Tebow gets no respect
Say what you will about Tim Tebow, but the Denver Broncos simply tossed him aside when they recently traded the quarterback to the New York Jets for a fourth- and a sixth-round draft pick.
As the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield would say, Tebow gets no respect.
I’ve never really been a Tim Tebow fan. While I admire his devout faith and that he’s a proven winner, I can’t get past the fact that he’s just not a very good passer.
Tebow completed just 46.5 percent of his passes last season, and even former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell, widely regarded as one of the biggest busts of all time, completed 52.1 percent of his passes in his career. It takes Tebow forever to wind up and release passes, and when they finally do leave his hand they wobble like a knuckleball.
But if you can look past that, you see that Tebow’s a winner. He’s won everywhere he’s been. He led Nease High School to the Class 4A Florida state title his senior year, winning his second state Player of the Year award. At the University of Florida, he helped the Gators win two national championships and won the Heisman Trophy. And last year, in just his second year in the NFL, Tebow went 8-5 as a starter and threw an 80-yard game-winning touchdown pass to lift the Broncos to an upset win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs.
He’s also a bruising runner, basically a fullback playing under center. He rushed for 660 yards and six touchdowns last season, averaging 5.4 yards per carry.
And, when it matters, he can throw the ball. In the fourth quarters of games last season, Tebow completed 51.9 percent of his passes for 1,068 yards and six touchdowns. His quarterback rating for the fourth quarter was 81.3, up from his 72.9 overall rating. In overtime, Tebow was 5-for-8 passing for 118 yards and a touchdown. Tebow led the Broncos to five fourth-quarter comebacks last year, and he engineered six game-winning drives.
He gets no respect. How is he so undervalued? How is a former first-round draft pick who has proven himself to be a good NFL player, only worth a fourth- and a sixth-round draft pick? Because Broncos vice president John Elway never liked Tebow and never viewed him as his guy. And after he signed future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning to a five-year, $96 million contract, he was eager to dump Tebow.
But why? Tebow could have learned a lot from Manning. And now if/when Manning, he of four neck surgeries in the last two years, gets injured, to whom will the Broncos turn? Adam Weber, a second-year quarterback who did not attempt a pass in the regular season last year, is the only other quarterback on Denver’s roster right now. Eek.
Now Tebow has been cast to the Island of Misfit Toys to be part of a Jets locker room that could spontaneously combust at any second.
But the Jets could come out looking great here. If Tebow — as New York’s starting quarterback or running the team’s wildcat package — can help the Jets win some games this year, this could be the best trade in New York history since Manhattan was acquired for $24 worth of beads and baubles.
And if Tebow can keep winning football games and keep improving as a passer, maybe someday he’ll get the respect he deserves.