In all the hoopla of Manning hysteria, I think people forgot one simple fact. After FOUR neck surgeries, nobody knows what they are getting.
Sure, sources say he looked crisp tossing the ball around in Durham, but nobody knows how his body is going to react when a defensive end catches him with a clean hit from the blindside. Signing Manning is a high reward scenario, but it is also high risk.
Because of this risk, I think the Denver Broncos have no choice.
They need to keep Tim Tebow.
It is no secret that John Elway isn’t Tebow’s biggest supporter and a lot of people saw this as the perfect opportunity to get rid of the immensely popular Tebow without angering the fan base. But after Brady Quinn signed with Kansas City, Tebow is the only quarterback on the active roster.
Tim Tebow is not a very good quarterback, but in this case he is literally better than nothing. What he is though, is a very solid insurance policy.
Here is how I think the whole thing can go down.
Scenario 1: Peyton Manning comes back as Peyton Manning
If Manning returns to form, the Broncos end up paying Tebow to be Jim Sorgi or a pre-Thor Curtis Painter for a few seasons and hope upon hope that he learns something under Manning. They say the most popular guy on a football team is almost always the backup quarterback, so why not let Tebow be like John Cena, who is headlining Wrestlemania without being the champ. Broncos get a winning quarterback and the residuals of the Tebow Effect.
Scenario 2: Peyton Manning comes back as Peyton Manning but the Broncos want to play it cautiously.
Despite Manning’s assertions at his introductory press conference that he could play a game on Sunday, do you still want to expose him to more risk than you should. 1st and Goal at the 1, bring in Tebow in a goal line set and let him run the short yardage offense. If the play is a sneak up the middle, do you want the guy with the repaired neck to be sticking his head into a pile of 300 pound men?
Another situation would be if Denver is up big in the 4th quarter, do you really want Manning to be the one to be handing off the ball 10 straight times and risk something bad happening, no matter how remote the chance. Let Tebow get his reps and appease the fans who want him to play but know nothing about football.
Scenario 3: Peyton Manning is not ready for Week 1.
Again, Manning assured the media that he could play this weekend, but he doesn’t know how his body will respond to the rigor of Mini-Camp. What if he has lingering pain, do they risk letting him play through it from the get go? While Tebow probably will not get them to the Super Bowl, he has proven he can win games, albeit ugly games.
Scenario 4: Peyton Manning re-injures himself during the season.
The worst case scenario for everybody involved. Peyton Manning takes a solid but unspectacular hit after dumping the ball off to Willis McGahee. As the play concludes, Manning is still on the ground and doesn’t look to eager to get up. Ed Hochuli motions for a stoppage and waves the trainers over.
As the masses collectively hold their breath, there is Backup Jesus warming up. Who better to save the season than an actual savior?
Scenario 5 – Trade him
Is there a trade market for Tim Tebow?
It is easy to say that Denver just cuts their losses and trades Tebow for a 6th round pick after using a 1st to get him, but what team is in a situation where Tebow is even a slight upgrade?
The rumored landing spots are San Francisco, Jacksonville and Miami. With the news that Miami is not interested in bringing Tebow in after having signed David Garrard likely meaning Alex Smith goes back to San Francisco.
That leaves Jacksonville. Is the appeal of bringing back the Prodigal Son to a region he dominated as a star at nearby University of Florida worth the sacrifice of actually improving the team? Sure, Blaine Yo Gabba Gabbert looked like a deer in headlights as a rookie and they just signed Miami’s former starter Chad Henne (the equivalent of the skinniest girl at fat camp), but you have to imagine that they are more invested in Gabbert than Denver apparently is in Tebow.
If the goal is to avoid blackouts and temporarily energize a fan base, Tebow makes sense in Jacksonville, winning be damned. Unfortunately, NFL fans are pretty smart and will be able to look past the losing for only so long.
Another theory discussed is trading him to a team like Green Bay or Philadelphia where he can be developed as a quarterback or a team like the Jets where he would be “good for the locker room”. Will a Super Bowl Contender want to take on the added baggage and media distraction of having Tim Tebow in their locker room?
The minute Peyton Manning’s name was linked to the Jets, they immediately gave Mark Sanchez the equivalent of Vanessa Bryant’s Eagle, Colorado Ring. Flirting with Tebow? That is going have the opposite effect on the locker room, and
probably splinter it more.
Antonio Cromartie (the virginity opposite of Tim Tebow) already posted the following on Twitter)
We don’t need Tebow. We sell out every home game let him go to Jacksonville Tampa or Miami.
In the case of established guys like Aaron Rodgers or Mike Vick, do you really want to have a back up that can rival the starters popularity? In every facet of the game, those guys are superior to Tebow, but football players are egocentric beasts (see Favre, Brett). I don’t care if you are a Super Bowl Champion and considered among the best in the world at what you do, if you are playing second fiddle to B.J. Raji in a Discount Double Check commercial, you wont be thrilled to see your back up starring in a Jockey campaign.
If I had to make a prediction, I say Tebow is indeed traded to Jaguars for a conditional 5th round pick and he runs his gimmicky offense for 2 or 3 seasons and then retires from football to devout time to missions in the Philippines.
In the end, I believe Denver should find a way to keep him on the roster and return him to his role as Backup Jesus, maybe restructure his deal and use his fame to make up for the money being lost in paying a 2nd stringer to look good holding a clipboard.
If he is indeed traded, one suggestion I have for Denver is that they hold a “Tim Tebow Tattoo Alteration Night” where local artists will fix the Broncos tat fans got of Tebow to either his new uniform or make it look like his University of Florida days.
I mean this is easy enough to cover or modify.
But What about this bad boy?