Yesterday, we asked ifdrafting Tim Tebow in the first round can be officially called a mistake
after he was demoted to third string for this weekend's contest vs. the Bills. The answer appears to be yes, given the flurry of rumors that he's about to be cut -- because no one other than Josh McDaniels, the coach who picked him in the first place, thinks he can play quarterback in the NFL.
CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman kicked off the speculation with the post "Is Tebow Now Untradeable?" Freeman writes that the Broncos aren't actively shopping the Chosen One, whose catapult throwing motion has shown little improvement (see our recent Broncos training camp photo gallery for proof) -- but neither are they telling teams that might inquire about him that he's unavailable. Problem is, the phone hasn't exactly been ringing off the hook, even from teams that might be thinking about trying Tebow at a new position -- namely, fullback.
Granted, Freeman doesn't think Tebow will be cut, and neither does ESPN's Bill Williamson. In contrast, Williamson's colleague, Merril Hoge, whose anti-Tebow Twitter rampage set off a media frenzy earlier this month, argues that Denver should sever ties with Big Tim unless he can be traded to St. Louis, where Josh McDaniels landed after his catastrophic term as the Broncos' head coach.
Hoge's position isn't exactly a surprise. During a Denver radio appearance amid the Twitter controversy, he argued that Tebow should be traded even before his recent demotion. But the odds of him actually being dealt to St. Louis are miniscule.
For one thing, McDaniels is the offensive coordinator for the Rams, not the main man. He'd have to lobby the rest of the squad's braintrust to grab Tebow, and that wouldn't be an easy sell. After all, the Rams have one of the premier young QBs in the league -- Sam Bradford. Even McDaniels isn't stupid enough to disrupt team chemistry by bringing in someone who'd likely be regarded as a challenger for the position.
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Okay, maybe he would. He did, after all, deal Peyton Hillis to the Cleveland Browns for Brady Quinn, which topped our list of the top ten Colorado sports stars who pissed us off by leaving. But he hasn't built up enough credibility in the Rams' organization to pull it off yet.
Why not simply cut Tebow? Because, as ESPN's Chris Mortensen has noted, the Broncos just paid him $6.7 million as part of his rookie contract, and simply throwing that money in the street would be a public-relations disaster. Besides, the calls for Tebow to start have quieted in the wake of his underwhelming training camp and erratic preseason to date -- so sitting him probably won't result in Denver fans rioting in the streets. The pressure is easing, giving new coach John Fox the leeway he needs to make decisions based on potential wins, not popularity -- which is why he's cast his lot with Kyle Orton.
Of course, should the Broncos stumble out of the gate, with Orton proving incapable of scoring red-zone touchdowns or producing in the fourth quarter, the grumbling about Tebow will begin again. Call it Josh McDaniels's revenge.
More from our Sports archive: "Top 10 ways Josh McDaniels has destroyed the Denver Broncos."