What Does the 2013 NFL Draft Mean for Tim Tebow?

Erik FrenzSenior Writer IApril 24, 2013

Will Tebow be left out in the cold once again?
Will Tebow be left out in the cold once again?Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

In 2011, "all he did was win." In 2012, all he did was sit on the bench. As a result of that, Jets quarterback Tim Tebow has been out of the limelight for Gang Green for quite some time. 

The NFL draft is a time for new beginnings, though, and although that is usually reserved for the teams making the selections and the players being selected, players already on the roster could also feel the impact.

This time last year, we were wondering whether Tebow would be pushing quarterback Mark Sanchez for his starting job. Now, we're wondering where Tebow will play in 2013, or whether he will play in the NFL at all.

Here is what the NFL draft could mean for Tebow.



An Opportunity to Get Traded

It didn't take long after the season ended for reports to begin swirling about the Jets shopping Tim Tebow. Those reports continued through the scouting combine and early March.

The Jets are hoping to get something—anything—in exchange for Tebow, and a recent report from Rich Cimini of ESPN says "it looks like the Jets will keep him through the draft, hoping they can find a trading partner."

It is clearly in their best interest to trade him; they will owe the Broncos $1.53 million as a return on the advance salary Tebow received in his rookie deal.

Interestingly enough, although Mark Sanchez was reported to be part of the package that would ultimately send cornerback Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tebow was not discussed as being a part of that trade.

If a trade is going to happen, the draft will probably be the spot. Good luck finding a team to sign up for that circus, especially after the adverse effects it apparently had on the Jets last year—not to mention the complete lack of a market for him (more on that later).



Further Down the Depth Chart

After playing just 77 offensive snaps in 2012, it's hard to imagine Tebow being pushed any further down the depth chart than he was last season, but it's possible if the Jets decide to draft a quarterback.

Tebow was listed as the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart all season long, but third-string quarterback Greg McElroy replaced Sanchez at halftime in Week 15 and for the team's Week 16 game against the Chargers. Sanchez was named the starter for Week 17 when McElroy got a concussion sometime between sacks one and seven against San Diego.

Tebow got no love on the depth chart last season, and that's not expected to change in 2013 after the team added veteran signal-caller David Garrard to compete for the starting job.



Delaying the Inevitable

In the end, the Jets could end up releasing Tebow if they can't find a trade partner. Since there appear to be no trade partners, this seems like the inevitable conclusion.

It's hard to blame the Jets for trying, but at this point, there is no reason to think that any team is going to suddenly come forward with interest for Tebow.

The problem is, it's too obvious that the Jets are going to release Tebow if they can't trade him, and there's no interest in a trade. Therefore, with no market for a trade, no one wants any part of a trade because even if a team wanted him, they could simply wait until he's a free agent and sign him to a contract without having to give up a draft pick for him.

If the Jets end up releasing him, he could end up going to another NFL team, but that's not the end of his options. He could also go to the Canadian Football League, and Brett Buchy—owner of the Arena Football League's Orlando Predators—extended an invite to Tebow if he's not on an NFL roster for the 2013 season.

So while there are still questions about Tebow's viability in the NFL, it seems whatever the future holds, Tebowmania has a future in football.


Erik Frenz is also a Patriots/AFC East writer for Boston.comFollow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless otherwise noted, all stats obtained from ProFootballFocus.com, and all quotes obtained firsthand or via team press releases.