As everyone who follows sports in even the slightest sense knows by now, Tim Tebow was cut by the New England Patriots this past Saturday. Coach Bill Belichick decided that he’d rather go with just two quarterbacks on his active roster than carry a 3rd string QB that needs an entirely different offensive playbook. Even though Patriots owner Robert Kraft was openly suggesting that Tebow be kept on the team, Belichick was not swayed and he gave Tebow his walking papers.
This week, SI’s Peter King reported that at least one NFL team approached Tebow and his agent about changing positions. Basically, he would be provided a roster spot on a team if he was willing to play as a tight end or H-back. Also, at least one team in the CFL offered him a contract. Tebow turned down all offers. He wants to play, but only if it is in the NFL, and only if he can be a quarterback.
The fact is, Tebow doesn’t give an NFL team value as a starting QB. Sure, he had a somewhat magical run with the Denver Broncos in 2011, when he went 7-4 as a starter during the regular season and won a playoff game against the Steelers. Of course, Denver coach John Fox simplified the offense to a college option style that would work for Tebow. In essence, the Broncos ran the ball the majority of the time to control the clock, relied on their defense to keep the score close, and hoped that ‘Tebow Time’ would create something in the 4th quarter if they were down.
The thing is, in the final 3 regular season games of 2011, teams figured out Tebow. The Broncos lost those last three games and only got into the playoffs via the Raiders losing their final game as well. Tebow’s rating was 43.1 in those final regular season games. His completion percentage was 41.1%. In the regular season finale against Kansas City, in a game they desperately needed to win, Tebow went 6-22 for 60 yards with one interception and no touchdowns.
Sure, against Pittsburgh, he had a pretty good game, and the Broncos shocked the Steelers. Pittsburgh gave Tebow absolutely no respect in the passing game, and loaded up the front. This allowed Tebow to make several long tosses to his receivers, with no deep safety to worry about. Therefore, he could float the ball deep only having to worry about single coverage. The much ballyhooed 80-yard pass to Demaryus Thomas was actually a 10-yard toss with Thomas breaking it and no safeties back. While Tebow had 316 yards total passing that game, he still only completed 10 of 21 passes.
Of course, against the Patriots the following game, he was contained completely. He completed only 9 of 26 passes for 136 yards and was only able to rush for 13 yards. The Broncos were stomped 45-10. Then, in the offseason, Tebow was traded to the New York Jets when the Broncos were able to get a real quarterback, Peyton Manning. And that is how we are where we are today. Tebow couldn’t convince Rex Ryan or Belichick that he was worth putting out on the field as a QB. Yet, he still insists that he should be one.
Let’s face it, Tebow is a selfish prick. Yes, I said it. For all of his ‘team first’ and ‘unselfish’ platitudes, for all of the motivational speeches about doing whatever it takes, he sure seems to be only looking out for himself here. The only value he really ever brought as an NFL quarterback was his ability to run for positive gains. Due to his size and strength, he is able to take multiple hits before going down. He has enough speed to break through holes in the line before they close, and he’s able to bruise and buckle defenders with his power.
Tebow would be perfect as a tight end who can also line up in the backfield. If he can carry the ball 8-10 times a game and catch a few passes, he can provide tons of value to just about any offense in this league. His combination of size, speed and strength is a commodity that teams would love to utilize. They just don’t want to use it lined up behind the center. Yet, here is Tebow, insisting that he’ll only play if he can be what no NFL team wants him to be. Even though he can help a team in another area, he only wants to do what he wants to do. That, my friends, is the definition of selfish.