Who Will Compete With Tim Tebow in 2012?
The Denver Broncos named Tim Tebow as the starting quarterback heading into 2012 training camp, but it has been made clear that the team will add quarterbacks, both for depth and competition.
So, beyond third-stringer Adam Weber, who could the Broncos bring in to push Tebow? ESPN‘s John Clayton believes the team could go after Vince Young, especially if they are content with running more of the read-option in their offense next season. Young isn’t as physical as Tebow, but he has the athleticism to run the same offense, and could be a perfect backup for the system.
Another name Clayton threw out was Miami’s Chad Henne, who the Dolphins won’t be bringing back. Henne is more of a prototypical passer that would not be able to run the read-option, but could give the Broncos a pocket passer with some upside if Tebow doesn’t pan out in 2012.
Neither Young or Henne look like sure-fire upgrades over Tebow on paper, which could mean the addition of either would simply stand as competition to push Tebow to play better, and to act as insurance should Tebow get hurt.
Who else could compete with Tebow in 2012? Let’s take a look:
Matt Flynn (Green Bay Packers)
I’m sure John Elway wouldn’t mind acquiring Flynn, as he’s high on pure pocket passers, but the Packers are going to demand a ton for Flynn’s services. It just isn’t a logical pairing at this point.
Alex Smith (San Francisco 49ers)
Smith will be a free agent and all those Peyton Manning trade rumors could potentially make him expendable, but what happens if he wins a Super Bowl with the 49ers this year? Even if he doesn’t, I think he’s played too well for Jim Harbaugh to let him go.
Jason Campbell (Oakland Raiders)
Campbell is athletic and has a nice arm, but he’s never been a consistent performer or winner, and it’s never looked like he was about to realize his potential. Denver could look at him, but ultimately he’s a guy that will look for a place where he has the leg-up on the starting job. At the moment, it doesn’t look like that’d be the case in Denver.
Donovan McNabb (Minnesota Vikings)
McNabb is old and worn down. He hasn’t played on an elite level in about three years now, and John Elway is smarter than to use old scraps to push or supplant Tebow.
David Garrard (Jacksonville Jaguars)
Garrard is in his mid-30′s and has a history of injuries – most notably his back, but he’s a mobile quarterback who has been solid as a starter. He’s clearly not the long-term solution no matter where he goes, so he’s an unlikely addition.
Rex Grossman (Washington Redskins)
To this point, I honestly think Grossman is the most likely of all the mentioned names to go to Denver. He can run a little, and has grown as a pocket passer over the past few years. Consistency has never been his calling card, but he looked very good at times with Washington, and still has some untapped potential.
Brian Hoyer (New England Patriots)
Hoyer isn’t a special talent, but he looked good in New England in spot-duty over the past few seasons. He clearly has benefited from an excellent coaching staff, system, and weapons, but all of that could have rubbed off on him, as well. He’s an interesting sleeper pick to go somewhere and compete. Denver could be an interesting spot for him.
Josh Johnson (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Johnson is a good athlete with some potential as a pocket passer, but he’s never really had much of a chance to grow. The only opportunity he got was with a terrible Buccaneers team before they drafted Josh Freeman. Since then, his time on the field has been severely limited. He could benefit greatly from new scenery and healthy competition.
When you look at this crop of free agent quarterbacks, none of these guys jump out at you as guys Denver would absolutely want to come in and take over instead of Tebow. I still think one of them could be brought in strictly as a backup, while the real guy for future “competition” should be a quarterback they select somewhere in the third or fourth round in the 2012 NFL Draft.