With Rex Ryan engaged in a hilarious, semi-silent standoff with management over Tim Tebow's playing time, or severe lack thereof, there's been some speculation, idle thus far but growing in volume, that Tim Tebow's last best option for playing professional football, once his underwhelming tenure with the Jets completes its logical (and spectacular) flameout, will come with our neighbors to the north. As Mike Florio just casually mentions, you know, just saying, Tebow's player rights are already held by a team so possibly/maybe he'll head there after this dismal 2012 seasons reaches its merciful end?
Here's Florio casting his line in the shallow end:
If the Jets decide to cut quarterback Tim Tebow, the next question becomes whether any other team will sign him. Though some think he'd be a viable fullback at the NFL level, Tebow may insist on playing quarterback.
And if the Jaguars or the Cardinals or any other quarterback-needy team isn't interested in letting Tebow play quarterback, he could always go north of the border.
As recently pointed out by Sportsnet, the Montreal Alouettes hold Tebow's negotiating rights in the CFL. Previously, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats had dibs on Tebow.
Montreal's incumbent starter, Anthony Calvillo, is reportedly contemplating retirement.
Though it seems like a joke to think that a guy who helped take the Broncos from 1-5 to the final eight last season could be out of NFL options, there's a chance he soon will be forced to move on from the NFL - unless he wants to move out to a new position.
Well, to the uninitiated or even casual football fan, this sounds like a most unlikely scenario. (Does ESPN even have a Montreal bureau?) But for a more educated, nuanced rebuttal, we can turn to Andrew Bucholtz of Yahoo's 55-Yard Line CFL blog:
... Dual-threat quarterbacks like Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick ... can both run and pass effectively; Tebow can only do one of these things, and that's what makes it difficult to see him as a good NFL fit going forward.
If that's true in the NFL, though, it's even more true in the CFL. With three downs, a bigger field and expanded motion, the Canadian game is even more passing-focused. Yes, some dual-threat quarterbacks have had success up north, most notably Damon Allen (Warren Moon, sometimes cited as an example there, didn't actually run very much in the CFL), but Allen was always quite capable in the passing game too. He was the CFL's leader in career passing yards until Anthony Calvillo broke his record in 2011, and his 56.4 percent career completion mark (much of which was recorded in an era that emphasized deep, lower-percentage throws more than today's game) makes Tebow's look like chopped liver by comparison.
Knowledgable as he is about what makes a quality CFL player, Bucholtz can't really envision any likely scenario where Tebow excels up north, not even remotely in the vague-ish way Florio hints:
The comedy of Tebow, a former Florida Gators star, being behind [Adrian] McPherson, who left rival Florida State following an infamous arrest, would be substantial, though. What would be even better would be if Tebow came to the CFL and had less success than another former Florida quarterback, the less-hyped Chris Leak, who infamously washed out in Montreal and then Saskatchewan. Beyond merely giving CFL fans a chance to laugh, though, there's no reason for the Alouettes to even consider Tebow. Simply put, Tim Tebow has done nothing that would suggest he'd be an effective CFL passer.
Tebow supporters will vouch for his love of football and willingness to prove himself against lesser competition, but remember that Tebow had the chance to make that kind of move that would've benefitted his career more than lofty personal aspirations. He had the choice of deciding where to be traded, once Broncos management became eager to get his constant sheen away from prized acquisition Peyton Manning. It was either Jacksonville, a struggling team that would've no doubt elevated him to starter in little time and with a state's fan base that would (you might say) worship him, or the Jets, a team with an entrenched starter, a bull-headed head coach, and the most rabid sports media landscape in the world.
He chose New York, with the slim hope that he would get a legitimate chance to play meaningful games, either with Sanchez hurt or a team that bowed to suffocating external pressure. Neither of those things happened, and now Tebow faces few options, but the bottom line is this: Once Tim Tebow fails in the CFL, he will never, ever have another chance in the NFL. He is not Doug Flutie 2.0. He full well knows this, which is why he'll (for now) take his chances as a middling second-stringer who can't play his own position and hope the right situation emerges somewhere. At least in the short term, that depends on whether he can escape from New York for what would likely be one last, good chance. Still, don't bet on it.