Tuesday, January 12, 2010

NFL Tebow: Would Pats Pass on Tebow?

Where will Tim Tebow go in the 2010 NFL Draft? Last week, we covered the first 20 spots. Four more spots have been determined: (21) Bengals, (22) Patriots, (23) Packers, (24) Eagles.

With Carson Palmer the franchise in Cincinnati, I can't imagine the Bengals taking him. Same with Rodgers in Green Bay. And the Eagles have enough drama at QB without adding Tebow to the mix. But then there's that prominent team sitting at 22: The Patriots.

Of course, the Patriots have long been linked to Tebow:

*Because of Bill Belichick's close relationship with Urban Meyer.

*Because of admiring things Belichick has said about Tebow in the past.

*Because he is the coach who is innovative (and secure) enough to utilize Tebow in creative ways (at least until Tebow is ready to assume a starting QB role, which in New England may be a few more years). Consider how Tebow might have helped on 4th-and-2 against the Colts.

Two things are working against Tebow landing with the Pats at No. 22:

(1) The overwhelming sentiment that the Jaguars will take Tebow at No. 10/11, regardless of any other factors.

(2) That as much as Belichick might like Tebow, he can't use that No. 22 pick on him, when the Patriots have such an obviously pressing need on the D-line.

Now, maybe the Patriots can address that through free agency -- but the cheapest, easiest and probably most effective way to do it is through the draft.

If Tebow slips past the Pats at 22, I could see them circling back quickly -- using some of their draft-pick stockpile in 2010 and 2011 -- to be in a position to draft him again.

But given the way the Patriots' season unfolded, their need is D, not T.

(None of this precludes what I think is a reasonable scenario: That Tebow is drafted by Jacksonville -- or whomever besides New England -- then struggles in a bad fit to the point that the team releases him, at which point he will be picked up by Belichick and unleashed on the league.)


  1. But doesn't the fact that the Jags don't have a second-rounder this year (they traded it to New England for a third last year) weigh against them taking Tebow at #11?

  2. And here's another question for thought—which would be better _for Tebow_: being drafted #11 by Jacksonville, or, say, #43 by New England?

  3. Bob Kraft (Patriots owner) was in Gainesville tonight at the UK game hanging w/Meyer...talking Tebow maybe???

  4. "Bob Kraft (Patriots owner) was in Gainesville tonight at the UK game hanging w/Meyer...talking Tebow maybe???"

    Wow. The plot thickens...

    I know nothing about the NFL draft-I've only followed college football. If anyone knows, does Tebow have absolutely NO choice in what team he ends up w/this year? I mean, if a team drafts him, does he have no choice but to go w/that team?

  5. Brooke: It depends.

    The bargaining agreement between players and owners not only created a salary cap, but also set limits on what rookies can be paid.

    The key fact here is that the rookie cap is based on the positions in which a team selects _during the draft_, not the players that team ends up with. So, if you trade for a rookie after the draft, you have to find a way to pay that rookie without getting any extra money to do so (which, as a practical matter, would require that you cut some of the other rookies you drafted).

    But since 2010 will be uncapped, the NFL has, at its sole discretion, the right to remove the limits on rookie salaries, and it doesn't have to make that decision until mid-February or so.

    If that cap stays in place, then Tebow basically has no choice. If that cap is removed, he MIGHT have some leverage, but it would require that he hold out, which is not something I think he would do unless he found himself in an untenable situation.