Tim Tebow's Pros and Cons of Potential Move to Arena Football League

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVMay 17, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 23: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets leaves the field after loss to San Diego Chargers at MetLife Stadium on December 23, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky /Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

It's crazy how far an athlete can fall after notching seven fourth-quarter comeback victories in one season. After multiple NFL suitors publicly declined interest in free-agent quarterback Tim Tebow, he's starting to rake in offers from Arena Football League teams.

The Philadelphia Soul, part-owned by NFL great and ESPN guru Ron Jaworski, have offered Tebow a job to play in the AFL, according to the Los Angeles TimesJaworski, who isn't shy to criticize Tebow in his day job, had some things to say about the matter:

One [criticism] of Tebow is that he is slow and methodical. He would be forced to quicken it up in this league and it would be good training for him. You can learn a lot in this league. It’s about processing information and getting the ball out … or you get whacked.

The polarizing, former Heisman Trophy winner is still stuck looking for a quarterback job in the NFL after being released from the Jets.

But despite all of this, he topped Forbes' 2013 Most Influential Athletes list and offers endless amounts of press and hype for whatever team he joins. 

Let's take a look at the biggest pros and cons for Tebow, and us, in his potential move to the AFL.


Pro: Shot to Dominate, Prove NFL Value

There's no doubt that Tim Tebow has an incredible amount of skill at the game of football. You don't win a Heisman Trophy—nearly two—and two championships in the nation's toughest conference without having that.

And he's proven able to adjust his game into the almighty NFL against some of the game's best defenses—something that experts and analysts said he couldn't do upon entering the league.

Tebow proved everybody wrong when he took the 2011 Denver Broncos to the playoffs through a paltry season as well, and there's no doubting his heart. That's the type of game changer that may reap heavy amounts of success in the AFL.

If Tebow is able to adjust to the AFL, prove he can throw for big yards and further adjust to the game, it could make a big case for his reinstatement into the NFL.


Con: Arena Football Coverage on Major Networks

I can see the TV specials now: Live from Philadelphia Soul Training Camp: Tim Tebow.

The amount of hype that follows Tebow is unlike anything we've seen around a professional athlete, and that would creep into coverage of his games. Even if he were coaching high school football in the middle of nowhere, you can bet we'd be hearing about it all of the time.

While this would obviously be great for the AFL and Tebow's prospective team, it'd be a huge annoyance to everyone in the sports world who doesn't acknowledge Arena Football—which is almost everybody.

The world would be curious to see how Tebow did in a lower-level professional league, but it's not going out on a limb to say most of the sports-watching public wouldn't particularly enjoy seeing endless highlights of Tebow on a 61-yard field. 


Pro: No Risk of Distraction as Backup

It may have been an unfair situation to judge, as we're talking about the New York Jets with defunct quarterback Mark Sanchez and head coach Rex Ryan, but Tebow obviously can serve as a huge distraction to any NFL team.

The Broncos had to deal with a huge amount of unneeded attention when Tebow was starting to gain ground as a starter over Kyle Orton. It took a handful of epic comebacks to keep him contending for that starting job.

With the landscape of all 32 teams, it doesn't seem as if any team searching for a starting quarterback is interested in Tebow. This would mean he'd only get a shot as a backup, which didn't work out quite so well for the talented-but-troubled Jets. 

Perhaps the experts are right Tebow isn't capable of being a starting quarterback in the grueling NFL. This would give him the chance to have his own team to run and have all of the glory for whatever team he's on.


Con: High-Tempo, Pass-Happy League is Bad Fit

To be a successful quarterback in the AFL, players usually toss the ball 40-50 times per game, with three to four touchdowns each game. 

Those numbers don't quite match up with Tebow's. Or his game, for that matter.

Tebow has less passing touchdowns than games played, and he averaged 15 pass attempts per game in his tenure with the Broncos (per ESPN). And there's no doubt that his most effective weapon is on the ground, balancing a pounding running game with a tricky passing game.

To have success in the AFL, Tebow would likely have to be a gunslinger who threw many touchdowns each game. While he may have the talent to do so, it's not one of his bigger strengths.


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