Photo credit: Todd Shoemake
Author: Joey Carr
If you go to Google and type in the letter T, the third result that pops up on the search bar might surprise you, or it might not. The name that pops up is current free agent quarterback Tim Tebow, who was unexpectedly cut by the Philadelphia Eagles on September 5th. The former Florida Gator quarterback has been making headlines ever since he led Florida to a 13-1 record and won the 2009 National Championship, where his Gators defeated Sam Bradford’s Oklahoma Sooners. He then entered the NFL Draft in 2010, getting selected by the Denver Broncos with the 25th overall pick. He took over for the team after the 6th game of his second season, leading them to their first AFC West Title and playoff win since 2005, often needing late game heroics to accomplish his victories. At the time it seemed like Tebow might actually be on the fast track to being a starter in the NFL. Fast-forward to today, and Tim Tebow’s once bright future in football is now in question for the third time.
There aren’t many more polarizing figures in sports than Tim Tebow himself. Whether it’s people commenting on his outspoken religious beliefs, his throwing motion, or the infamous “Tebowing” celebration, there is never a dull moment when talking about the former Gator. However, he has always kept a positive attitude about everything that happens to him. From his glorious college days to jumping around from team to team in the NFL, his persona has not changed. But after being cut for a third time and having this stint with the Eagles go fairly well, where does Tim take his career now? Many have suggested that he go to the Canadian Football League, where he can showcase his athleticism a lot better than he could being a backup quarterback. The only problem with this route is that Tebow has stated numerous times that he wants to keep chasing his dream of playing in the NFL. Not to be negative, but that dream hasn’t worked out thus far for Tim. He started off pretty successful with the Broncos, going 8-5 (including playoffs) as the starting QB. And no one can forget the overtime thriller that saw Tebow complete a pass to Demaryius Thomas on the first play and having Thomas take it to the house 80 yards, winning Tebow his first playoff game. However, “Tebowmania” took a major blow after being demolished by the Patriots in the AFC Divisional game a week later. He was subsequently traded to the Jets after the Broncos acquired Peyton Manning in free agency, and after one turbulent season with New York was released. He then signed with the Patriots the next year for a brief preseason stint but was again let go as they trimmed their roster down to 53. After realizing he needed to step away, the former Heisman trophy winner took on a new challenge in the TV broadcasting world, becoming an anchor for the SEC Network. Getting ready for his third year as a broadcaster, the pearly gates opened and Chip Kelly came beckoning and gave Tebow the chance he had been waiting 2 years for: a chance to play in the NFL once again. Many thought that the Eagle’s high-tempo and unconventional offense would be a perfect fit for the non-traditional quarterback that Tebow is, and for a while it seemed like the stars were aligning for the former Florida standout. Third string quarterback Matt Barkley was traded to Arizona, leaving Tebow and Mark Sanchez as backups to Sam Bradford. It was almost certain he would now make the cut. However, Tebow was once again cut, and this time it had to sting.
Being cut is never easy, especially for someone who had such high hopes entering training camp and the preseason. But this is the National Football League, and coaches can’t keep someone on the 53-man roster because of their history and background. Tim Tebow is again a free agent and for now, his football career remains in jeopardy. Will he go to the CFL? Will he get another shot next season? Will he get picked up during the week before the season begins? These questions are unclear but one thing is clear: being cut will not deter Tim Tebow from chasing his dream.