fbpx

The Attention Ability Paradox Ended Tim Tebow’s Career

Tim Tebow's ratio of attention and fans to ability will likely end his NFL career, at least for the time being.

Tim Tebow's ratio of attention and fans to ability will likely end his NFL career, at least for the time being. 

Tebow hasn't been able to pick up a gig since he was cut by the New York Jets in April. A column from ESPN The Magazine says the primary reason isn't just his mechanical issues and completion percentage, but also the attention and questions it brings to the team. A player of third-string caliber doesn't justify alll the cameras. 

In the end, this is the formula that ultimately doomed Tebow: Fatal flaws in his throwing mechanics and his cognitive understanding of the position left him as little more than a wildcat specialist, a No. 3 QB or a long-term project. Thanks to his athleticism, work ethic and leadership, that still meant he was an upgrade on at least a third of the rosters in the league — after all, such QBs as Pat Devlin and Ricky Stanzi are currently on rosters. But in the minds of GMs, Tebow's potential payoff would never outweigh the billboards, the parking lots full of satellite trucks, the endless QB controversies or any of the other distractions and internal conflicts he brings with him. Like the mythical snake Ouroboros, Tebow has been devoured whole by his own success. "There's no going halfway with Tebow anymore," says former Colts coach Tony Dungy. "You either gotta sell out and give him the keys to your team or stay away. Because, unfortunately, there's too much attention for him to be a regular, developing backup like everyone else." 

Beyond those issues, sources told ESPN that Tebow suffers from dyslexia, making it difficult for him to learn the playbook. Teammates were also bothered by his unwillingness to stifle attention. 


It's possible Tebow could lay low for awhile and make a return to the NFL one day, though it seems unlikely that heavy attention wouldn't follow. For now, the Tim Tebow era has come to and end.