QB or not QB: With Peyton’s pick, Tebow should start packing

"Say, Tim. Would you mind very much if I took your job?" (AP photo)

"Glad to meet you, Tim. Would you mind if I came out here and took your job?" (AP photo)

OK, we knew this Peyton Manning thing would be a huge deal: One of the greatest quarterbacks ever hits the open market and auditions new employers. (Usually it’s the prospective employee who’s subject to the audition, but when you’re as illustrious as Peyton you call your own tune.) That was big enough. Somehow it got bigger. Somehow it also affects Tim Tebow, who became to the NFL last fall what Jeremy Lin briefly was to the NBA — either the greatest story in memory or the biggest slice of hype since ESPN invented Brett Favre.

Peyton picked Denver, which surely means the Broncos, who were never quite sure what to make of Tebow anyway, will seek to trade the guy who just took them to Round 2 of the playoffs. Which means Timmy T. is now on the market, which means …

The NFL has officially become the real March Madness.

It was a given that Manning wasn’t going to land anywhere that didn’t give him a chance to win big now. (Then again, he’s so good he could make just about any team win big. Check the Colts’ record with and without him.) But Denver fit his needs better than, say, the  Titans. Having spent a bit of time in the Volunteer State, he had to know that Tennessee’s NFL franchise will always be viewed as the after-dinner-mint to the Saturday doings in Knoxville.

And San Francisco? Good team, good coach, good defense. And it’s not as if the 49ers have never won anything. (Five Super Bowls at last count.) But Denver offered the prospect of playing for an NFL team that is always the talk of its town and for an organization overseen by John Elway. If you’re the NFL, you couldn’t be happier about Peyton’s second marriage: A glamour quarterback for a glamour team. Except …

What was Tebow if not that?

So now football-watchers get to do it all again. We get to watch as Tebow goes shopping. We get to re-warm the discussions we’ve been having the past five months: Is he really an NFL quarterback and, if not, why was he winning games at a rate most NFL quarterbacks would love to claim? Is there a team out there that fits the Tebow skill-set? If not, is there an NFL team willing to hire Urban Meyer away from Ohio State before he coaches a Buckeye game?

It used to be that baseball was the sport, with its Hot Stove League, that never shut down. But here it is March and Opening Day is around the corner and the Sweet 16 is upon us and the NBA just sailed past its trade deadline, and what are we discussing? The NFL, which won’t stage another game that matters until September.

For the NFL, this comes at a providential moment. Two weeks ago we were all in a tizzy about the Saints and their bounties — and no, we haven’t heard the end of that sordid story — but now we’re back to teams paying for quarterbacks, as opposed to one team paying for the maiming of quarterbacks. (Speaking of quarterbacks: Seattle’s signing of the famous understudy Matt Flynn would have been the story of any other offseason. Just not this one.)

Peyton Manning choosing to stay in the AFC lends balance to a conference in danger of being marginalized. NFC teams have won the past three Super Bowls, and adding P. Manning to a roster of NFC quarterbacks that already includes Rodgers, Brees and E. Manning would have been a bit unfair. (Local angle: Peyton in San Fran wouldn’t have helped the Falcons’ chances, either.)

Peyton in Denver mightn’t make the Broncos the clear AFC frontrunner — New England, Pittsburgh and Baltimore are pretty good — but let’s face it: Denver just won its division with a quarterback who completed 46.5 percent of his passes. The guess is that the new man will do a bit better.

And it’s anybody’s guess where the incumbent Denver quarterback will land. Just when you thought there was nothing more to say about Tim Tebow, we’ve been handed a new Talking Point. NFL football — it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Oh, and one thing more. Peyton Manning’s new team? It’s scheduled to play in the Georgia Dome next season.

By Mark Bradley

161 comments Add your comment

Steve

March 19th, 2012
4:02 pm

Jax or New England for Tebow?

