After talking with him last night, it reinforced -- and perhaps foreshadowed -- that he would want experiencing the biggest night of his life to be something he did surrounded by family.
Does it have anything to do with concern over the "optics" of slipping deep into the 1st round -- even into the 2nd round? Cynically, you could argue that, but I don't think so.
(If he was a Top 20 lock, yes: I think he would be in New York for the Draft. But he's not, so he gets the option of being in more comfortable surroundings.)
The NFL feels all-powerful, but this was one instance where the NFL needed Tim Tebow more than Tim Tebow needed the NFL.
Tebow will be THE story of the Draft, whether he is taken in the 1st round or 2nd round -- and whether he is in New York City or in Jacksonville on the couch.
He will still get plenty of airtime: I guarantee that both ESPN and the NFL Network will have cameras set up wherever Tebow is watching to get his reaction to being drafted.
By the way, credit OnlyGators.com for totally nailing this story way back at the end of March, when they interviewed Tebow, who said at the time:
That’s such a moment that will be exciting and special, so I don’t want to just celebrate that with people that I don’t really know and haven’t really been around just to be there in New York. I want to be around my close friends and my family. So if that’s something we can work out or not, I’ll probably be with my family. I think it’s also just figuring out what’s with my schedule and everything. But then also just being around my family and figuring out what would be fun and what would be the easiest, most relaxed, comfortable spot.And that's what ended up happening.
UPDATE: More quotes from a FoxSports.com conversation with Tebow today:
It was exciting to think about walking up (on stage), shaking the commissioner’s hand and holding up my jersey (of the team that drafted him). That would have been the coolest thing. It made my decision that much harder. But I thought it was best to be home with my friends and family. It’s not just an award for me being drafted. It’s for all the people who invested in me during my life. I want to be able to celebrate with those people.Again, totally in line with what he told OGGOA and what he told me last night.