Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow may struggle to find a job as an NFL quarterback following his release by the New York Jets. Creative Commons

Tebowmania: the word evokes images of entranced fans lost in a sea of cult-like devotion rarely seen since the early days of that 80s mania that involved a band fronted by a young Ricky Martin.

It is ironic then that the same unyielding admiration fans bestow upon the former Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow may be what's keeping the 25-year-old from finding a new home in the NFL now that he's a free agent.

Recently in a Yahoo! Sports online article by Michael Silver, the journalist reported a number of sources within the NFL who have expressed disinterest in bringing Tebow on, even as a mobile backup. According to the report, at least one NFC head coach told Silver, "He seems like a great guy to have on a team, and I'd be tempted to bring him in as our backup. But it's just not worth dealing with all the stuff that comes with it."

And as for the rumors that Tebow's most realistic move will be to New England, where former Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels has stepped in as offensive coordinator, Silver's sources say "No chance. They wouldn't like the circus that comes with it."

While opinions of the Heisman Trophy winner's NFL career vary, that the first round draft pick's prospects have been relegated to a handful of Canadian and Arena League teams is unwarranted, on a purely athletic level. Although his throwing-motion has often been criticized, his turnaround of the Denver Broncos from a fourth place AFC West finish in 2010 to 7-4 playoff team in 2011 ought to be worth something to coaches looking for a solid backup.

As for the technical weaknesses, no one can say Tebow hasn't put in the effort, having recently spent a week in Florida focusing on footwork with former Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde.

"His footwork was all screwed up," Testaverde told ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini. "We got his footwork fixed. His throwing motion is now a non-issue. He throws with what we call 'effortless power.'"

With regards to the Jets' release of Tebow, Testaverde added, "I think they would have been impressed if they had compared this year to last year."

As of right now, NFL fans won't get to find out if Tebow has the skills to match the hype, not that the core of Tebowmania aren't fighting their hardest to give the quarterback his chance. One group of Jaguar fans have gone so far as to petition the President of the United States, Barack Obama, to force a signing with Jacksonville. Florida attorney John Morgan launched a similar campaign to get Tebow into the Jaguar's locker room.

But in the end, their tireless zeal may be their hero's undoing. In a league known for its remarkably low tolerance for nonsense, few coaches or team owners are interested in any element that could spark division or distraction among their players. And for the moment, seemingly all wish to skirt the zeitgeist that is Tim Tebow.


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