Mar 21, 2012
kosmo - See all 770 of my articles
Tim Tebow sparked Tebowmania in 2011. Despite uneven – and at times very bad – play at the quarterback position, Tebow managed a 7-4 record as a starter and became a much beloved figure in the Mile High City. Tebow jersey were flying off the shelves, and high school kids everywhere were tebowing.
The amazing flight of Tim Tebow crash landed this week when the Broncos signed future Hall of Famer quarterback Peyton Manning to a contract. Manning was cut loose by the Indianapolis Colts to avoid payment of a $28 million roster bonus. After a prolonged recruiting trip, current Hall of Famer and Denver icon John Elway convinced Manning that the place for him to begin his quest for another ring was in Denver.
Naturally, the minute that Manning signed on the dotted line, he became the starting quarterback for the Broncos. You don’t pay a guy $96 million (over five years) to carry a clipboard. Suddenly, Manning is The Man and Tebow was relegated to backup duty, perhaps being rotated in for a series once in a while. Maybe even converted to a halfback to keep his athleticism on the field.
Then the other shoe dropped. Tebow was being shipped out. He was traded today to the New York Jets. The Jets got Tebow and a 7th round pick and the Broncos got a 4th and 6th round pick.
How the mighty have fallen. The once “great” Tebow was now being valued less than a hundred or so players who will be drafted before the Broncos will be able to draft a player with that 4th round pick.
Does the deal make sense for the Broncos?
I’m not a huge Tebow fan, but this deal makes very little sense to me. Many people – including me – felt that he was overvalued when the Broncos spent a first round pick on him. But on the flip side, I definitely think he’s worth more than a 4th rounder plus the 6-for-7 swap. Really, there’s a player in the 4th round who provides more value to the Broncos than Tim Tebow?
Without Tebow on the roster, the Broncos are going to be force to acquire a backup quarterback. They chased Kyle Orton out of town – to give Tebow a wide berth. Brady Quinn recently signed with KC while the Manning/Tebow sagas played out. According to NFL.com, the only other QB on Denver’s roster is Adam Weber. Weber is best known for … actually, nobody really knows who he is. He may not have existed when I began writing this article. As for the wisdom of backup up Manning with an inexperience QB – how did that work out for the Colts this year (other than winning the Andrew Luck sweepstakes)?
It’s not even about the money – Tebow will make $1.942 million in 2012, $2.266 million in 2013, and $2.590 million in 2014. Those are bad salaries for a guy who has shown some ability to win games. Heck, Matt Flynn recently signed a $24 million contract (over three years) on the strength of his performance in ONE game.
Does the deal make sense for the Jets?
Definitely. They only give up a 4th round pick for Tebow. At worst, he backs up Mark Sanchez and serves as a capable second string QB. If Sanchez were to continue to regress, there’s even the chance that the Jets would let Tebow take the team out for a spin and see what he can do with the offense. Although some are rubbed the wrong way by Tebow’s Christian messages, he’s definitely not the sort of player who is going to make headlines for the wrong reason (Big Ben).
All in all, there’s very little downside here, and a decent amount of upside – especially if Tebow can every figure out how the pass the ball effectively.
Around the NFL: Horse of a different color
Several other Colts may be switching their mounts and also joined the Broncos. My friend Ray gave me a heads-up that center Jeff Saturday, tight end Dallas Clark, and running back Joseph Addai are all being mentioned as possible free agent signings by Denver. If all goes well for Denver, Manning could once again be staring at Saturday’s butt, handing the ball off the Addai, and finding Dallas Clark in the back on the end zone.
Add these cogs into the mix, and the Broncos could easily find themselves in the playoff rodeo once again.
Around the NFL: Saints Brass Lose Halos
The other big new story of the day is the NFL cracking down on the New Orleans Saints for Bountygate.
- Head coach Sean Payton, entire 2012 season
- GM Mickey Loomis, eight games
- Assistant coach Joe Vitt, six games
- Former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (now with Rams) suspended indefinitely. Status to be reviewed after the season.
- $500,000 fine
- Forfeiture of second round picks in 2012 and 2013
It’s interesting to look at these penalties alongside the penalties for SpyGate. There were no suspensions for the Patriots, but they were stripped of a first round pick. So was BountyGate worse, or SpyGate?