With Peyton Manning Headed to Denver, Whither Tim Tebow?

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The news had barely broken on ESPN’s SportsCenter today about Peyton Manning’s signing with John Elway’s Denver Boncos when a new focus of speculation immediately heated up: what about Tim Tebow?

Remember Tebowing, and how the religious Denver Broncos quarterback led the team to the playoffs and to an unlikely first-round victory despite all odds including a derisive national media, the misgivings of team management, and his own undependable throwing motion. There are all sorts of thoughts already where Denver now will trade Tebow, his Tebowing, buzz around his dating Taylor Swift, and his rising value as a brand endorser.

As NFL.com’s “Tim Tebow stock watch” is now tracking, speculation is running high. Could Tebow go to Florida, maybe Miami — which was briefly in the Manning hunt — or even to Jacksonville, where Tebow’s hometown Jaguars certainly would seem to provide a great fit? Maybe Arizona, a red state whose Cardinals also flirted with Manning?[more]

Arguably, only the arrival of a replacement quarterback of Manning’s stature could silence any potential critics in Colorado of Tebow’s presumed departure from the team that drafted him into the NFL in the first round three years ago. Comparing Tebow’s professional quarterbacking accomplishments with Manning’s would be like putting a Chevy Volt up against a Corvette in a road race.

But clearly Tebow’s 2011 season captured lightning in a bottle. It’ll be interesting to see what other teams believe they might be able to tap into that. For now, expect skeptics to dominate the discussion just as they have about Tebow all along, while sports pundits ask, “What’s Tim Tebow’s Trade Value?”

“I’d be surprised if there’s much of a trade value for him,” former NFL general manager Charley Casserly told USA Today. “I’d be surprised if he went [in a trade of a draft choice to Denver] for much better than a fifth-rounder.”

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