Posted August 27, 2013

Tim Tebow, A.J. Jenkins, others on the roster bubble with cuts approaching

AFC East, AFC North, AFC South, AFC West, New England Patriots, NFC East, NFC North, NFC South, NFL Free Agency
In two preseason games, Tim Tebow has gone 5-of-19 with just 54 passing yards.

In two preseason games, Tim Tebow has gone 5-of-19 with just 54 passing yards. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Is the writing on the wall for Tim Tebow?

The Patriots’ third-string QB did not see a single snap in a 40-9 loss to Detroit last Thursday, as Tom Brady and backup Ryan Mallett split all the action. A comparable situation unfolded in New England last preseason — Brian Hoyer was relegated to the bench during the team’s third exhibition outing, then released as part of final cuts on Aug. 31.

Tebow managed to sidestep the 75-man roster cut, the limit by which the Patriots and all other NFL teams must pare down to by Tuesday afternoon. Another 22 players must go before the end of the month, however, for teams to be at the regular-season limit of 53 players. Has Bill Belichick made up his mind or are the Patriots still playing the numbers game?

Tebow’s fate may rest in how the Patriots handle other positions — will they keep four or five running backs? Five or six receivers? A fifth safety?

Unless the Patriots have a specific use for Tebow in mind or truly believe in offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ abilities to elevate Tebow’s game, the need for a third QB does not appear all that high. They made it through all of last season with just Brady and Mallett at that position. Plus, should Brady fall to injury, New England may want a more proven emergency QB than Tebow anyway.

Tebow also cannot be stashed on the practice squad, so this is a make-or-break week for him. Either the Patriots give him a shot to stick on the regular-season roster or his NFL career may be in jeopardy.

He has plenty of company this week, with more than 1,100 players losing their jobs, as teams trim their rosters down for Week 1. A lot of those names will be recognizable ones — including a few already sent packing, like the Jets’ Joe McKnight, Washington’s Donte’ Stallworth and Pittsburgh’s Baron Batch.

Here are a few others in danger of losing their roster spots before the week is out:

Taylor Mays, S, Bengals A second-round pick in the 2010 draft, Mays has failed to make much of his NFL career — either with San Francisco, which drafted him, or Cincinnati. He could be on his way out of the latter spot. The Bengals used a third-round pick in this year’s draft on Georgia’s Shawn Williams and a fifth-round pick last year on George Iloka. Mays has done little to convince the Bengals he deserves playing time over either player.

A.J. Jenkins, WR, Chiefs: Yep, him again. While Jonathan Baldwin jumped right into the mix with the 49ers this week, catching a pair of passes, Jenkins saw very minimal action for the Chiefs. Jenkins, traded for Baldwin last week, is far from a lock to stick on the Kansas City roster. There are at least four WRs (Donnie Avery, Dwayne Bowe, Dexter McCluster and Devon Wylie) seemingly ahead of him, leaving Jenkins little margin for error. His potential may save him through 2013, but he needs to start producing soon.

Tyler Wilson, QB, Raiders: Good luck figuring out the Raiders’ quarterback situation. Not only is it jumbled at the top with Matt Flynn and Terrelle Pryor fighting for the starting gig, but also there’s a race to the No. 3 spot, too. Wilson, the team’s fourth-round pick in April, has fallen behind undrafted rookie Matt McGloin. And since the Raiders are not going to carry four quarterbacks on the active roster … well … someone’s going to be out.

Robert Meachem, WR, Chargers: Even though injuries have sliced through San Diego’s receiver ranks, the 28-year-old Meachem may not last into September. One factor working in his favor: a $5 million salary for 2013 that’s fully guaranteed. That the Chargers might consider cutting the increasingly ineffective veteran despite that paycheck tells us how poorly he’s played.

Danny Watkins, G/T, Eagles: A first-round pick in the 2011 draft, Watkins played his way out of Andy Reid’s lineup last season and has struggled to really claim a role in Chip Kelly’s attack this summer. Watkins may get one more shot to prove his worth in the Eagles’ preseason finale, but he is definitely treading on thin ice at this point.

Tony Scheffler, TE, Lions: Jim Schwartz continues to state that Scheffler’s job is safe. And yet … he has ceded preseason playing time to undrafted rookie Joseph Fauria (a player with a similar skill set, by the way) and the Lions could save around $2 million by cutting Scheffler. The veteran has 113 catches over three seasons in Detroit, but both he and starter Brandon Pettigrew have struggled with drops.

Brian Banks, LB, Falcons: The feel-good story of NFL training camps. Banks, after serving five years in prison on a falsified rape charge, finally made his way to the NFL this preseason and dodged the first round of cuts in Atlanta. Banks’s longshot attempt to make the team could come to an end soon.

