Unitas and Starr in the 1960s. Staubach and Bradshaw in the 70s. Montana and Marino in the 80s. Elway and Young in the 90s. Manning and Brady in the 2000s. Rodgers and... Tebow in the 2010s.
With all due respect to Aaron Rodgers, who I personally believe to be a top two quarterback in the game today, there is one clear decade of featured quarterbacks that stand out above all. And not in a good way.
Through three NFL seasons, Tebow has put up numbers that are far from star quarterback status. Tebow has a career passer rating of 88.0, and has turned the ball over as many times as he's thrown a touchdown. Not exactly a great step in the rise to NFL prominence as a quarterback.
John Elway, now vice president of football operations for the Denver Broncos, recognized that Tebow was not the next big thing, and traded him to the New York Jets for a draft pick before acquiring none other than Peyton Manning, to run his offense.
Tebow now finds himself unemployed, after he was released by the Jets following a season of limited playing time and severe distraction. After originally being brought to New York to add a "new element" the Jets offense and to push Mark Sanchez, Tebow had to sit on the sideline and watch Greg McElroy come in for a struggling Sanchez.
The whole experiment was a complete and utter failure.
Now as a free agent, Tebow has the ability to sort of start over with a new team and a new scene. After all, it'll do Tebow some good to get out of the mess that is the New York Jets.
Hours following Tebow's release, there was one known NFL team that several analysts and football minded people pinned as a possible landing spot for the former Heisman Trophy Winner: The New England Patriots.
Thus far, fans are having mixed thoughts about bringing the famed football player aboard. Here are three reasons why the Patriots should pull the trigger on a Tim Tebow signing.
Tebow Possesses Bill Belichick's Favorite Trait: Versatility (Well, At Least Potentially)
After watching him for almost three years now, I am a firm believer that Tim Tebow is a FOOTBALL player, not a quarterback. I understand that he won a National Championship in college and an NFL playoff game as a quarterback, but he just isn't built to be an NFL quarterback capable of winning a Super Bowl and being successful.
Whether it's the flawed mechanics in his throwing motion or his extreme inaccuracy when throwing, he just doesn't have what it takes to be an NFL quarterback who is capable of big things. He does however have a lot of athletic ability and has tremendous vision as a runner.
If brought aboard, Tebow would likely be converted to a position like fullback, where he could see action as a short yardage back and also see action on special teams if needed. He's basically a player you can stash as a part-time fullback, fifth running back, extra tight end, and even a part-time quarterback.
Plus, Tebow does home experience with Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels during his rookie year in Denver. If Tebow is brought aboard, McDaniels will likely have ideas as to how to use Tebow. Drafting Tebow that early in the 2010 draft was McDaniels' call, so he likely had some sort of vision for him.
If Tebow is brought aboard, it is likely McDaniels who made the final call.
Tebow Is Searching For Opportunity, Not Money
Following a 9-7 regular season and a playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Broncos and their quarterback at the time, Tebow, saw their stock trending upward. With the Hall of Fame quarterback Elway at the helm of football operations, he decided that that was the time to trade Tebow, when his stock was at his highest.
Elway was only able to get a late round pick for Tebow, at his highest value. So when the Jets and GM John Idzik tried to trade Tebow during the offseason after a year on the bench, there were naturally no suitors that were willing to surrender anything, in return for Tebow. Because of that, Idzik chose to simply cut Tebow, rather than hold onto him any longer.
Now that essentially no team in the NFL wants near Tebowmania, he is in no position to want a substantial payday. Tebow has also insisted that he wants to play in the NFL, so he'll likely take any chance he gets in this league as a pure football player, rather than exploring options in the CFL as a starting quarterback.
This is where signing Tebow for the Patriots makes sense. He'll likely come extremely cheap, and the team will likely be able to structure a contract that does not involve as much guaranteed money as they would normally hand out to free agents. Thus, making it much easier for them to cut him if he's not a fit.
The Patriots Are The Opposite Of The Jets: They Have Nothing To Lose
When I heard about all of the drama that was going on up in New York with Tebow, I couldn't say that I was shocked. He was brought into a messy situation and a football team that was in need of more help than all of the help that Tebow himself could provide.
Some Jets fans viewed Tebow as the "savior of the franchise", and the player that would put the Jets back into Super Bowl contention. The man that would finally push Mark Sanchez out of the starting role and out of town. Seemingly high expectations in a city that is all about setting high expectations for their athletes, now matter how talented they are.
In this situation, Tebow isn't going to have all that weight on his shoulders as he did in New York and in Denver. He's going to basically come to New England on a dime and with absolutely no expectations to fulfill.
If Tebow doesn't work out, the Patriots can do what they've done with numerous other big name players that haven't worked out: Cut them, and move forward.
In any other NFL city, Tim Tebow is viewed as a national icon and a huge distraction. In New England, Tebow is just another player, who will be treated as such. As Bill Belichick says, he wants to field a team with players that he feels gives him the best chance to win on Sunday. If Tebow isn't in that group, then he'll be on his way out. Simple as that.
While Tebow being here for camp will likely result in a media frenzy, what NFL team is better at handeling the media and keeping things under wraps than the Patriots? Tim Tebow will be going from playing for a coach in Rex Ryan who craves national attention to Bill Belichick, who barely says three words to them.
To me, there is no better match for Tim Tebow in the NFL at this moment in time.