Now that one shoe has dropped with Peyton Manning choosing the Broncos, some of the focus shifts to the other -- what happens to Tim Tebow?
It’s likely that Denver will trade Tebow as soon as possible, and in fact that might have been one of Manning’s stipulations for picking the Broncos. After all, considering Tebow’s popularity, Manning wouldn’t want the distraction of a segment of the fan base pushing for a quarterback change after a bad game.
So where is Tebow most marketable? Jacksonville is a possibility. Jaguars owner Shad Khan has already heaped praise on the former University of Florida star, and his team needs to put fans in the seats. Tebow grew up on a farm outside of Jacksonville.
Miami is in play too. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is infatuated with stars, and his team has attendance problems of its own. Ross had to be impressed with how much of a draw Tebow was in Miami last season when the Broncos played at the Dolphins. It seemed as if more than half the people in the stands were cheering for Tebow.
New England could be an intriguing option as well. The Patriots have a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Tom Brady, of course, but Coach Bill Belichick is a master of finding ways to get good football players on the field, even if it’s not at their primary position.
Last season, long before Manning was even a consideration for Denver, John Madden told me he thought it would be a mistake for the Broncos to get rid of Tebow.
“There’s no way that I would not find a place for [Tebow] on my team,” Madden said. “If I had Tim Tebow, I would never get rid of him. I may not play him at quarterback, but with all this hybrid football now where you have multiple receivers, multiple tight ends, you don’t know the difference between a tight end, wide receiver and fullback — they’re all the same guy — he could be that guy.
“You could have another quarterback and I’d still want to play Tebow. Sometimes people jump to either/or. There may be another guy eventually. But to me, that wouldn’t be the end of Tim Tebow.”
This won’t be the end of Tim Tebow. But it likely will be a new beginning for him someplace else.