Da’Norris Searcy, S, Bills Searcy has received competition for his starting job from an unexpected source in ex-cornerback Aaron Williams. The Bills also spent a 2013 draft pick on Duke Williams. Searcy was penciled in as George Wilson’s replacement, next to Jairus Byrd in the Buffalo secondary. He has yet to pull away in the competition, and an injury in the team’s third preseason game did not help. Searcy is still on his rookie contract, so the Bills would not save much dough by bouncing him, but don’t look for the new coaching staff to do him any favors.

Andre Branch, DE/OLB, Jaguars: Jacksonville beat writer Ryan O’Halloran wrote Friday that Branch’s roster spot may be up for grabs. The Jaguars used a second-round pick on him last season, so this would constitute a quick pull of the plug. As with Searcy’s situation, though, Branch finds himself trying — and thus far failing — to impress a new coaching staff and GM.

61 comments
j7apple
j7apple

If Tebow is kept, its to sell Jerseys, easily offsetting his salary

Lokilasher
Lokilasher

I dont understand why Tebow doesnt switch to TE. He has the size, hands, and ok speed for it right? Im sur his big butt can block too...

ClevelandRocks
ClevelandRocks

I root for Tim Tebow to succeed in life. I wish more NFL players behaved like him conducted themselves like him. Man, if humans behaved more like him, this world would be a better place. That still doesn't make him a good enough QB or is it fair to cut someone who is better at their job to keep him.

RobertSmith
RobertSmith

It is amusing to read Teblow supporters who still think "he won" games in Denver.  He was the beneficiary of a great defense and special teams ... like so many QBs before him (think Trent Dilfer).  But NO TEAM in the NFL believes that Teblow is the QB who gives them the best chance of winning ... even if they are stuck with Blaine Gabbert or Mark Sanchez.  

dbum
dbum

have the jaguars ever drafted a good defensive end? 

FelixUnger
FelixUnger

If Tebow is not cut it means he has been working out at TE position out of sight of media. If it is a question of 3rd string QB, he is gone

tweener8292
tweener8292

To Tebow fans:  Where I live there is a Denver Mattress commercial with him and two little kids, talking about the Tebow Foundation and his support of adoption.  Outstanding commercial for a great cause.  It highlights his commitments and ease in front of the camera.  This is one of the reasons why I say he's made football work for him and his brand, and he doesn't need the game any more.


There's nothing wrong with being a college legend and what the rest of his life is going to be.

HerschelAnderton
HerschelAnderton

a story with 'tim tebow' in the headline:

nothing makes the SI fan boards look like the ESPN fan boards 

DavidWayneHenley
DavidWayneHenley

Next stop? Understudy to Joel Osteen. Learn where the really big bucks come from.

DavidWayneHenley
DavidWayneHenley

5 of 19, 54 yds. Most recently, 1 of 7, minus 1 yards. Is he worth it for punt coverage or Blake Bell 1st, 2nd, and 3rd and goal from the one? Only Belli-drone knows.

friendly--neighborhood--scrawler
friendly--neighborhood--scrawler

Pats just give Tebow the towel boy job and be done with it... Killing two birds with one stone, one you keep Tebow and the media can ask him all the questions they want, and two he serves a purpose in the locker room picking up after the fellows. Why does this guy keep getting shots to be a QB , I do not believe in conspiracies but something is up with this guy and his circle of idiots.... smh (o_O)
 
For those who do not believe Tebow is not crap!!!! his negative 1 (-1) passing yard is all i need to know about Tebow...  Do you know there is an "S" on the end of  "yard"  WHY you ask?  because the NFL figured any idiot could gain 2 yards passing the ball hence the term "passing yards" Please stop embarrassing yourselves Tebows fans, that is what the privacy of your homes are for... now i will allow you guys to return to your favorite hobby... dry humping your favorite Tebow memorabilia and wishing it was the boy wonder himself.

CRAZYCAJUN1966
CRAZYCAJUN1966

I was hoping the Brian Banks story would continue BUT if he can't keep up & grasp the playbook then he should AT LEAST be happy he beat the BS RAP & is out of prison. Good Luck Brian !!!!



tweener8292
tweener8292

His poor fundamentals after all of these years in the NFL are simply inexcusable.  He's not a rookie.  As for religion:  Ever hear of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes?  He's not the first or last religious football player, so please stop hiding behind that as an excuse for him.  


If it weren't for the "Tim Tebow" dynamic he would have been cut already.  For the supporters - please make the case that a veteran QB playing like this at the end of the preseason should have a legitimate shot of being on an NFL roster.    Being "Tim Tebow" has made him millions.  Protect the brand.  He doesn't need football any more.  He'll be in the College Football Hall of Fame.  Come back to Gainsville as a college legend and live the rest of his life.  The NFL nightmare will be a "so what?" soon enough compared to what awaits him.  There's nothing wrong with that.