NC Dawg

March 19th, 2012
4:04 pm

Jax needs to sell tickets and fill up that stadium. Wouldn’t Tebow help that situation just a little? Why not sign him?

matt r

March 19th, 2012
4:05 pm

ATL is @ DEN next year

ed rooney

March 19th, 2012
4:06 pm

Steve

March 19th, 2012
4:06 pm

re-read your schedule Matt…Broncs come here

Steve

March 19th, 2012
4:07 pm

looks like you need to go back to looking for Ferris, Ed :D

Steve

March 19th, 2012
4:08 pm

oh, RIP Mr. Furman Bisher, maybe just maybe you can now cover Shoeless Joe playing in an actual game :)

matt r

March 19th, 2012
4:08 pm

DEN was @ ATL in 2008 – I assumed we would alternate

matt r

March 19th, 2012
4:09 pm

I have a feeling the ’schedule’ that is not a schedule yet, has an error in it.

italian_29

March 19th, 2012
4:11 pm

Wow, sucks for Tebow, I guess giving everything that you have to help your team win its division doesn’t mean anything when your completion precentage is 46%

SimpleDawg

March 19th, 2012
4:12 pm

Well, Timmy Tebow now must re-evaluate his options….. Does he continue to bounce his head off the brick wall of becoming a true NFL QB, or does he opt for a position switch that may allow him to play a little longer and maintain his NFL pulpit?

Or, does he just go ahead and become the missionary/preacher that seems to be life’s calling?

Once he leaves the NFL, he disappears from the spotlight.

italian_29

March 19th, 2012
4:14 pm

I think Tebow will end up back in Fl either with Jacksonville or Miami, now that the Dolphins are out of the Manning race. The kid is a winner, he has proved that over and over, so he will do well no matter where he ends up.

Mark Bradley

March 19th, 2012
4:14 pm

Jacksonville does seem a no-brainer, NC.

Dawgs of Anarchy

March 19th, 2012
4:15 pm

Denver gives a 3th rounder to Jax for taking Tebow.

italian_29

March 19th, 2012
4:16 pm

George Stein

March 19th, 2012
4:16 pm

This is just more proof that athletics are really no different than business: if you want to do anything differently, you will encounter significant resistance.

This is basically John Elway telling Tim Tebow to get back inside that box because there’s no use for creativity in this league!

anonymous

March 19th, 2012
4:16 pm

sad state of falcons affairs when people are more excited about Peyton Manning playing a game here than anybody here playing a game here.

reebok

March 19th, 2012
4:17 pm

The Broncos are going to look pretty silly after they trade Tebow if it turns out that Peyton’s suffering from significant nerve damage. Did he actually do any passing drills for anybody?

THE ORIGINAL

March 19th, 2012
4:21 pm

Hey Mark Bradley how about this, Atlanta Falcons is a no brainer. Matt Ryan is not cutting it and if he gets hurt God forbids, Tebow can come in and get it done. He got it done before in the dome. He has a playoff win which indicates he got it done in Denver. Also, Matt Ryan has no competition which is resulting in complacency.

THE ORIGINAL

March 19th, 2012
4:25 pm

or NOT GETTING IT DONE

Ted M

March 19th, 2012
4:26 pm

I think the Pats want Tebow.

I said it

March 19th, 2012
4:27 pm

When Elway breathed the words that Kneebow was his QB, I said it was a lie and was only said to get the Teebow idiots off his back.

Ted M

March 19th, 2012
4:28 pm

So Mark, I was wondering…. have you ever taken any “Kid” sportswriters under your wing and showed them the ropes? Ted

Eli da Truth

March 19th, 2012
4:29 pm

Smart move by the Broncos. This is their only way of pushing Tebow out with the fans supporting it. I hear his Bronco’s jersey is selling for just 18bucks…weird.

George Stein

March 19th, 2012
4:32 pm

Right. Matt Ryan isn’t getting it done. He’s one of the ten best quarterbacks in the league, but whatever.

Steve

March 19th, 2012
4:34 pm

matt r

March 19th, 2012
4:36 pm

Yeah I saw that. So Falcons host Denver in 2008, 2012, and 2016… I have a feeling that is not going to stick.

matt r

March 19th, 2012
4:37 pm

The biggest question for me: what does FALCONS SORRY think of all this?

football fan

March 19th, 2012
4:41 pm

I don’t get the ire toward Tebow. He’s a good guy who gave it his all in Denver. Regardless of our college affiliation (I am a Dawg fan) you have to admit, he’s a class act. Last season he did what he does best and along the way fired up a team that was heading for a lottery pick and got them into the playoffs. New England would be a great place for Tebow with McDaniels. They should be able to fire him up to play some situtational downs and really help the team, maybe getting them into the AFC championship against Denver…
.

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

March 19th, 2012
4:43 pm

At lease Denver recognizes their starting qb was a BUST………….

Falcants not so much……….. :)

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

March 19th, 2012
4:44 pm

“ESPN invented Bret Favre” methinks not. Favre was his own hype machine and his numbers do not lie.

?

March 19th, 2012
4:51 pm

Who wants the circus that comes with tebow?

