Two weeks ago, I wrote on this blog that I thought Peyton Manning would be the next quarterback of the Denver Broncos. Today, Manning finally made his decision and he will be in Denver for the 2012 season and future seasons ahead. Denver does play New England this season in Foxboro, so the Manning-Brady rivalry will be resumed in full force, which is great for the NFL. However, there is one pawn in this giant game of chess that New England maybe should consider adding to the value free agents they have picked up so far this season.
That pawn is one of the more controversial pieces on the chess board (quarterback Tim Tebow). Whether you are a football fan or not, everybody has a take on the quarterback that won eight games, including a playoff win over the Steelers in 2011. With Manning now in the fold in the Mile High City, the president of football operations, John Elway, will be happy to send Tim Tebow many miles away from the Denver vicinity. I bet he has his bags packed right now, but it is a question of where the luggage will be heading for 2012.
Lately, according to several reports such as ESPN’s John Clayton, New England has emerged as a possible landing spot for Tebow. As a admitted Tebow supporter, I would like to see him start somewhere with an organization that truly believes in him whether it is the Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, or a “mystery team”.
On the other hand, it would be cool to see Tebow in Foxboro for numerous reasons. For one, he has great familiarity with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels since McDaniels was the man who drafted Tim just a couple of seasons ago. Here, he can groom under a great quarterback in Tom Brady, who unlike Peyton, would actually let him take some snaps in practice. The reason he would do that is we all know the respect Brady and Belichick have for the former Heisman Trophy winner, including almost taking him in that draft three seasons ago.
Another reason would be the cheap price. This would be a good business decision for the Pats because worst case scenario, they would only have to give up a Day 3 pick and they could wait out the possible release from the Broncos to get Tebow on their terms. Teams would be interested in trading for New England’s other backup quarterback in Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett. Hoyer was given a second round tender by New England earlier this month, so if a team wants him, they have to give up at least a second round pick.
Think about this: If Matt Flynn was able to get $10 million in guaranteed money from the Seahawks, how much would a team be willing to pay for a proven guy in Brian Hoyer as well as a promising rookie with a laser arm in Mallett? This is another opportunity for the Patriots’ brain trust to gain more picks towards the front end of the draft.
I think Tebow would see a guy like his former UF teammate, tight end Aaron Hernandez and be willing to play certain positions like an H-back or even be the guy who comes in on a 3rd/4th and 1 and run for the crucial yard to extend a drive. At the same time, the practice time for Tebow to grow as a quarterback for a year or so or even the preseason reps he would get would be essential to his development in becoming an accurate quarterback.
Finally, I love the intangibles that Tebow brings to the table. When you have him in the locker room or on the sideline, you get that feeling that you are never out of a game. Last year, we saw the Patriots show that same resiliency in late game situations, even in the Super Bowl defeat. The guy simply wants to win games and does not care about the spotlight. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like the Patriot way to me.
Before you simply dismiss Tebow to New England, keep in mind the familiarity with the coaching staff, the intangibles, and the flexibility the Patriots have at the backup quarterback spot to make a trade and increase their pick amount for the upcoming draft. Like I said, I would like to see Tebow start in Miami, Jacksonville, Cleveland, or somewhere else, but if that is not an option, bring him to New England to help him learn the craft more and contribute to a winning team one way or another.