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

What a vicious bunch of comments about Tebow.  

He may not be the greatest quarterback, but the hatred and derision is worse than for cheats like Ryan Braun and criminals like Ray Lewis.  Lewis "got religion" and now talks about it constantly, and everyone thinks that's wonderful -- shows what a great guy he is.

Interesting double standard; apparently, one has to be a Hall of Famer convicted of a felony before being allowed to have personal beliefs at odds with the anti-religious secular humanism that populates these pages.

sgtrock
sgtrock

Jesus told me to tell you if you want a nfl career become a h back or te. So it is written.

DSM
DSM

If Urban Meyer is such a football genius--and he has a great record-- why did Tebow never master throwing fundamentals?

Steve99
Steve99

@Reynaldo Weeks1 Nobody Reynaldo, If the Pat's carry 3 QB's Teebow will be #3. He made a case for himself against the Giants last night. Is he starter material? Not now. But how many #3's are? I'm thinking it will depend on who could be available out there, and at any position, to make Tebow hit the road. Tebow has a good chance to hang around past Saturday. 

JakeFromStateFarm17
JakeFromStateFarm17

Julian Edalman was the QB @ Kent State and if Brady goes down does it really matter??

Steve99
Steve99

@Lokilasher Tebow doesn't have the size to play TE. He's 30 lbs lighter than their average TE. Asking him to block a defensive end on the line would be too much.TE's  in N.E. are still in very good shape, even without The Beast ready. Gronk is projected to be back for week 4. However, Tebow could play a hybrid type position out of the back field or split. Don't bother asking Belichick.

RobertSmith
RobertSmith

@MidwestGolfFan If we want to talk "vicious" let's take a look at the Old Testament of YOUR Bible which is filled with tales of slaughter ... including women, children and infants.  Yours is a vengeful and blood thirsty god for anyone who dares have different thoughts.  You will have to look long and hard to find "secular humanists" who advocate punishing people by making them cannibalize their own children.

"You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters" - Leviticus

Or a secular humanist who approves of killing children and enslaving virgin girls.

"Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man." - Numbers

Yep, make fun of those "secular humanists" and make a hero of a man who (apparently) embraces a god who embraces genocide and rape.  


RobertSmith
RobertSmith

@MidwestGolfFan The REAL "double standard" is from Tebow supporters who think his supposed moral character makes him an NFL QB when his talent clearly is collegiate.  LOTS of moral players have been revered in the NFL.  Reggie White was both a player and an active minister ... and was widely embraced for both.  But Reggie White was a Pro Bowler and HOF player ... not a marginal athlete who maybe deserved a spot on the practice squad.    

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@MidwestGolfFan Three cheers for Secular Humanism! Look it up, troglodytes. The sooner you all embrace it, the sooner our species can finally begin the next step in our evolution. Organized religion is a joke.

DavidWayneHenley
DavidWayneHenley

"Anti-religion secular humanism". Now whose nut bag Blazey website did that come from?

John64
John64

@MidwestGolfFan    Wear your religion on your sleeve like Tebow does and completely suck at your chosen profession like Tebow does, and that's a recipe for getting a lot of sh*t from people. Deal with it.  And no, not "everyone" thinks Lewis and/or Braun are "wonderful".  I sure don't. I don't particularly care for Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Mike Tyson or Lance Armstrong either, to name just a few. 

I could care less that Tebow is a proud Christian. I'm a huge Kurt Warner fan. The guy was a great NFL QB and an even greater Christian/humanitarian.  I bag on Tebow because he can't throw worth a crap and because his fan base is completely irrational and delusional. Go figure...  

DSM
DSM

@MidwestGolfFan Kurt Warner is an excellent example of a very pious player who never imposed his views on others and was very popular nationally. And a lot of us secular humanists root for Tebow because he strikes us as very sincere in his beliefs and not at all intolerant. What I can't stand are those who profess to be religious but are dishonest, intolerant of others and/or use it as a marketing strategy--such as many politicians.

luvfoozball
luvfoozball

@DSM That's college football for you. College coaches are good recruiters and good managers. They leave teaching fundamentals to high school coaches and the NFL. 

All the recruiting and strutting around as Lords of their fiefdoms does not leave much time to teach.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@DSM Because his job was to win games.  Which he did.  A good coach has his players play to their strengths, not their weaknesses.

