By Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times –
LOS ANGELES—Forbes surveyed NFL fans and this week published lists of the league’s most and least popular players, mostly just water-cooler fodder. But it was interesting to note that Tim Tebow wasn’t on either of them.
That’s because Tebow has become irrelevant with the New York Jets, despite all that talk and conjecture this summer about how Rex Ryan and Tony Sparano might use him.
In the last two games, Tebow has been on the field for 11 offensive snaps. Clearly, the Jets can’t figure out what to do with him. And that figures to continue, as starting quarterback Mark Sanchez is playing pretty well.
Tuesday is the NFL’s trading deadline, and there’s been widespread speculation the Jets have been shopping around Tebow, as they should. Of course, with all the hype surrounding him coming to New York in the first place, and Jets owner Woody Johnson fawning over him, it’s a reach to think the club would readily ship him elsewhere.
Still, if they aren’t going to use him, the Jets should let him go.
Jacksonville is the most logical destination, considering Tebow grew up there, has a huge fan base in the region, and could help a franchise dealing with a banged-up starter in Blaine Gabbert (shoulder) and an uninspiring backup in Chad Henne.
Tebow could put fans in the seats too, which traditionally has been a problem with the Jaguars.
New England could be a fit too. Josh McDaniels, who drafted Tebow in Denver, is the Patriots offensive coordinator and surely could find ways to use him, and Bill Belichick has always been creative about getting versatile weapons on the field.
It’s hard to imagine the Jets trading Tebow within the division, though.
Then, there’s Seattle. Pete Carroll aggressively tried to recruit Tebow to USC and loves his attitude. Seahawks starter Russell Wilson has Tebow-like mobility (and charisma), and the Seahawks’ scheme wouldn’t be as dramatic a departure for Tebow as a lot of teams.
Chances are, though, the Jets are going to sit tight, keep Tebow, and see where they stand at the end of the season. Meanwhile, he’s slipping further under the radar, looking more like a gimmicky gadget by the week.