Posted Mon Aug 22nd by Monty
“He’s not going to be your starter, he’s never going to be your starter, and the longer he stays on the team, the more drama he is going to create.”
Those are the words of ESPN analyst and noted Tim Tebow critic Merril Hoge this morning, referring to the NFL’s most famous backup quarterback in a debate that aired on SportsCenter this morning. Now that Tebow has seemingly become untradeable, Hoge argues that the Broncos should cut ties altogether. On air, another NFL analyst agreed with him.
Following Tebow’s demotion on the depth chart to Brady Quinn (for at least one game), it is true that Tebow’s stock in Denver is at an all-time low. “The consensus in speaking with a handful of team personnel executives when it comes to one Tim Tebow is this: A trade could happen, but it’s becoming increasingly likely the Broncos will keep or cut Tebow because the trade interest is dwindling rapidly,” CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman writes (link above).
“The executives portray the Tebow situation as a complicated one.”
It is indeed. But cutting Tebow does absolutely no good for the Broncos. If the fan frenzy is distracting the players, coaches, or team executives, there are other ways to mitigate those distractions than outright cutting the player.
For one, it would do the Broncos well to officially name Kyle Orton the 2011 starter (UPDATE: they did that). They unofficially did so by moving Brady Quinn up the depth chart, clearly illustrating the divide in their evaluation of their quarterbacks, but putting an official stamp on it would unify both players and fans behind #8.
Second, the Broncos need to make a decision about Tebow’s future. Can he be a quarterback in this league? It’s a tricky question. If there was ever a political and contractual climate for him to win a starting job — second year in the league, 4-12 season, starting QB in trade talks, two other quarterbacks with lame duck contracts — this offseason was it. Yet, at the same time, it’s difficult to doubt Tebow.
That’s why the Broncos won’t be cutting Tebow any time soon. Tebow will not be a distraction. Orton always starts his seasons red hot, and it’s not like Tebow’s complaining or dividing the locker room.
Instead, the Broncos will keep Tebow and lean on his world-renowned work ethic. They’ll bet on his ability to morph into a professional football player in this league — either as a full-time quarterback, situational player, or as a convert to another position. There are a number of scouts and team executives that maintain that Tebow could be a Pro Bowl fullback in an H-back role.
If Tebow truly wants to help his team as he so often says he does, that change of position might be necessary.
But that’s a decision that can wait another year. For now, the Broncos will keep Tebow and let him learn. The Broncos don’t need a trade market to do that.