Why is Tim Tebow Blacklisted from the NFL?

Posted on Nov 27 2013 - 2:06pm by Justin Dunio


Tim Tebow may be the best college quarterback to ever play football. Tebow’s list of awards is as impressive as his top-flight character.  Although he was far from dominant in his 3 year NFL career, he certainly wasn’t terrible enough to be blacklisted from the NFL. So the question remains – why would NFL executives rather take their chances with dead end backup QB’s than give Tebow a meaningful opportunity?

Tebow finished his NCAA Division 1 career with his name on the leaderboard of several records. He’s 2nd in career passing efficiency, 3rd in passing yards per attempt, 8th in career rushing TD’s, and he owns the record for the most consecutive games played with both a passing and rushing TD (14). He left the University of Florida with 12,233 yards (pass and rush) and 145 total TD’s while throwing only 15 INT’s over his 4 year career. Tebow led Florida to 2 BCS National Championship victories and 2 SEC Championships.

Tebow’s College Awards


  • SEC All-Freshman Team


  • Davey O’Brien Award winner
  • Heisman Trophy winner
  • Maxwell Award winner
  • Walter Camp Award finalist
  • Sporting News Player of the Year
  • Harley Award winner
  • Quarterback of the Year
  • First Team Academic All-American
  • Manning Award finalist
  • Rivals.com National Offensive Player of the Year
  • Rivals.com SEC Offensive Player of the Year
  • First Team All SEC
  • AP SEC Offensive Player of the Year
  • AP Player of the Year
  • First Team All American
  • James E. Sullivan Award
  • Roy F. Kramer SEC Male Athlete of the Year
  • ESPY for Best Male College Athlete


  • First Team All American
  • ESPY for Best Male College Athlete
  • Heisman Trophy finalist
  • Manning Award winner
  • Maxwell Award winner
  • MVP of SEC Championship Game
  • AP First Team All SEC
  • SEC Offensive Player of the year
  • SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year
  • Wuerffel Trophy winner
  • First Team Academic All American


  • William V. Campbell Trophy winner
  • First Team Academic All American
  • Senior CLASS Award
  • Heisman Trophy finalist
  • AP First Team All SEC
  • Second Team All American
  • SEC Offensive Player of the Year
  • Sports Illustrated College Football Player of the Decade

Tebow was drafted 25th overall by the Denver Broncos in 2010. He had limited playing opportunities in his 2010 rookie season, but started 11 games in 2011. He finished the season 7-4 and led the Broncos to a first round playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. In that game, Tebow threw for 316 yards and set an NFL record for yards per completion in a playoff game (31.6). Although getting blown out by the New York Giants in the 2nd round of the playoffs, it seemed evident that Tebow would find a way to win in the NFL just as he did in the college ranks.

Tebow, however, was traded to the New York Jets after the Broncos signed free agent Peyton Manning. The Jets never gave him much of an opportunity to play despite Mark Sanchez’s inability to succeed. Tebow was used primarily on special teams sparingly in the wildcat offense.

In April of 2013, the Jets released Tebow. He was unemployed for just a few months before signing a 2 year contract with the New England Patriots – only to be released prior to the regular season. He has been unemployed ever since.

Tebow was only given an opportunity to play consistently in 2011 in Denver. He proved that he could win in the NFL, but he also displayed several areas of his game that needed improvement. That said, he wasn’t the first NFL QB to show areas of weakness in their young NFL careers. Look no further than Robert Griffin III in Washington this season to find a young, promising QB that appears to have lost his way. It happens.

Since Tebow has been unemployed, one third of the league has signed backup quarterbacks. Guys like Jordan Palmer, McLeod Bethel-Johnson, John Skelton, and Brady Quinn have all found new NFL homes. Heck, Austin Davis, BJ Daniels, Seneca Wallace, and Josh Freeman have all signed backup deals. How in the world is it possible that Tebow, the most decorated college football player ever, is sitting at home while these career backups and underachievers are finding jobs?

There has to be more to the Tebow story. A creative offensive coordinator could certainly find a way to utilize the 6’3”, 236 lb QB. He has found a way to win everywhere he has been given an opportunity. It’s hard to imagine any of the backups signed this year are capable of leading their team to a winning season and a playoff victory.

I’m certainly not suggesting Tebow is a great NFL QB, but there’s reason to believe he has more to offer than a large portion of the NFL’s backup QB’s. He has never been given an extended opportunity to develop in the NFL, despite owning a career 8-6 record in 14 starts.

We’ll never know though…as long as he’s blacklisted from the NFL.