Manning signs with Broncos: So what’s next for Tebow?


BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor

It appears quarterback Tim Tebow‘s time in the Mile High City is over after the Denver Broncos signed perennial Hall Of Fame gunslinger Peyton Manning on Monday morning.

With a new quarterback in place, it’s very unlikely Tebow will be with the Broncos by the time training camp rolls around. In fact, it’s almost a certainty that the former Heisman Trophy winner will be dealt very soon. ESPN football analyst said the latest rumors surrounding Tebow is that he could wind up as a New England Patriot. Those rumors surfaced before the Peyton Manning deal. Now it’s known — league wide — that Tebow is on the trading block. Enter the Miami Dolphins. After the Dolphins lost out on free agent quarterback Matt Flynn, the franchise is screaming it needs a new QB loudly.

With the rumors still swirling out there in cyber space, Couch Side will entertain the idea of Tebow as a Patriot or a Dolphin:

TEBOW AS A PATRIOT

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow may be traded after the team signed veteran QB Peyton Manning on Monday. Photo by: Jeffrey Beall / Flickr

• Under a legend: The best thing for Tebow’s development is for him to sit behind an experienced starter for a few years. And who would be a better mentor than two-time league MVP Tom Brady. Now don’t get me wrong. Tebow would also reap the benefits of being Manning’s backup. It just seems the Broncos and coach John Fox want nothing to do with the former Florida star, however. So there’s a very good chance that Tebow could wind up in New England via a trade. The Patriots have a boatload of picks and I could see them giving the Broncos a fourth rounder in this year’s draft for Tebow. The trade would be a great long-term investment for the Pats and ultimately it could even create a healthy battle for New England’s No. 2 spot between Tebow and former Arkansas standout Ryan Mallet, who the Patriots drafted in the third round last year. We all know Brady has perhaps five or even six years left before he is ready to call it quits. And it would be silly to think he won’t end his career as a Patriot. And if Tebow sticks around for that entire time with Brady and the infamous Patriots coaching staff, he will be a much better player because of it. And once Brady retires, Tebow may finally be that QB everyone expected him to be. I guarantee his mechanics will only improve with Brady’s guidance. And as a Tebow fan, I’ve always wanted to see him sit behind a crafty veteran. Tom Brady is just that.

• Versatility: Patriots coach Bill Belichick would also be a Godsend to Tebow. New England’s commander-in-chief has been known to get tricky sometimes, so we might even see Tebow on the field as early as next year if the Patriots acquire him. Belichick might also give NFL fans a taste of Tebow at fullback, tight end, and hell, maybe even some defense. He used wide receiver Julian Edelman on the other side of the ball a lot this year, so some time at other positions for Tebow wouldn’t be completely out of the question.

• Reunited: Plus, former Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels is back as the team’s offensive coordinator. McDaniels has always wanted to groom Tebow, which is why the bust of a head coach drafted him the the first round two years ago. As a rookie, McDaniels used Tebow creatively in the Red Zone, so I wouldn’t be the least bit shocked if he gets some touches around the goal line.

TEBOW AS A DOLPHIN

Floridians would be ecstatic if Tim Tebow returned to the sunshine state where he won two national championships and a Heisman Trophy during his four years with the Florida Gators. Photo by: Open Sports / Flickr

• Pieces falling into place: Everyone was kind of waiting to see what Manning would do before they made any drastic changes at QB. One of those teams was the Miami Dolphins, which made a pathetic pursuit at Manning out of the gates. With Manning off of their radar, the Dolphins worked out San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. But it appears Smith will be headed back to the bay because San Fran couldn’t land Manning, either. Also with Matt Flynn and any other sort of desirable QB off the marker, it looks like Tebow would be the sexiest pick right now for the Dolphins. And what do they have to lose? The Dolphins have never tried to land a real replacement for Dan Marino. Miami fans have truly been suffering for 13 years. But now they can finally get excited again. I believe Miami will try to go after Tebow and the Dolphins are equipped to do so after snagging two extra third-round picks from the Bears when they shipped out Brandon Marshall. They would be stupid not to. After all, Miami honored Tebow’s 2009 national championship winning Gators at a home game where they played the Broncos. And we all rember that was more-or-less Tebow’s first NFL start, which he won and drew in 63,000 fans. Bringing Tebow back to the state that so dearly loves him would put butts in the seats and it would be much more of a comfortable place to play in.

• Tough learning: Tebow would have a lot to learn quickly becuase Miami will attempt to run a west coast offense under new head coach Joe Philbin. You have to be quick, accurate and aware for this pro-heavy system, which isn’t Tebow’s staple as a QB. He only completed 46 percent of his passes this past season, which was the worst mark by any starter in the league, including Blaine Gabbert. But there’s no question the fans want him and that ownership will listen to the requests of their followers after more than a decade of giving them the middle finger.

• Miami’s QB situation: I can’t believe that Matt Moore isn’t the clear front runner to be Miami’s QB for another year, but for some reason, he’s not. He led the Dolphins to a late 6-3 charge and put up some decent statistics along the way. I called it Matt Moore Magic, but fans didn’t heavily embrace the five-year pro. That’s probably because you don’t want a known backup QB as the face of your franchise. I believe Moore has the talent to possibly get the team into the playoffs, but even that’s a stretch after Miami traded Brandon Marshall. So sitting under Moore wouldn’t be a horrible thing for Tebow. Miami just has to make the decision if they want to do that with a QB who has questionable passing skills or with one of the rookies — Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden, Kirk Cousins, Brock Osweiler and Ryan Lindley — coming out in this year’s NFL draft

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