The New York Jets waived Tim Tebow on Monday morning, ending an ill-conceived one-year marriage that undoubtedly did more harm than good to all parties involved. So, what is the next chapter in the Tebow saga? Will the lightning-rod quarterback play another down in the NFL? And if so, where?
Tim Tebow, I wrote an open letter to you earlier this year in which I implored you to beg New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick for employment, and I stand by that. You should offer to play quarterback, running back, tight end or safety -- or even volunteer to serve as the Patriots' water boy. Josh McDaniels must be among your biggest backers, as you surely know; New England's offensive coordinator spent the Denver Broncos' first-round draft pick on you years ago.
And don't forget: Belichick is also friends with Urban Meyer, for whom you starred at Florida. New England will keep you out of the media spotlight. Save your NFL career. Do it.
It's hard to envision Tim Tebow playing another down, unless he changes positions. That's easier said than done. Quarterbacks are used to running away from 270-pound defensive ends, not blocking them -- or taking hits from safeties, or trying to take on blocks from fullbacks.
When it comes to Tebow, perception is reality. The fact that he is not viewed as a passer could limit his possibilities in the pass-happy Canadian Football League. The attention he'd bring also would likely be unwanted by any potential employer. It's going to be tough for Tebow -- though I can't ever count this guy out.
As if Tim Tebow's chances weren't already limited by his skill set as a quarterback, his polarizing impact will make his quest for employment in the NFL that much more difficult. I have no idea where he'll end up, but I will say this: Anyone who suggests Tebow should switch to tight end or fullback is unfairly minimizing what it takes to succeed as a tight end or fullback in the NFL. There are hundreds of athletes who played tight end at an All-American level in college who didn't get a sniff in the NFL.
If Tebow is indeed going to get his shot, it will have to come at quarterback. And it will have to come because of some wild, unforeseen set of circumstances that are simply too difficult to conceive at this point.
In order for Tim Tebow to play again in the NFL, one of two things must happen: Either he finds a team that believes in him as a read-option quarterback -- a club that is willing to use him as an offensive changeup -- or he signals that he's open to trying another position, such as fullback, H-back or tight end.
Ultimately, I'm not sure he has the quickness to succeed in the passing game. He could make it at fullback, because he's a willing blocker -- though I'm skeptical about his chances there, as well. Clearly, he can't be a conventional quarterback, because of his inaccuracy and inability to read defenses.
Preventing Tim Tebow from testing the market at the beginning of the new football year -- and then releasing him right after most teams addressed their quarterback needs via the draft -- was downright ruthless of the New York Jets.
I believe Tebow will play again -- if correctly utilized in the right situation. Two possible landing spots come to mind: the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. Patriots coach Bill Belichick has a history of maximizing guys who can play multiple positions, as evidenced by Troy Brown lining up at receiver, defensive back and on special teams. Eagles coach Chip Kelly, meanwhile, has been collecting quarterbacks, signing Dennis Dixon and drafting Matt Barkley to compete with Michael Vick and Nick Foles. Adding Tebow to the mix as someone who could potentially run Kelly's NASCAR offense would make for an interesting dynamic.
My mother taught me that if I didn't have anything nice to say, I shouldn't say anything at all. That being said, there are not enough politically correct terms to describe the stupidity of the New York Jets.
Let's start at the top, with owner Woody Johnson. Johnson said last year that Tim Tebow would be around for years to come -- and now he's gone. A lack of consistency that high up does not make for a great organizational foundation. Next in line is the new general manager, John Idzik. Geno Smith is the quarterback he wants to tie his name to? This is the quarterback around whom he wants to build a franchise? In New York? With that media? Smith had a Twitter temper tantrum over how his game was being analyzed before the draft. How is he going to handle the boos that greet his first interception? Which should come soon, by the way, given the Jets' lack of offensive weapons -- and no, Santonio Holmes does not count. The fact that he is still on the roster represents one of the worst "developments" of the offseason.
After Idzik's first draft with the Jets, I know two things: 1) The Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills are closer than ever to completely leapfrogging Gang Green in the AFC East; and 2) the Jets have no quarterback on their roster capable of winning eight games. At least when they had Tebow, the Jets had the option of going to a Tebow-style offense and letting him will them to seven or eight victories. Now, the Jets are left with a rookie in Smith and a veteran signal-caller in Mark Sanchez (who has thrown almost as many interceptions as he has touchdown passes).
So, yeah -- basically, according to what my mother taught me, I don't have much to say about the Jets.
If he's not willing to switch to tight end -- which is his ticket to staying in the NFL -- Tim Tebow needs to follow the Doug Flutie plan: Go to Canada, where Tebow will get a chance to actually prove to everyone that he can play quarterback. If he succeeds, he'll get back to the States. It might take a couple of years, but someone will come calling eventually, because they always do. Someone will decide Tebow is the answer to a unique set of circumstances (whether a team doesn't have any viable quarterbacks on the roster or just needs to sell tickets).
Right now, though? Forget it. The Jets tried to trade him for a seventh-round pick, and that didn't work. There's just no interest in him. The tipping point came as last season unraveled for the Jets. The guy barely played, and still he was a controversial figure, just because of his presence. Most guys -- even one-time stars -- simply fall out of the spotlight if they don't play well and don't cause a ripple in the locker room. But not Tebow. And if any teams were intrigued by him at all, that is likely what caused them to shy away. Plenty of offensive gurus would surely love to have Tebow as a toy to play with. But when they consider the caveat that his mere presence will wreak havoc, no matter how much he sees the field? You can't bring in a player who makes an entire organization -- never mind everyone in the QB meeting room -- nervous, even if he is a great guy with a great attitude.