Thad Thinks Ted Thompson Takes Tim Tebow
OK, let’s all take a breath here. I want to use this post to show the benefits of Tim Tebow in Green & Gold, not necessarily argue the practicality of it happening. There are a couple of things that have to be stated before ‘Tebow-mania’ makes it way to 1265 Lombardi Avenue. First, I believe that the Denver Broncos would be utter fools to trade or release Tim Tebow. If the Broncos do in fact sign Peyton Manning, they need to have a competent back up plan in case Manning has a setback or injury. Tim Tebow is under contract through 2014 for about another ~$15 million dollars base salary total according to Jason Wilde’s Twitter . There is little reason for the Broncos to claim that Tebow would be an expensive backup. Contrary to many reports, I do not assume that the Broncos will cut Tim Tebow. Tebow (for better or worse) had one more playoff win last season than the ‘Golden Boy’ Aaron Rodgers. The Broncos should know they have an asset and should look to recoup some compensation for dispensing of it if they choose.
Second, Ted Thompson is a smart man and only makes deals that are advantageous to the Green Bay Packers. Ted Thompson knows that the Packers have holes that need to be plugged on both sides of the ball, in addition to roster holes that will occur in the next few years as he decides which players will not be receiving renewed contracts. Thompson depends on the draft to reactively or proactively address his perceived needs.
So, if the Broncos shouldn’t trade or release Tebow, Ted Thompson covets draft picks and can offer little compensation in terms of player capital and any official proposal by the Packers may raise the asking price for Tim Tebow, what benefit would Tebow bring as a backup quarterback for the Green Bay Packers?
For the purposes of this post, let’s assume that the Broncos for some reason actually want to trade Tim Tebow. Their first step would be to leak that interest to the press, which by all accounts, has already begun to happen. Broncos management would field a few calls to gauge the market demand for Tim Tebow. It’s important to note that Ted Thompson would not be one of the first to call. But let’s also assume that a week goes by and there are no firm offers or no offers that blow the Broncos away. Would Ted Thompson not fish around to see what it would take for a deal? Yes, yes he would.
I mentioned above that “Ted Thompson covets draft picks”, but that really is an assumption and a bad one at that. Ted Thompson does not covet draft picks. Ted Thompson covets value. You have to remember, Ted Thompson traded multiple picks to the New England Patriots for Clay Matthews and has continually traded up and down to squeeze value out of his picks. He doesn’t care about the picks, he cares about what he gets for them. Ted Thompson also spent two draft picks (a second and a seventh) in the 2008 NFL draft on two quarterbacks when he already had his starting quarterback for the upcoming season. I see no reason why Ted Thompson would not trade a fourth round pick or lower for a playoff winning quarterback with 10+ games of starting experience. Regardless of the name, I think you have to take that deal.
So what if Ted can close the deal with a fourth round pick and a seventh in next year’s draft for Tim Tebow. Could Tim Tebow work in Green Bay? I say it’s an emphatic YES! I’ll even go so far to say that short of remaining on the Broncos, Green Bay may be the best place for Tim Tebow to play. Let’s break this down.
I. Aaron Rodgers is the unquestioned starter.
Many of the teams that may be interested in Tim Tebow and may even want to present an offer to the Broncos may actually hesitate to do so because there would be a full scale quarterback controversy if it occurred. Teams like the Raiders, Jaguars, Chiefs, Bills, Dolphins, Browns, Vikings and Panthers have quarterbacks that would no doubt be threatened by Tebow being placed on their team. Tim Tebow himself would have an expectation to play on those teams. This is not the case with the Green Bay Packers. Were Tebow traded to the Packers, he would know that he is second fiddle and no one would attempt to develop a starting controversy. Tebow would know that he was in Green Bay to learn and back up Rodgers and maybe see limited action on gadget plays. I also think that Tebow would enjoy being an understudy to Rodgers and would welcome the respite of the harsh media glare. The teams I mentioned above do not have unquestioned starters and it wouldn’t be worth the acrimony for these teams to give up too much for Tim Tebow because of the next point.
II. “Tebow-mania/Media Circus”
Wherever Tim Tebow goes, his faithful will follow him and ardently support him. And where there is demand for attention, the media will be willing to provide it. Any team that trades or acquires Tim Tebow also acquires these things. Some teams may actually welcome the (any) attention (Jaguars) but most teams would be wary of all of the extra attention, demands and expectations of the ‘Tebow faithful’. Why would Green Bay be immune? I think ‘Tebow-mania’ would be much less of a big deal in Green Bay due to the recent consistency and harmony of the team as well as the team’s strong bond with the community. Once again, Aaron Rodgers is the unquestioned starter, so even if Rodgers goes on a cold streak, no one will be screaming to put Tebow in as a starter. In fact, I think ‘Tebow-mania’ would actually work quite well in Green Bay. Tim Tebow could become a cult favorite 10 times the size of John Kuhn! Could you imagine on third downs, when Tim Tebow runs onto Lambeau Field with Rodgers for the option set and the crowd yelling out “Teeee-booooowwwwww!!” Just think about it. Give it a thought. Now another thought. I think the Packers fans and ‘Tebow-mania’ will get along just fine!
