Quarterback Tim Tebow was released by the New York Jets on Monday. (Jeff Zelevansky / Getty…)
Tim Tebow was released by the New York Jets on Monday, three days after the team drafted West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith and a little more than a year after it traded a fourth-round draft pick and $2.5 million to Denver to obtain Tebow's services.
Tebow was a superstar in college, winning a Heisman Trophy and two national championships with Florida. Though many doubted he had the qualities of an NFL quarterback, he was picked by Denver in the first round of the 2010 draft.
After winning over the fans, who were extremely vocal in their support of him over struggling starter Kyle Orton in 2011, Tebow was eventually named the starting quarterback and led the Broncos into the second round of the playoffs in the 2011 season.
But when Denver picked up future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, Tebow was traded to New York, where he was expected to push another struggling starter, Mark Sanchez, while also igniting the team's offense in the wildcat package.
Neither of those things happened. When Sanchez was finally benched late in the season, third-stringer Greg McElroy got the nod instead of Tebow.
Now Tebow is out there, available to any team — or league — that may want him. Writers from around the Tribune Co. will offer their opinions as to where Tebow will play next season. Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment of your own.
George Diaz, Orlando Sentinel
Tebow’s only shot at playing on Sundays now involves two significant factors: He must be willing to play another position, and a team must be willing to take on that experiment. I don’t see it happening.
He certainly can’t play quarterback. None of the 32 general managers in the league think so, or else the New York Jets could have traded him for a meaningless seventh-round draft pick. Nobody was willing to offer even that throwaway pick, leading to Tebow’s release on Monday.
Tebow would need time to learn a new position. But the NFL is not a place for Football 101. Tebow would not only become a polarizing side show, he would become a pet project.
The Canadian Football League might be his best play.
[Updated at 11:05 a.m. PDT, April 29:
Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune
Look for Tim Tebow to go Doug Flutie on us. Canada is the best place for him, and he will find a warm spot, or maybe a cold spot, waiting for him with the Alouettes. Tebow has attributes that would be valuable to an NFL team, and someday he will play in the league again.
But it would be difficult for any team to bring him in as a backup now because of the attention that comes with him. Tebow is the NFL’s biggest distraction. If he is a starter, the distraction isn’t a big deal. If he’s a backup, it is.
Tebow’s style of play would fit perfectly in the CFL, which rewards mobile, creative quarterbacks. If Tebow proves he can win in two leagues, an NFL team will have to come calling.]
[Updated at 1:41 p.m.
Aaron Wilson, Baltimore Sun
Tim Tebow has joined the NFL unemployment line.
Unless he's willing to relent on playing only quarterback or take advantage of the Montreal Alouettes' standing Canadian Football League offer, he could find himself staying there.
The Tebow experiment with the New York Jets was an absolute failure.
Only a desperate NFL team or one that plans a large wildcat quarterback role would want to hire Tebow, at a reasonable price. Tebow is a genuinely good guy, an excellent athlete who can rally a team, as he did with the Denver Broncos, but was best suited for the college game. He's a heck of an option quarterback-tight end-H-back-fullback-personal protector. And I think he would be awesome in the CFL.