Tim Tebow Has A Bright Future…In TV
It was one minute to Tebow Time, but Chip Kelly had other plans. After the Philadelphia Eagles traded Matt Barkley to the Cardinals on Friday, it seemed very likely that Tim Tebow would be the Eagles' third-string quarterback. On Saturday, a very busy day for cuts around the NFL, Kelly announced the Eagles released Tebow. His reasoning was simple: "Tim's really progressed, but we didn't feel like he was good enough to be the three right now."
Tebow has bounced around the NFL since the Broncos drafted him 25th overall in 2010. During his time in the League, Tebow has caught the eyes of several winning football coaches. Josh McDaniels, John Fox, Bill Belichick, Rex Ryan, and Kelly all believed Tebow could be used effectively, if unconventionally. They all thought their teams would have the special formula to make the most of Tebow's "versatility."
For whatever reason, even the best football minds sometimes forget that the quarterback needs to be able to throw accurately. Scramblers and pocket passers obviously have different tendencies/preferences, but without accuracy, both will perform poorly. Every other element of the quarterback's game—rushing especially—revolves around this ability. Tebow never demonstrated that he could do this well. His successful moments in Denver were a combination of luck, athleticism, and maladjusted defenses. Once defenses studied Tebow, athleticism and luck were all he had left. But without an ability to throw from the pocket accurately, Tebow's athleticism could only get him so far. Undoubtedly, the man is physically impressive, but his footwork is shaky, and he isn't fast enough.
Kelly never considered Tebow as a "quarterback" per se. Kelly looked at Tebow as an unconventional offensive weapon, something potentially valuable for two-point conversions or other special situations. Coaches and GMs already figured out that Tebow can't throw reliably from the pocket. Kelly's decision implies that Tebow doesn't fit into a specialty role either.
Financially, the Eagles would be foolish to sign a potentially useful specialty player to a legitimate contract. If Tebow made the week-one roster, his four years of service in the NFL would guarantee him his salary for the year (via NFL.com's Jeff Darlington). The Eagles could bring him back on a more flexible contract later in the season. This way, the team would essentially have him week-to-week and avoid a hit to the cap in guaranteed money. But the fact that they cut him once means he would only represent a minor addition to the team; he won't see many snaps.
So if Tebow's quarterback dreams are dead, can he play another position? Probably not. The most significant point here is that other positions in the NFL are just as competitive as quarterback. This idea often goes overlooked during vapid analyst speculation. Each position has its own set of demands and necessary skills. Were Tebow to take up a new position, he would need to hone his physical attributes and learn entirely new functions on the field.
Moreover, the positions most people think he could play present clear obstacles at the outset. With a 4.71 40-yard dash, he's too slow to play wide receiver. He'd have to bulk up to play tight end, which might make him even slower and thus less useful. He's not agile enough to play halfback and is not used to the physical toll of that position. He's also 28, and you know what they say about old dogs.
What about playing football elsewhere? Tebow could easily find work in the AFL or CFL and attempt to continue to develop his game as a passer. The only issue here is whether or not Tebow would be willing to play in football's minor leagues. This course of action represents Tebow's best shot at becoming a serviceable QB, but even so, the chances of success are slim for someone who's already taken considerable measures to improve.
I want Tebow to succeed. During his glory days with Denver, no player was more entertaining. It's just that right now, his best chance at success is his fat contract at the SEC Network.