What's the big deal about Panthers meeting Tebow?

January, 27, 2010
1/27/10
6:37
PM ET
All right, Carolina fans, let’s go ahead and stir it up. The Panthers reportedly had a meeting with University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow at the Senior Bowl this week.

Go ahead, start the Tebow-to-Carolina rumors and go ahead and buy your No. 15 Carolina jerseys with Tebow’s name on the back. Word has it the Charlotte City Council soon will hold a vote to change Mint Street to Tebow Terrace and go ahead and book your Super Bowl tickets for next year because the Panthers probably will never lose another game once the savior arrives. We’re going to hear all about this scenario from now until April.

But, you know what? The Panthers also have met with other quarterbacks (and players at every other position, too) and they’ll continue to do so. Just because a team meets with a prospect doesn’t mean he’s going to be drafted there. Every year, word leaks out about who met with who and fans get all excited and assume the guy automatically is coming to their team.

It doesn’t work that way. Every team meets with a lot of players. That simply is called doing your homework. Scouts and teams keep a file on every player that’s going to be in the draft and they meet with lots of them to get a feel for their personality and character. That’s just normal procedure.

I’m not downplaying the fact that I believe the Panthers are in the market for a quarterback. They can’t just place everything on Matt Moore, who showed some promise when he took over late in the season. They have to at least have a viable alternative and they recognize that’s not Jake Delhomme, who played his way out of a starting job last season. I’m not even sure Delhomme stays on the roster, even if the Panthers have to take a hit to their salary cap. Quite frankly, I think Delhomme’s days as a starting quarterback in the NFL are over.

The Panthers have to get another quarterback somewhere in either the draft or free agency. But why the heck would it be Tebow? I give the guy credit for being perhaps the greatest college player ever and I respect the heck out of the way he carries himself as a person.

But, seriously, have you seen him throw a football? He’s not a full-time starting NFL quarterback. Maybe he can be some sort of gimmick in a Wildcat offense. But do you seriously think John Fox is going to run the Wildcat on a full-time basis? No way. Fox is stubborn and whoever is quarterback is will be a game manager, who also is a classic drop-back passer when he does get the chance to throw.

That doesn’t sound like Tebow to me. If anything, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Panthers asked Tebow how he feels about playing tight end. If he’s got any future with Carolina, that might have to be his position.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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