didn’t really wow his coaches or Vikings fans. I think he’s a talented passer with nice potential, but he has a quick trigger and he turned the ball over way too much. In fact, in a battle against the Broncos last year, he got out-dueled by Tebow and lost, 35-32.
If Tebow came in, the Vikes could build an offense around him, and they’d actually already have a backup that could run the offense if he went down, in Joe Webb. Tebow would also be reunited with Percy Harvin, and would go to work with Adrian Peterson.
They’re a young team that needs to sell the idea of a new stadium, so you know ownership will at least be discussing a big move like this.
8. New Orleans Saints
I’m sure Sean Payton could find something creative to do with Tim Tebow. I’m just not sure he really wants to. The Saints have one of the game’s best tight ends and a slew of running backs. With Drew Brees due back as long as he signs on the dotted line, Tebow doesn’t have a role here.
7. Carolina Panthers
There’s only room for one big, athletic passer trying to improve in Carolina. His name is Cam Newton.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Josh Freeman struggled mightily at times in 2011, but the problem doesn’t rest with him. But bringing Tim Tebow in wouldn’t help his development, so I can’t imagine Tampa Bay would even really entertain it.
5. Atlanta Falcons
Matt Ryan is the man here and they just brought Chris Redman back to hold the clipboard some more. They also re-signed Jason Snelling, so they don’t have much need for an extra power back. Tebow is out of this equation.
4. Arizona Cardinals
If the Cardinals were truly ready to move on from Kevin Kolb, they would have done it by now. They’ll be paying Kolb for at least 2012, so they’re going to see what he can do. Adding Tebow would only make sense at tight end, but we can’t be sure that would be a smooth transition.
3. Seattle Seahawks
Seattle just reeled in Matt Flynn and still have Tarvaris Jackson around, who isn’t a good starter, but not a terrible backup. They also locked Marshawn Lynch up, so they’re not desperate for a boost in the ground game.
2. St. Louis Rams
Sam Bradford is the future and Josh McDaniels is in New England, so a trip to St. Louis doesn’t look to be in the cards for Tebow.
1. San Francisco 49ers
As of right now, Alex Smith still isn’t a 49er, and there’s a chance he ends up signing with the Dolphins. If that happens, the 49ers will be left with Colin Kaepernick, or they’ll have to go after a veteran free agent. The pool is thin, so maybe they’d take a stab at Tebow and let him and Kaep compete throughout the preseason.
With all this said, the clear front-runners appear to be the Jaguars, Browns, Dolphins, Bills, and Patriots. Tebow would have a realistic shot at starting in all those spots (save for New England). As for the darkhorse suitors, the Eagles could look at Tebow as an eventual successor for Vick, while the 49ers and Vikings are two teams with completely different kinds of desperation (potentially) that could see if he can take the next level as a true quarterback.
Minnesota could simply give up on Ponder and create a Tebow-like offense just to get attention and a new stadium, while the 49ers could be backed into a corner if Smith doesn’t return.
In the end, there seem to be eight potential suitors in the mix, with five being borderline “serious” contenders. The early money is on Jacksonville, but it’s truly anyone’s guess where Tebow ends up.