Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Broncos Tebow: Training Camp Opens

Broncos training camp opens today, and you can guarantee that Tim Tebow's contract status will be one of the top sports storylines of the day.

Nevermind that it would be overblown: That Tebow's rep -- burnished as recently as yesterday by the Jockey endorsement deal -- is far too strong to get stained by a few days' of holdout.

Still: It's that word -- "holdout." Fans don't like it. The media pounces on it. Coaches know it sets back precious development time. I'm sure players don't like it much either.

You know that Tebow wants nothing more than to get out there and contribute. It's why his new teammates love him and why he continues to win over new fans.

Nevermind the perception issues related to not signing a deal; it must be bothering him that he might not be out there for the first day of practice, of just being on the field, competing.

That -- along with what appears to be fairly controversy-free contract numbers (roughly 5Y/$12M with $8M guaranteed) -- is why I ultimately think he signs today and gets out there.

If he doesn't, get ready for a whole lot of breathless "Tebow holds out!" storylines, about how it is tainting his pristine reputation. It's sensationalistic, but just know it's coming.

It is frustrating -- to everyone -- that NFL rookie hold-outs end up being mostly useless posturing; they all end up signing, usually within a few days.

Camp kicks off for the Broncos today. And for Tebow? Today, tomorrow, Friday... ultimately, very very very soon.


  1. In my eyes the Tebow brand has lost a little of its shine this week. While I agree a lot of the media coverage is bunch of hype, perceptions matter. Is it fair to be harder on Tebow than other NFL players? Not sure but lets be honest the Tebow myth is built on the idea he's something different.
    If you have the energy and time to score a deal with Jockey (not sure where that falls into "football first") you should have the energy and time to make a NFL contract happen. I wasn't that worry till I read Clausen had signed his contract. The kid with the bad attitude that caused his draft night plunge got a hell of a good deal signed before he had to report to camp with the Panthers.
    Several media outlets are reporting McDaniels called Tebow to express his disappoint in him not being at camp. How much of that is some pressure coming from the front office? Who cares? That has to hurt the psyche of an incoming rookie. Media hysteria or not...this is the week the Tebow brand loss a little bit of his mystique for at least one fan.
    Maybe that's why I've never really loved the NFL the way I love college football.

  2. @MLS: I'm new to the NFL & am trying to understand the position Tim is in. It's more complicated than I realized.
    1) His agent has both his reputation as a dealmaker & his own cut of the contract to be concerned about, so Tim's going to want to accommodate his agent (who's also become his friend) & go for a very good deal.
    2) Tim also can't just settle for less money so he can get to camp, b/c that will effect the money paid to other 1st Round rookies. There's a domino effect in the pay scale of the 1st Round picks & if Tim goes for significantly less money than he's worth, the guys drafted around him-incl his own teammate, Demaryius Thomas-will also be expected to take less money. Remember, Jimmy Clausen was drafted later in the 2nd Round. Many 2nd Rounders have signed, but only 2 1st Rounders have signed so far.
    Tim made it clear weeks ago that he didn't want a holdout. But it's not completely up to him whether or not he does. Ironically, if he just settles for less money, so he can start practicing, he won't be a 'team player' when it comes to the 1st Round rookie pay scale. Kiszla's column yesterday might have been somewhat true: Tebow's stuck between a rock & a hard place. And Tim's probably going crazy right now, wishing he could just sign & get to camp. It's enviable money, but not necessarily an enviable situation to be in.

  3. I wonder if teammate Demaryius Thomas does play a small factor in this decision...

  4. @Brooke While I appreciate the arguments for the rookie signing system that really didn't stop Dez Bryant from stepping up and signing first. Like Tebow Bryant has something to prove on the field, too.

    Tebow isn't settling for less than his draft pick is worth, his agent wants a better deal because he's a QB. Does that extra money to a QB help out the draft picks around him in their negotiations? I'm betting not.

    Tebow has built his reputation as a man who stands for something. He's just not a great football player he's a guy that pushes harder than anyone else on the field, a true lover of the sport, an all around good guy. That's what makes him the top selling jersey in the NFL. A little smudge on someone else might go unnoticed but on Tebow (right or wrong) it will be amplified.

    In this instance you have to wonder if it's an easy way out to shrug and say well, that's how these things go.

    I actually think it's a bad idea for Tebow (or any player) to view their agent as a "friend."

  5. I'm wondering if the Broncos thought he would take anything they offered. The VP of communications (reportedly) hosted a luncheon for 70 members of the press yesterday to announce Tim's signing, even Though the first "work" on his contract began Tues. night.
    Klis (Denver Post) omitted any QB premium in his mock contract for Tim. I hate "this" happened (I don't think you can "holdout" until you actually have a contract?), I trust Tim's choice of agent and am glad they won't accept less than market value &/or less in incentives. True, Tim hasn't taken an NFL snap, neither has Bradford and he may get as much as a 65 million contract. True Tim is known as a humanitarian, that doesn't mean you pay him less. A little disappointed in the Broncos if they "low balled" him knowing his eagerness to get to work. Clausen got ~2 mil more than his draft number, McCoy got almost double the money his draft number would usually get-so the QB premium is quite a lot. Sorry this is so long.

  6. @MLS: I agree w/the points you've made. It's just that I don't know what the Broncos have offered him. We're assuming that they're being fair in their offer, but it's possible that they're not. Fancy_(lurker) has made a good point. They might have been thinking that Tim's a pushover b/c he's such a people-pleaser & so eager to play. Or maybe not. So far, Tim's track record is that he's a good guy. I know nothing about the suits w/the Broncos, so at this point, I'm giving Tim the benefit of the doubt. Someday I might find out that was an incorrect assumption, but for now, that's the option I'm choosing.

    As for not having one's agent be one's friend, Tim seems to always choose who to go w/based on whether or not he likes them personally. That's one of the reasons he was torn between going to Alabama & Florida-he'd become friends w/both Meyer & Shula. Although there's definitely a downside to that way of thinking, I actually like the fact that he chooses people that he feels he can trust to the point that they're like extended family.

    @Fancy_(lurker): Your post wasn't too long. You made a good point.