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Is There Reason to Doubt Tim Tebow's Commitment to Football?

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 30: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets looks on from the sideline during an NFL game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 30, 2012 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Gary DavenportNFL AnalystMarch 11, 2013

The NFL career of New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow is at a crossroads, and as the Jets muddy the water even further in New York by signing another signal-caller, the polarizing young passer isn't doing himself any favors by making comments that have led some to question his commitment to the game.

Those comments came at a recent commencement speech at Liberty University, where according to The Christian Post Tebow remarked, "In the end, football is just a silly game. Greatness comes from serving."

Now, it's certainly worth noting that given the context of the event, and the audience he was addressing, that Tebow may simply have been saying that in the grand scheme of things football is insignificant, and that service to God and one's community should take precedence.

However, in the Internet age things can be taken out of context in a nanosecond, and front offices across the NFL may easily take that to mean that football just isn't a high priority in Tebow's life.

Of course, technically Tebow isn't looking for work anyway. However, if Tebow's commitment to the NFL really has been shaken, then the team he currently plays for probably had a lot to do with that.

At the risk of sounding overly blunt, the New York Jets have jerked Tebow around six ways from Sunday since he got to the Big Apple.

When Tebow was acquired by the Jets last year, he was supposedly going to be given an opportunity to compete for the starting job under center.

However, outside some Wildcat packages, that opportunity never materialized. When Mark Sanchez was benched last season it was Greg McElroy, and not Tebow, who was given the chance to start. When McElroy face-planted, head coach Rex Ryan turned back to Sanchez.

Mind you, I'm not saying that Tebow can be an effective starter at quarterback for the New York Jets.

I'm saying that the Jets have absolutely no intention of finding out one way or the other.

Sure, that runs contrary to what new offensive coordinator Marty Morninwheg told Lindsay Jones of USA Today after the two had a "long conversation" about Tebow's future with the Jets.

"I'm excited to coach all of our players, including Tim. We had a long discussion," Mornhinweg said Monday on a conference call. "He's got my thoughts on the situation, and he has some thoughts as well. If he's on this football team, which he is right now, I would do it a certain way."

Then the Jets went out and signed David Garrard, giving them four quarterbacks on the roster.

Of that quartet, guess which one has the least chance of starting for the Jets?

And that's how its gone with the Tebow soap opera in New York. The fans are sick of hearing about it. The media is sick of talking and writing about it.

It may well be that Tebow is sick of being a part of it, and that frustration may have seeped into his comments at Liberty University.

Not that Tebow would ever admit it. If he was asked about the situation, I'm sure you'd get a forced smile and a canned comment about "doing whatever it takes to help the team win" or whatnot.

That's just how Tebow is.

I wouldn't fault Tebow if he walked away from the NFL tomorrow. He's already accomplished more than many people ever thought he would, and he's right. There are more important things in life than football.

However, if Tebow wants to keep playing in the NFL then he'd be well served to choose his words over the next several weeks very carefully, regardless of the venue.

Otherwise, his chance at redemption may never come.

 

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