Reggie Ball

March 19th, 2012
4:57 pm

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Tebow is way better than Manning!! trust me I know quarterbacks

Dawgs of Anarchy

March 19th, 2012
5:01 pm

Tebow traded to Vatican! Pope plans on using him in H-back role, tells him even God knows Tebow is no pro QB, he was just mad at Pittsburgh.

Matt Leinart knows something

March 19th, 2012
5:02 pm

Teams without a real QB.

Falcons

Bears

Dolphins

Jags

Tebow would elevate any of those teams. I should know, I’m Matt Leinart.

joe cox

March 19th, 2012
5:03 pm

what reggie said!

Stinger2

March 19th, 2012
5:09 pm

Manning may not play but one or two more years. Denver should keep Tebow and use him as a wideout until Manning retires.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 19th, 2012
5:14 pm

Bring him to the ATL. Best case scenario, he develops over time into an upgrade at QB. Worst case, he is a good backup. Even if you convert him into some sort of hybrid FB/TE type of player, this team desperately needs playmakers who step up in crunch time. I don’t think he will cost that much in a trade considering the questions about his ability.

MSU mother

March 19th, 2012
5:14 pm

Lost all respect for John Elway.

Tim Tebow is like any other rookie quarterback–with the right guidance, he’ll do great! Too bad John Elway is too full of himself to see that. And as much as I admire and respect Peyton, Denver is the wrong place for him to end his career.

Tommy Maddox

March 19th, 2012
5:15 pm

Tebow seems like a role model kind of guy you’d want on your team. There again, so does Manning.

My fear is that Manning’s fusion fails after a few weeks of several 300 lbs. fellows jumping on him.

Reggie Ball

March 19th, 2012
5:19 pm

James

March 19th, 2012
5:19 pm

Mark, this was very well-written. You seem pretty interested in the attention-hogging nature of the NFL right now. How would you rank the all the major sports (pro basketball, football, hockey, college basketball etc.) in terms of amount of attention sports fans in general pay to them?

Matt

March 19th, 2012
5:22 pm

Wonder if by some aberration he could end up here. I’d be willing to put up with him as long as he got us some playoff wins and a ring.

Tom

March 19th, 2012
5:31 pm

Why does everyone automatically assume that Manning will return to original form? He’s not played in a year-which means he’s a lot older now than when he last played. He’s had four (?) surgeries in the last 15 (?) months. Just a thought, he might not be the Manning everybody remembers. I wouldn’t be so hasty is trading TT.

Beast from the East

March 19th, 2012
5:32 pm

Hope the Pats sign him and he’ll be able to make plays for one of the most creative minds in the NFL. He can also learn from one of the best QB’s in the league.
Only time will tell if this turns out to be a great move or a total mistake by Elway. There is absolutely no gurantee that Manning will win anything in Denver. Heck, he won a toal of ONE Super Bowl in his 13-14 years in Indy. Does anyone think he’ll be better than he was before?

markie mark

March 19th, 2012
5:33 pm

I dont understand this attitude of “put up with him”. Its everybody else that makes a big deal out if Tim….not Tim. I lived in St Augustine near his high school, and he was the same way in high school. This guy has been a winner at every level. And while I don’t blame Elway for getting Manning, I would think they would hang onto Tim for at least one year. And furthermore, I havent forgotten Elway’s promise of helping Tim work on his footwork and ball handling over the offseason….or as another poster says, was that REALLY just to shut the Tebow fans up? I guess we will never know…(and yes, I am a huge dawg fan and hated getting out butts whipped repeatedly by this “bad quarterback”…)

LawDawg

March 19th, 2012
5:33 pm

“This is basically John Elway telling Tim Tebow to get back inside that box because there’s no use for creativity in this league!”

I’m not sure what the box is, but Elway is really saying “you are a talented athlete who throws the ball worse than the average linebacker in this league. Thanks, but no thanks. Some other guy drafted you and now I found a way out that is palatable to the fanbase.”

markie mark

March 19th, 2012
5:34 pm

typo’s…sorry

Brian Hunt

March 19th, 2012
5:35 pm

Manning picked Denver because they will allow him to run his offense. I bet Dallas Clark joins him there now.

Percy Harvin

March 19th, 2012
5:35 pm

Why do sports writers continue with this: “Tebow wins games” theme? Last I check, someone else was blocking, someone else was catching, someone else was running the ball to the goal line for him to get 2 and 3 yard TD runs, someone else was tackling the opposing teams players. Are the rest of Tebow’s teammates losers and he the only winner?