When the Philadelphia Eagles traded Matt Barkley to the Arizona Cardinals Friday, I’m sure everyone including Tebow thought he would be the third-string quarterback. The problem is that head coach Chip Kelly, the supposed smartest guy in the room wherever he goes, didn’t think so. Instead, Kelly brought in undrafted rookie Stephen Morris to fill that role. After yet another cut from an NFL roster, one has to wonder if Tebow and all that comes with him are done in the NFL?
How Tebow Could Stay in the NFL
The misunderstanding about Tebow is not that he can’t throw (just look at his college stats), but that 32 NFL teams don’t think he can throw well enough to stay on the pro-level. And let’s be honest, when legends in the NFL like John Elway and Bill Belichick as well as wacky mastermind Chip Kelly tell you you’re not good enough to play quarterback on their team, they may just have a point.
One of Tebow’s biggest problems isn’t that he doesn’t belong in the NFL, but that he doesn’t belong in the NFL as a quarterback. At 6’3 and somewhere around 235 pounds, he definitely belongs in the NFL. Tebow is an athlete after all, but no coach would know for sure where to put him. He is too big to be a running back, too small to be a tight end, has never played as a linebacker, and would be too prideful to play fullback or any of the other positions mentioned. If he made the transition to another position today, I don’t see why any team wouldn’t give him an opportunity. Then again, if you read the title of this post, you are at least aware that there is a mania that comes with Tebow, a mania that cannot be explained but is very much alive. The irony is that most (if not all at this point) of it is brought upon by the media, not the player. Teams would probably give him a practice squad position at the very least but they aren’t interested in the ‘circus’ that comes with Tebow. His only chance of staying in the NFL and staying relevant right now is if he proves he can play another position effectively.
Evidence that supports my theory includes Jacksonville Jaguars teammates and former quarterbacks Denard Robinson and Nick Marshall. Robinson plays RB/WR while Marshall plays CB. Both knew at some point in their careers that they wouldn’t cut it in the NFL if they stayed at that position. Both are now currently on an NFL roster because Robinson was basically a RB (a really good one) playing QB at Michigan and because Marshall actually played CB before becoming a quarterback at Auburn. However, Tebow has only ever played QB so even if he did change positions, there is no guarantee that he would instantly be able to play that position on a pro-level.
Tebow’s Options for Returning to the NFL as a QB
All hope for Tebow ever playing in the NFL as a QB isn’t lost but his window of opportunity is closing. Nonetheless, it isn’t impossible for QBs in the NFL to get injured. If some team just runs into a string of bad luck and has three QBs go down during the season, Tebow could be getting a call. In fact, Kelly himself would be the first to call back if it happened to the Eagles. Realistically, however, Tebow should consider the CFL.
Let’s be honest, the CFL is the land of castoffs from the NFL or college. If it were compared to baseball, it would be somewhere between AAA and the MLB. Still, it is a professional league and it serves as game tape for NFL scouts. If Tebow went there and proved that he could play the QB position as it is meant to be played, he could return to the NFL. It worked for Kurt Warner (with the only difference being that he played Arena Football), why wouldn’t it work for Tebow? Tebow-mania would be a thing of the past for any NFL team if Tim Tebow could prove elsewhere that he is a QB and nothing else.