Tim Tebow blackballed by NFL?

Tim Tebow blackballed? As a football player, Tim Tebow brings too much media baggage, say some coaches. Is 'Tebowmania' why Tim Tebow is being blackballed?

(AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)
Denver Broncos' Tim Tebow kneels on the sideline after scoring the game winning touchdown beating the New York Jets 17-13 in 2011. After being released by the Jets in April, does Tebow have a future in the NFL? Does it matter?

Has Tim Tebow been unofficially blackballed from the NFL?

That's what Yahoo Sports writer Michael Silver is suggesting.

After one season, the New York Jets released the third-string quarterback on April 29. And in the ensuing three weeks, no serious offers have been made.

"No NFL team seems to want him — as a starter, backup, converted H-back or fake-punt decoy — and it's not like he's fending off big-money offers from Canada, either," writes Silver. And Silver blames "Tebowmania."

Yes, Tim Tebow draws a media crowd – everywhere he goes. As a backup, backup quarterback, one could easily argue that all the attention on Tim Tebow was a distraction for the other Jets players. His media coverage was way beyond his contribution to the team. That kind of spotlight should be on your starting quarterback.

Silver quotes an unnamed AFC coach who says: "He seems like a great guy to have on a team, and I'd be tempted to bring him in as our backup. But it's just not worth dealing with all the stuff that comes with it."

There's a simple solution to that: Play Tebow. Judge him by his performance on the field, not by the attention his fans give him.

Tebow was good enough as a starting quarterback in Denver to produce a 7-4 record, and pull off an overtime win against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs. Yes, Tebow doesn't have the arm that most starting NFL quarterbacks boast – in a game that has evolved into a QB-centric passing sport. That's a huge disadvantage for Tebow.

So, maybe Tebowmania is the excuse that is being given for those who don't believe he has the appropriate skill set.

But why isn't more credence being given to the former Jets QB Vinny Testaverde's comments about Tebow?

Testaverde says he and former NFL QB Chris Weinke worked with Tebow in April. "Chris and I looked at Tim careful and we were both amazed," Testaverde told Rich Cimini at "Everybody has been focusing on his throwing motion, trying to fix that, but nobody had picked up his footwork. His footwork was all screwed up. Chris and I looked at each other after about four or five throws, and we saw the same thing. We got his footwork fixed. His throwing motion is now a non-issue.
"He throws with what we call 'effortless power.' He doesn't have that elongated motion anymore and his head isn't moving 2 1/2 feet when he throws it."

How many NFL quarterbacks need a few years of seasoning? Most do.

It's possible, that like Kurt Warner or Doug Flutie, Tim Tebow will have to go to the Canadian Football League or the Arena Football League to polish his game before the NFL will give him another shot.

Here's another theory that hasn't gotten a lot of attention yet: Is Tebow – or Tebowmania – "too Christian"? Tim Tebow wears his faith on his uniform sleeve. Did his on-field Tebowing embarrass some team owners? Is it this particular kind of media circus that bothers team owners and coaches?

Tim Tebow may never play in the NFL again. But Plan B could be a career as a motivational speaker, a preacher - or a politician. Last Thursday, Tebow was the featured speaker at the the Economic Club of Southwest Michigan in Benton Harbor.

"If all I am is a football player and that is it I would consider my life to be a tragedy,” Tebow told the attendees, who ranged in age from pre-teens to senior citizens, according to "Being an inspiration is more important that winning football games. I want to be a great role model to the next generation.

"In the short term, I want to be the best football player I can be. In the long term, I want to inspire people. At the end of the day I can do that through the platform football gave me."

Tebow talked about how he returned to the sidelines after University of Florida beat Oklahoma to win the 2009 national championship. His coach, Urban Meyer, took off his headset and embraced the quarterback. Tebow told the audience that he would cherish that moment for the rest of his life and perhaps even longer.

“How cool would it be after my time on earth to have the Heavenly Father take off his headset and say, ‘Timmy, I love you. You finished strong,’” Tebow said.

The question for Tebow football fans: Will Tim Tebow be around the NFL long enough to finish strong?

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