With Peyton Manning now in a No. 18 Denver Broncos jersey, Tim Tebow’s time in that orange and blue is quickly coming to an end. Now the key is determining where Tebow will wind up and how he will be utilized by his new team.
Numerous media outlets citing a number of anonymous sources reported Tuesday evening that the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets and at least three other teams have contacted Denver and “have serious interest” (to quote NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi) in trading for Tebow.
Initial reports noted that the Broncos may not receive much more than a fourth- or fifth-round pick for Tebow but having a number of teams interested will certainly drive the price up for the organization that eventually lands the former Florida Gators standout.
Jacksonville, according to The Florida Times-Union’s Tania Ganguli, has already had internal discussions about adding Tebow but had not reached out to Denver in any formal sense as of 6 p.m. New York, according to ESPNNewYork.com’s Rich Cimini, may be more of a player for Tebow than initially thought.
The Jets were believed to be a “long shot at best” to trade for Tebow, but Cimini reported around midnight that interest among team officials has “intensified.” The New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta added that the team’s interest is “legitimate,” even quoting a source as saying, “We are players in the Tebow race.”
Apparently New York, which has been suffering with a badly divided locker room, believes “bringing in a guy like (Tebow) would help. It makes perfect sense.” In actuality, Tebow’s presence in the Jets’ locker room could make things even worse.
Two Jets players – cornerback Antonio Cromartie and linebacker Bart Scott – have been exceptionally critical of Tebow and quarterback Mark Sanchez, who just received a three-year extension including $20.5 million in guarantees, needs competition but certainly not the mountain of added pressure that “Tebowmania” brings.
Not only would New York be asking a backup quarterback to be a locker room leader (perhaps even “savior” in some respects), Tebow would be trying to fill that role in a dysfunctional environment with a notoriously boisterous head coach and under even more intense media scrutiny than he is used to in normal circumstances.
Pro Football Talk noted early Wednesday morning that, “per a source with knowledge of the situation,” the Green Bay Packers and an unknown team (potentially the Miami Dolphins) could also be major candidates for Tebow’s services. Reports from ESPN’s Adam Schefter throughout the day also had Green Bay and Miami on the short list of teams that have interest expressed some in Tebow.
The Jaguars and Dolphins would see value in Tebow not only from a football perspective but also in helping increase ticket sales their respective team’s popularity. Both organizations have two quarterbacks in the fold but neither has someone currently viewed league-wide as a long-term starter.
The Packers, on the other hand, have an entrenched starter in Aaron Rogers and would attempt to develop Tebow while he served in a reserve role.
Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway said in a press conference Tuesday that if or when the team trades Tebow, he hoped to find a spot where he would not only be able to play but also continue moving his career in a positive direction.
However, a well-known NFL agent told OGGOA Tuesday evening that it is unlikely either Tebow or agent Jimmy Sexton will have much say in where he winds up. Unless Denver has multiple offers that are equal on all counts (the same round draft pick), Tebow will have no leverage on his destination – not even with Sexton and CAA on his side.