Time for Jaguars to get serious about Tebow

William SandmanBy William Sandman | gargoyle@flagler.edu

Week six has now come and gone on the NFL season and the Jacksonville Jaguars are still without a win. They were predicted to be at the bottom of the standings this year by everyone, but they have evolved into arguably the worst team in NFL history.

They have begun to trade players away that are in the last year of their contract, and prior to their week six game against the Broncos, they were given the second largest betting line ever by Las Vegas casinos who set Denver as 27 point favorites over the Jaguars.

Due to their poor performances and lack of any kind of interest in the team from the Jacksonville supporters, attendance continues to decline. The Jags tried to pull a desperation move at a recent home game and gave away free beer in order to entice people to the stadium. That is what this season, which is only six weeks in, has come to for the Jaguars.

In a country where the most popular sport is football, they best thing they have to draw people to the stadium is free beer.

Now this begins to beg the question lingering over arguably the most popular player in the National Football League. Well, technically he’s not in the National Football League, but Tim Tebow, despite not playing for any team this year and not being a starting quarterback since 2011, is still the consensus most popular football player on earth. He has a cult following and draws thousands of fans to the stadium. Plus, he was raised and played high school football in Ponte Vedra, Florida, before going on to play college ball at the University of Florida. Couple that with the fact that he is immensely popular and a hometown hero and it couldn’t possibly turn that down, right?

Before we go over the reasons why Tebow should be signed (chiefly the fact that he would bring in revenue and make the team more competitive) we should cover the reasons why he shouldn’t be signed (and why they’re irrelevant). People would say, “He isn’t the future of the franchise, why bother?” Well, he would bring in money and frankly quite a lot of it through ticket and apparel sales. If the Jaguars had a quarterback who was young, talented and needed playing time, the argument would shift immensely.

But they don’t. The two quarterbacks fighting for the starting job in Jacksonville right now are Blaine Gabbert, a draft pick bust who has never panned out, and Chad Henne, a journeyman veteran who would be a solid back-up for a team with a legitimate starting quarterback. Surely Tebow can’t be any worse than those two. Since the beginning of the 2011 season, the Jags are 7-29. Tim Tebow’s record as a starter in the NFL is 8-6.

So the question still remains why not?

That question is being asked, or rather screamed, by Jags fans. From chants at every game pleading to Jacksonville management to sign him, to the plane trailing a “TEBOW, WHY NOT?” sign over the stadium at a recent home game, the fans are starting to turn the pressure up.

Peyton Jones, a Flagler College student and avid football fan said, “They (the Jaguars) need a quarterback and Tim Tebow needs a team. Plus with the read option wave taking over the NFL right now his style of play would be perfect.” Jones brings up a good point. The read option offense, which favors mobile quarterbacks, has taken the NFL by storm over the last year. Tebow was one of the pioneers of the offense when he ran it at the University of Florida, so he is well acquainted with the system and its nuances.

Tyler Deborde, another Flagler College student and a big Florida Gators fan, said the Jaguars would be stupid not to sign Tebow. “Look at what Tebow has done with his career. Wherever he has gone he has won. It may not be pretty all the time, but he gets the job done,” said Deborde. Another good point is made there. Tebow won two National Championships while at Florida and he won the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s most outstanding college football player. “Tebow could certainly come in and at least make the Jaguars competitive,” he said.

It’s not only average fans who feel this way though. Some heavyweights have started weighing in on the subject as well. Most notably Skip Bayless, one of the hosts of ESPN’s “First Take” took to Twitter recently saying, “Would Tebow make his hometown Jaguars relevant/competitive/watchable? YES. Will they sign him? NO. Would I wish them on him? NO.”

Skip clearly is of the same opinion as many of the Jaguars fans. It would definitely make the Jaguars worth watching if nothing else. Everyone wants to see what Tebow could do if given the chance to be a starting quarterback in the NFL and would definitely tune in. Shad Kahn, owner of the Jaguars, is a very well respected businessman and would be foolish not to take this opportunity to milk the Tebow cash cow.

The Jaguars have nothing to lose by signing Tebow and everything to gain. The worst possible outcome from that signing would be that the Jaguars continue to lose games this season. If that turns out to be the case, things aren’t all bad. They would profit immensely from the revenue he would bring in, they would still get a high draft pick and Tebow fans everywhere would praise the Jaguars for giving him another chance at being a starting quarterback in the NFL.

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