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Is Tim Tebow being blackballed by the NFL?

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   May 10, 2013 at 2:46 PM   |   Comments

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May 10 (UPI) -- Tim Tebow may be overwhelmingly popular with his fans, but he's become the kid NFL teams pick last for dodgeball.

In fact, it seems his popularity might be to blame.

Tebow became a phenom when he led the Denver Broncos to unexpected success in 2011, but two seasons later, found himself unceremoniously dumped by the New York Jets.

" No NFL team seems to want him -- as a starter, backup, converted H-back or fake-punt decoy -- and it's not like he's fending off big-money offers from Canada, either," writes Yahoo's Michael Silver. "Now, here's the interesting part: Tebowmania is at least partly to blame."

Tebow has his technical deficiencies, Silver admits, but he says the 25-year-old quarterback's cult-like following is more of a turn-off than a selling point to teams considering him.

"He seems like a great guy to have on a team, and I'd be tempted to bring him in as our backup," one NFC head coach told Silver. "But it's just not worth dealing with all the stuff that comes with it."

More than one coach told Silver having Tebow would mean having to "put up with the circus."

"The circus isn't Tebow's fault, though some former teammates have speculated as to the possible passive-aggressive nature of his actions, such as refusing to disavow a billboard clamoring for him to replace then-Broncos starter Kyle Orton," Silver wrote.

"And while many of Tebow's fervent supporters may, in fact, be well-meaning, folks like Florida attorney John Morgan -- who recently created a video imploring the Jaguars to sign the quarterback -- are actually doing him a disservice."

But 11-time Pro Bowl linebacker and Arena League owner Derrick Brooks says Tebow has plenty of career left in him.

"I do believe an NFL door is going to open for Tim," Brooks told USA Today. "Tim just has to be patient and wait on it."

Brooks said he thinks the New England Patriots -- who already deal with celebrity in starting quarterback Tom Brady -- might make room for Tebow.

"Dealing with Tim because of the persona that he brings, it's something that your organization has to be comfortable with," Brooks said.

Plus, the Patriots' offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels, was the coach who drafted Tebow.

Silver admits that, despite his own doubt of Tebow's abilities as a football player, he finds himself joining in the chorus of fans asking teams to give the player a chance.

"Since playing in a pair of playoff games 16 months ago, Tebow, whose only off-the-field baggage comes in the form of his cult-like following and the media frenzy it provokes, hasn't been afforded the opportunity to show that he sucks," he wrote.

"It's certainly possible that he's simply not up to NFL standards, and never will be, but wouldn't it be nice to get some conclusive proof before this story comes to a meek and unfulfilling close?"

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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