Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Now that the Miami Dolphins have moved on from Peyton Manning and lost out on free agent quarterback Matt Flynn, there’s another name that continues to percolate just below the surface who could be a major draw for Miami.
For the Dolphins to acquire Tebow, the Denver Broncos first had to acquire Peyton Manning.
Now that Manning has chosen to negotiate a new contract and play for the Broncos, Tebow is now available and the Fins need a draw like Tebowmania, regardless of the play on the field.
As profootballtalk.com wrote Friday morning, if the Fins lost out on both Manning and Flynn, “the only way owner Stephen Ross can make a big splash in the short term would be to put his trust in Tebow.”
The only problem is Tebow has proven time and time again in the NFL that he has trouble throwing the football with precision and/or timing. New Fins head coach Joe Philbin’s West Coast offense depends on both precise and perfectly timed throws, neither of which Tebow can do on a consistent basis.
For example, in 2011, Tebow completed just 46.5 percent of his passes, which was the worst amongst all NFL starting quarterbacks. The next worse was St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford.
There’s also a problem with Tebow’s salary going forward.
According to Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post, Tebow is owed $1.1 million in base salary in 2012. That number is extremely manageable for the Dolphins, who are up against the salary cap.
But in 2013, Tebow’s base salary jumps to $5.48 million and in 2013 it rises all the way to $7.145 million.
That means in order to get traded, a new team would likely have to restructure Tebow’s contract, which Tebow would have to agree to as well.
The one thing Tebow could do for the Dolphins is sell season tickets. Being a former Florida Gator, who is still beloved like no other college player in Gator history, would go a long way towards putting more Gator fans into the stands for Dolphins games.
Still, it could backfire on the Fins because Miami Hurricanes fans may not be as willing to support Tebow as Gators fans, and in South Florida there are far more Canes fans than Gators fans.
The Dolphins do have the firepower to acquire Manning if they choose. The Fins picked up two extra third-round picks last week in the trade for Brandon Marshall.
If the Dolphins hold fast and don’t trade for Tebow, he may still be available.
According to ESPN.com’s Chris Mortensen, the Broncos will either trade Tebow or release him. Letting that information out may not have been in the Broncos plans, because it kills any potential trade market for Tebow.
Acquiring Tebow wouldn’t necessarily be about football, it would be about business.
It could sacrifice long-term development for short-term financial success for the Fins. While Tebow did lead the Broncos to the playoffs last year, it’s going to be difficult to run an offense he can succeed in long-term in the NFL.
Remember though, Fins owner Stephen Ross is all about celebrities and not necessarily what’s best for the Dolphins franchise. Acquiring a player with Tebow’s celebrity may be the only splash he can make if both Flynn and Manning turn the Fins down.
Now that Miami has missed on Manning and Flynn, the debate will turn to Tebow and the business-side of the Dolphins may win out over the football side.