III. Mike McCarthy’s Quarterback school
Mike McCarthy’s offseason quarterback school gets talked about almost any time McCarthy’s coaching comes up. I’m not sure if the legend surpasses reality to a degree, but it doesn’t really matter. Both Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn are established graduated of the off-season program. The first sentence of this post established that Tim Tebow has poor fundamentals. But Tebow also has oodles of potential and self confidence. In other words, he has the foundation for Coach McCarthy to build a good quarterback. If you ask me, Tim Tebow coming into Mike McCarthy’s quarterback school this summer would already be ahead of a rookie Aaron Rodgers attending his first Mike McCarthy led class. Tim Tebow has three full seasons left on his contract, which would mean a minimum of two full off-seasons under Coach McCarthy’s tutelage. Don’t you think McCarthy can mold a decent quarterback in that time? I do and more importantly, so can Ted Thompson (see point VII below).
IV. Offensive creativity/insurance
Randall Cobb. Jordy Nelson. Do you know what the connection is? Yes, they are both young wide receivers for the Packers, but they are also de facto backup/option quarterbacks for the Packers. That’s really cool and all, but you don’t really want a receiver throwing a ball if you can have a professional quarterback do it. While we have not seen many trick plays under Coach McCarthy’s tenure, he certainly has a lot of them and he was not afraid to use Randall Cobb to perform some of his tricks last year. But what if McCarthy had Tim Tebow as well, what schemes could be concocted? Imagine Tebow as an H-back with Rodgers taking the snap. What about Tebow on the line as a tight end who motions into the backfield? What about the opposite?
This is not to say that McCarthy will change the team to an wildcat offense just for Tebow, but what it does mean is that if an opposing team needs to prepare for different Tebow based formations, that’s less time that they are focusing on Jermichael Finley, Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings and especially Aaron Rodgers. Can’t you see how a linebacker spying on Tebow or a safety getting caught watching Tebow in the backfield opens up the middle of the field for Jermichael Finley and Jordy Nelson?
As a backup quarterback, Tim Tebow would be available in relief if anything happened to Aaron Rodgers. I do not wish this situation to occur, therefore, I will not spend much time elaborating on it. But Aaron Rodgers is a risk taker with a history of concussions. Right now the Green Bay Packers are in their prime and the ability to have a starting caliber quarterback waiting in the wings in case of an emergency is a good thing. I want to emphatically state that this is the LEAST of the reasons why I believe Tim Tebow would work as a Green Bay Packer. But it did at least warrant mentioning.
V. Current roster/Draft talent
With the departure of Matt Flynn, the Packers only have two quarterbacks on the roster. One of which was almost out of the league at one point. Additionally, odds are that a quarterback that Ted had his eye on will drop far enough that Ted Thompson would decide to draft him. I would be willing to bet money that Ted Thompson is looking to draft a quarterback in this year’s draft. But outside of the quarterbacks to be drafted in the first two rounds, which quarterbacks have the current talent and the potential talent ceiling of Tim Tebow? Were Ted to trade a 4 th & 7 th round pick for Tim, it would be akin to drafting a quarterback in this year’s draft. If no one would blink if Ted Thompson drafted TWO quarterbacks in this year’s 4 th and next year’s 7 th round respectively, why would it be an issue if Ted traded those same picks for Tebow this offseason. The more I think about the practicality of setting up a trade, the more it just makes sense.
VI. “Packers People”
What is ‘Packers People’? Everyone has their own idea of what it means and in my opinion, it is someone who plays hard and gritty every down and every game for the Green Bay Packers (John Kuhn), respects the organization (Mark Tauscher), is an ambassador for the team and the city of Green Bay (Charles Woodson) and can be viewed as a role model for young fans of the sport (Aaron Rodgers). Couldn’t Tim Tebow be all of these things and more? Couldn’t Tim Tebow not only do all of these things, but also continue to use his religious beliefs and morals for community outreach in Green Bay and Wisconsin? I hope no one is offended by this next statement, but couldn’t Tim Tebow in Green Bay be the “Reggie White of the modern (internet/ESPN) era”? Aaron Rodgers and Tim Tebow are both devout Christians, but Aaron Rodgers is a bit more reserved about it. That’s OK, and with Tim Tebow in Green Bay, Rodgers can allow Tebow to take a particular leadership role in the community and help out at his own leisure.
VII. “Flip this QB”
At the end of the day, Tim Tebow will not start or compete to start at quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. That’s not why he would be acquired. Tim Tebow’s time in Green Bay (through the 2014 season) would be to learn under Coach Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers and to provide offensive options when Coach McCarthy chooses to use him. But the main reason why Tim Tebow would be acquired would to be traded to another team before the end of his current contract. If Mike McCarthy could polish Tim Tebow enough to be appealing enough for a 2 nd round pick or higher in the 2015 draft, I think that Green Bay comes out as a winner. Three years with a competent backup quarterback who represents the team and the NFL in a positive way and then the ability to trade that talent for a better pick sounds like something Ted Thompson would be very interested in. I fully understand that there are holes and caveats in all of the points I raised, but I thought it would be fun to at play devil’s advocate for a bit. I look forward to a spirited discussion!