Time to face facts, Tebow-maniacs: Tim Tebow isn’t an NFL-quality quarterback. It has nothing to do with religion, or media perception, or the New York Jets being fuck-up, personified: It’s that he can’t consistently make the reads and throws that the best American football league in the world requires. There’s no shame in that — only 32 guys are capable of being starters, and only another 32 or so are capable of backing them up. At the moment, Tebow resides outside that elite group.
Now that he’s been released by the Patriots, perhaps the only NFL organization that could have afforded to keep Tebow on and help him work on his mechanics and technique, he’s unlikely to play in the NFL this year. In fact, the odds are long on him ever suiting up again if he continues on the path he’s been walking (running in the rain?). That path includes hoping teams will see that he’s “a playmaker” who can “run” and “sometimes throw inexplicable touchdowns, mostly when the defense is messing up big time.” Unless a team is willing to build everything around that style — like the 2010 Broncos — it simply won’t work in this league (and in the case of the Broncos, they quickly abandoned that method when Peyton Manning became available).
Tebow insists, via Twitter, that he’ll continue to chase his dream of being an NFL quarterback. Since that’s tough to do when you’re not in the NFL, we want to know: What’s next for Tim Tebow?
Go to Canada.
Like Vietnam draft-dodgers and appreciators of free health care before him, Tebow may find solace in Canada. More specifically, the Canadian Football League.
Quarterback guru Steve Clarkson, who worked with Tebow in February, recently advocated that option for his former protégé:
“It’s time now to maybe just reconsider a different path to his ultimate dream. Tim might want to look to the CFL because he may have run out of options in the NFL,” Clarkson told USA TODAY Sports on Sunday. “Sitting is not an option for Tim. He’s ultra-competitive. He needs to stick to his strength, which is being in a competitive environment.
“Anyone who wants to work on their craft the way Tim does, he just needs to give himself a couple of days and really decide, ‘Is this what I want to do?’ Clearly, football is still in his blood.”
The Montreal Alouettes own Tebow’s CFL rights. Montreal is nice! Might be a little too French for a down home boy like Tebow, but New York was too New York for a down home boy and he
made it work lived there.
Go play in another, semi-football-related league.
There are a few American-football-related sports that former NFL or Division I college players have turned to once their “regular” careers ended. How about rugby league (Manfred Moore did it)? Rugby union (Richard Tardits did it)? Australian rules football (Dwayne Armstrong did it)? Tebow’s style is a better fit for the rugby leagues of the world anyway.
Head to a lower-level football league.
The Omaha Beef offered Tebow a starting job after he was cut by the Jets. If you think that Tebow going to play in the Champions Professional Indoor Football League would mean we’d never hear from him again, you clearly underestimate Tebow’s power as a publicity draw. We’d be seeing CPIFL highlights on SportsCenter every night, and daily updates on the ESPN ticker as to how Tebow did in the last Beef-Koyotes matchup (6-19, 44 yards, two picks, and maybe four rushing touchdowns, just because).
Develop at tight end.
This is what he should have been doing with the Patriots — nay, from his first day in the NFL. Tebow is best out in the open, shedding tackles and following blockers to the end zone. His brute strength and running ability would get him another shot at an NFL roster a lot faster than playing quarterback would. From there, it’s a lot easier to move over in the organization (“Hey, coach, can I get a few snaps under center today?”) than it is to make it as a QB outright.
Go into sports media.
Okay, this would be throwing in the towel, most likely. But maybe he needs a mental break from the game and the circus that follows him everywhere he “plays.” Glenn Beck would probably offer Tebow a fat contract just to be himself (read: goad him into saying controversial things), and you know ESPN and Fox Sports 1 would go nuts to sign him. He does have great insight into some of the weirdest football stories of modern times, including the Broncos courtship of Peyton and the Jets being the Jets and the Patriots dealing with the Aaron Hernandez fallout. Something to think about, at least.
Get drunk and bang Natalie Portman.
A man can dream, can’t he?
It’s what he does best.
Photo via Getty