Originally posted on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 5/10/13

Is Tim Tebow being blackballed by the NFL? The short and simple answer is that Tim Tebow is not good enough as a player to be a distraction in the NFL, and the media circus around him is a distraction. There's no question Tim Tebow is one of the biggest media stories as an athlete. Forbes just named him America's most influential athlete. The Onion just named him America's most influential former athlete. He inspired a potential change in Alabama's state law as a high school recruit. He helped lead the Florida Gators to two national championships, including key contributions as a freshman backup. He won the Heisman Trophy. His play for the Denver Broncos in 2010 and 2011 showed, though, that he is, at best, a work in progress when it comes to throwing the ball at an NFL level. He posted the worst completion percentage in the league. He was sacked a phenomenal amount behind an offensive line that did not have trouble pass-protecting for Kyle Orton (or for Peyton Manning in 2012). The Broncos tried to get around his limitations as best they could by instituting a run-heavy option offense. Tebow's experience should have made him a good fit there, but as long as he's played in an option-oriented scheme, his option decision-making has been relatively poor. The Jets in 2012 tried to find a use for Tebow in the right niche, as a backup who drew occasional use in goalline and maybe some third down situations. The result was an unsuccessful season. Mixing Tebow in with Mark Sanchez only prevented either player from getting into anything like a rhythm and produced perhaps the league's most dysfunctional offense. Tebow barely threw the ball, but not because he didn't have opportunities to make plays in the passing game. He ran the ball much more than he threw it but his runs were inefficient. After drafting Geno Smith in the second round, the Jets released Tebow. And now we come to the point where we were. What Tim Tebow has done at the NFL level indicates he does not do many things that can help an NFL team win games. Could he in time? Perhaps. Notwithstanding his flaws as an NFL quarterback, he remains an incredibly popular player, one who has won some games in the NFL thanks to a low-scoring defense and a healthy dose of luck, with a personal fanbase that will pepper his team with questions and claim he should be starting notwithstanding his lack of NFL success. A good contrast with Tebow came in April's NFL draft. The biggest off-the-field distraction in terms of potential prospects came from Notre Dame middle linebacker Manti Te'o. His fake girlfriend story earned him a great deal of media attention, very little of it positive. His presence on an NFL team would inevitably produce jokes aimed at him and the team that drafted him. And where he did he go? Early in the second round, precisely where his on-field football talent indicated he should have gone. The San Diego Chargers drafted him because they thought he could fill the void at inside linebacker created by the loss of Takeo Spikes. That was enough to get him drafted pretty highly. Is he being blackballed? As we just saw with Chris Kluwe, being good earns a player a lot more leeway than not being very good. No, Tim Tebow is not being blackballed any more than any player who is not great and whose presence disrupts the NFL's "all football, all the time" mentality.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Philip Rivers used silent count at home on Monday night

SEC commissioner responds to Arkansas coach’s flop during Saturday’s loss

Report: 49ers put Vernon Davis on the trade block

Wall to pay assistant coach $100 for every three-turnover game

Green fires back at critics, compares them to ‘bitter females’

The Islanders are wasting a roster spot on Eric Boulton


Ben Foster: PEDs I took to play Lance Armstrong 'definitely damaged' my body

Falcons ‘anticipate’ Julio Jones plays Thursday against Saints

Mets fan critically injured after fight with Dodgers fans

Belichick to Patriots: We’ll ‘win a lot of games’ playing like that

Report: Taylor could be out several weeks with MCL sprain

Richard Jefferson: Cavs 'are a little pissed off' after Finals

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five most overrated teams in the Week 7 Coaches’ Poll

Can any of the NFL's remaining undefeated teams go 16-0?

QUIZ: Every team Steve Spurrier played for, coached

What's changed, what hasn't: NBA's Southwest Division

DeAndre Hopkins on pace to shatter single-season target record

(Mis)handling David Price

Five fantasy things we learned from every NFL Week 5 game

Steve Spurrier: An American original

How the Royals cheated death

Citi Field gave Chase Utley chilly reception

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker