MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – It’s been quite a precipitous fall for former University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow in the NFL.
As the preseason started, the Denver Broncos looked ready to hand Tebow the keys to the offense as the starting quarterback. This was never more evident than in the rumored trade talks of Kyle Orton to Miami.
Monday, after a strong showing in camp, Orton was named the team’s starting quarterback and Tebow sank to possibly even as low as third on the Broncos quarterback depth chart, behind Brady Quinn.
Tebow has become a polarizing figure for the Broncos, just like he was in college. Fans and pundits either love him or hate him. The difference is that in the NFL, Tebow hasn’t enjoyed any of the success he had in college, outside of the final three games in 2010 when he was decent as the starter.
Tebow was selected in the first round by former Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels. But Tebow’s game in college was specific to a spread offense focusing on the run. The same type of offense doesn’t translate to the NFL with the speed and ability of opposing defenses.
So, the Broncos are now caught in a big problem. The team can try to trade Tebow, but he can’t have much value as he falls down the depth chart. They could cut Tebow, but either trading or cutting him will have huge public relations problems with the hometown fans who love Tebow.
The Broncos could also finally choose to move Tebow to another position. So far in the NFL, he’s roughly at the same developmental point of Cam Newton. The difference is Newton is a far superior athlete and passer than Tebow could ever be.
As for the Miami Dolphins, Tebow wouldn’t be much of an upgrade from either Pat Devlin or Kevin O’Connell, which shows how far Tebow’s star has fallen on the football field.
Off the field, Tebow remains wildly popular and has also done well landing some big endorsements. Still, his ability in the long-run to keep those endorsements will depend on any success he has in the NFL.
At this point, Tebow may be best served by moving to the fullback position or to an H-back position because at this point, his days as an NFL quarterback may be numbered.