Could Tim Tebow cut it in Canada or the Arena league? (+video)
Tim Tebow was cut by the New England Patriots and passed over by every other team this weekend. But the Canadian and Arena Football Leagues present intriguing possibilities.
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Tebow was cut by the New England Patriots Saturday, and none of the NFL's other 31 teams wanted him, meaning he now has no clear future in the league. But he does have a future, and in that future, a potential return to the NFL is not impossible.
Yes, we have arrived at the point of Tebow's professional football career that many thought inevitable – the point at which he must decide whether to play in Arena Football League or the Canadian Football League. If they'll have him.
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When Tebow was cut by the Jets earlier this year, at least three indoor football teams expressed an interest in signing him. They probably still would. If Tebow signed for the Orlando Predators in his native Florida, he would create more racket than a shuttle launch. He would be indoor football's David Beckham.
Meanwhile, the team in Canada that holds Tebow's rights has taken a quarterback with similarly gruesome throwing mechanics and turned him into perhaps the most successful player in league history.
In either league, Tebow would still be a project. His greatest weaknesses – passing accuracy and quick decisionmaking – would be exposed cruelly. As much as the NFL has become a passer's league, the CFL and Arena league do it more. If you cannot pass, you cannot win, and if Tebow cannot begin to find the broadside of barns with his passes, he'll soon find himself without a job again – and nowhere else to turn.
But that is just what Tebow needs if he is ever to become an NFL quarterback – a place to play competitively, away from the glare of the NFL, and to pass, pass, pass to see if he can ever get it right. Now that opportunity is the only one staring him in the face.
"It's time now to maybe just reconsider a different path to his ultimate dream," Steve Clarkson, a quarterback coach who has worked with Tebow, told USA Today Sunday.
But which path should he take?
In his interview with USA Today, Clarkson suggested that Tebow might look to the CFL. The CFL, after all, has a history of acting as a finishing school for quarterbacks looking to take that last step to the NFL, including Doug Flutie, Jeff Garcia, and Warren Moon.
If Tebow went in this direction, he'd have only one option – the Montreal Alouettes hold exclusive rights to Tebow in Canada. But it might be a perfect fit.
One of Tebow's greatest defenders has been Marc Trestman, who was head coach of the Alouettes before leaving this summer to become head coach of the Chicago Bears. While other scouts and coaches spent their time trying to shorten and improve Tebow's much maligned throwing motion, which looks vaguely like a wounded albatross struggling to fly, Trestman repeatedly said it was no big deal.
He spoke from experience. Check out the throwing motion of Anthony Calvillo, the starting quarterback for the Alouettes since 1998. Let's just say that NFL quarterbacks coaches are not salivating. Yet Calvillo has passed for more yards (78,494) than any other player in the history of professional football and has set a league record for passing touchdowns (449).