Aaron: While I think a healthy Peyton Manning offers a football team things Tim Tebow doesn’t at this point in his career, I’m actually agnostic (no Tebow-hating pun intendend) on whether this is a good thing for the Denver Broncos in the fullness of time. A healthy Brett Favre was only a few plays a way from taking the Minnesota Vikings to the Super Bowl. Today the Vikings seem light years away from replicating that feat again. In exchange for Favre’s last great season, they traded an opportunity to build the team while it still had other champion-caliber veterans in their prime.
The market for Tebow’s services will likely be limited, even with several quarterback-needy teams in the league, because anyone who signs him has to do at least two of three things: 1.) Install an entirely new option offense to fit his unique skill set, 2.) Hope that an option quarterback’s body can hold up as an NFL starter, and 3.) Hope that Tebow can gradually become a pocket passer while still being able to capitalize on his option ability.
Given this limited demand, the best scenario for both parties may well be that Tebow stays in Denver and learns behind Manning. But that may be unattractive to the Denver front office for two reasons: If Manning takes a while to get back into his groove, the public will clamor for Tebow to start again, creating the kind of quarterback controversy they rather conspicuously failed to manage in 2011; if Manning goes down, the Peyton-ized Broncos will likely have been rebuilt in a way that makes it harder to climb back aboard the Tebow train. That could necessitate the signing of a third quarterback with meaningful playing ability.