Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Lumping the Packers into TebowWatch
By Kevin Seifert
As we discussed Monday, two-year-old comments from Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy indicate that at one point he seemed interested in tutoring quarterback Tim Tebow. We haven't given McCarthy a chance to update his sentiments, but they have conspired to involve the Packers in the first round of media speculation about Tebow's next team.
To me, the most interesting part of the Packers angle is that they have absolutely no need for a starting quarterback, or even a competitor for the role, and won't for a long time. Tebow to Green Bay is a much different circumstance than Tebow to the Miami Dolphins or Tebow to the Jacksonville Jaguars or even the San Francisco 49ers. I have a hard time seeing the Packers giving up the same draft-pick compensation for a backup as other teams might for a potential starter.
But how certain are we that there will be a market of teams who want Tebow to compete for their starting job? What if he is viewed as a backup league-wide? If the trade market doesn't materialize, making Tebow available for a low pick or possibly as a free agent, then I suppose it's possible the Packers could take a flyer. In that scenario, there would be low risk, and I doubt they would be concerned about "Tebowmania" hitting Green Bay, considering how many high-profile players are already on their roster.
Again, I think the Packers make much more sense for Tebow than Tebow does for the Packers. There is no better place to go than Green Bay to learn how to play the quarterback position. But what's in it for the Packers?
I guess the best way to put it is that a backup quarterback is expected to find a way to win games in place of the starter, by whatever means necessary, and Tebow has demonstrated that competitive ability even through non-traditional methods.
Our ESPN.com blog network put together a chart of possible destinations for Tebow. I put the Packers in the "moderate" category. None of us really know what they're thinking, but I'm a bit intrigued.