On the Tebow-to-Buffalo debate
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • March 20, 2012 @ 9:23am
Would it make sense for the Bills to pursue Denver’s Tim Tebow, the gregarious, young quarterback suddenly expendable because of the Broncos’ addition of Peyton Manning? Denver announced yesterday that Tebow, who led the Broncos past the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs before bowing out to New England, was available for trade. He’d be affordable, too, as the Broncos would only demand a mid-round pick in return.
The initial arguments are quite vehemently against the Bills taking action; Jacksonville appears to be the early favorite, although CBS Sports lists Buffalo as a possible suitor.
1) Set at quarterback Buffalo already has an established franchise quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick, who signed a seven year, $62 million deal in late October last season.
2) Don’t rattle Fitz, Smith still there Even though “gadget players,” as Tebow would be if he didn’t come in as a full-time quarterback, are part of Chan Gailey’s philosophy, the Bills already have one in Brad Smith, who doesn’t serve as quite the threat to Fitzpatrick’s job as Tebow would.
3) Not the greatest fit Buffalo runs a very spread-heavy offense, and Tebow’s skill-set isn’t conducive to running such a timing-based system predicated on accurate, short passes. In order for Denver to have success last year, head coach John Fox had to revamp his entire game-plan, and with the Bills finally embracing Gailey’s philosophy, a change to accommodate Tebow makes little sense.
While these arguments sound logical enough, there’s merit to the reasons why pursuing Tebow wouldn’t be a bad idea:
1) He’s a PR machine: Think ticket sales exploded from the signing of Mario Williams? The gate would literally explode with the signing of Tim Tebow, a player beloved in every situation he’s been in. For a team that could use a healthy dose of positivity and hope, Tebow’s personality invigorates a locker room and creates a winning atmosphere, regardless of his role within the team.
2) He’s the consummate teammate: If Jacksonville sours on bringing in Tebow as its possible starting quarterback, every indication points to Tebow accepting a temporary smaller role as (if) he develops into an NFL passer. As a short yardage specialist, Tebow would allow the Bills to cut ties with Brad Smith and immediately improve Buffalo’s ability to move the chains in third-and-short situations, a problem area in the past.
3) The Bills’ reason for avoiding Tebow before is no longer relevant: Even though the Kelly family hosted Tebow for dinner before the 2010 draft, general manager Buddy Nix opted against taking the Florida Gator because the Bills couldn’t afford to be patient in his development. Now, with Fitzpatrick entrenched as the starter, Tebow could be groomed as his eventual successor in 2-3 years and would serve as a serious upgrade over Tyler Thigpen as the Bills’ backup.
4) Price: He’d only cost the Bills a fifth or sixth round pick, a modest salary and one roster spot. Does this sound like a small risk to anyone else?
Header photo courtesy of the Denver Broncos Facebook page.