Reynaldo Weeks1
Reynaldo Weeks1

@Lokilasher  Where do people get this idea that Tebow could play TE, FB, or H- back? He's never played the positions. He knows nothing about how to play the positions. There are FA TEs, FBs, and H-backs, professional who have played the positions 10-20 years, available. You just don't come into the NFL and switch positions. Tebow's no Superman. NFL coaches don't teach. fundamentals, high school and college coaches do. NFL coaches don't have the time and owners don't want to pay players for 2-3 years without any guarantee of success to learn fundamentals.

 Hype and sensationalism  fans need to learn something about football and become football fans. They'll enjoy it a lot more. They remind me of WWE fans.

John64
John64

@RobertSmith   A series of fables written by desert-dwellers 4,000 years ago. And the story of Jesus isn't even an original story.  God didn't create man, man created God(s).

tweener8292
tweener8292

@DSM @MidwestGolfFan I've no doubt that his beliefs are sincere.   His Denver Mattress commercials on behalf of his foundation and in support of adoption might be his best.  Great commercial and cause.

tweener8292
tweener8292

@BrosephVanSlyke @MidwestGolfFan  

 Drew Brees' book written after the Super Bowl was published by the same company as Tony Dungy's.  Dungy and Mark Brunell contributed forwards in fact.  Drew continually discusses his faith and how it informs him as a husband and father, far beyond the game of football.  Again, another example along with more successful QB's like Rivers and Warner who are also fine religious men.   To criticize Tebow does not mean an attack on religion.  It's an insult to critics as well as to imply he's the only religious player.  That isn't true now, and it never was in the past. 

DSM
DSM

@luvfoozball @DSM Given how large their staffs and budgets have become, you would think hiring a QB coach would be the anser.

DavidWayneHenley
DavidWayneHenley

Bama 32, Tebow 13. Fake draw jump pass, the limit of his passing skills, ran up against the reality of real talent.

DSM
DSM

@JoeCabot @DSM True, but wouldn't they have won even more games if his qb was more of a passing threat and don't you try to coach players to improve their weaknesses?  Remember, he had years to work with Tebow, not just 1 game or season.

DSM
DSM

@tweener8292 @matt37 @BrosephVanSlyke @MidwestGolfFan Tebow also deserves credit for silently enduring awful treatment by the Jets, who flat out lied to him and the public repeatedly about opportunities he would receive.


Contrary to stereotype, NYC fans of all religions (and every religion is well represented in NYC) rally behind many fervent Christians, with Mariano Rivera the best current example. 

tweener8292
tweener8292

@matt37 @tweener8292 @BrosephVanSlyke @MidwestGolfFan  

Nice catch!  Jason Witten's one of my favorite players on the field and as a man.  I hope that he gets Hall of Fame consideration when his career's done.  Jay Novocek was outstanding in the '90's.  Witten might be better. 

As a man I've always heard nothing but top-notch stories about him. 

matt37
matt37

@tweener8292 @BrosephVanSlyke @MidwestGolfFan I'd like to add Jason Witten to the mix.  The point is, there are HUNDREDS of solid citizens in the NFL who do good things for the community and happen to be Christian on top of it. 

DSM
DSM

@Joebuckster@JoeCabot@DSM " How much running do you see Brady or Brees doing? And they are the best three in the league." I suspect you meant to include Manning, but were too eager to get to your insult, as, if you think "Brady and Brees" are the best THREE, then your comment "You're not very intelligent, are you?" would apply to your math skills, as well as to your exclusion of Aaron Rodgers and failing to recognize that the ability to move around, if not run for yardage, is key to the success of Rodgers and Brees.

That said, there are few QBs who have long term success in the NFL while running for yardage regularly, as I fear RGIII will discover.   People have suggested that Randall Cunningham, Steve Young, Vince Young and Michael Vick would "reinvent the position", but I think you can take a limited number of NFL-level open field tackles before concussions or other injuries shorten your career.

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@JoeCabot @DSM When you can read a defense and get rid of the ball to a receiver in less than 2 seconds, you don't need to run. That's what a really good QB does. How much running do you see Brady or Brees doing? Not much. And they are the best three in the league. You're not very intelligent, are you? 

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@AlswearEvony @DSM @JoeCabot Gee, you know, I actually heard somewhere that the players in college are nowhere near as good as those in the NFL. Not sure if it's true or not...

DSM
DSM

@tweener8292 @AlswearEvony @DSM @JoeCabot I think it is much easier to teach passing mechanics than to teach a slow runner how to run much faster.

 I understand a college coach need not teach the pro game to his players (although I think a player aiming for the NFL is smart to prepare on his own for the next level), but even a team which does not emphasize pocket passing benefits from improving its quarterback's passing mechanics.

tweener8292
tweener8292

@JoeCabot @DSM  Willful denial again defending Tebow.  This has nothing to do with Peyton Manning.  His skill set was aimed at being a pocket passer in the National Football League.  Period.   I think he and they were pretty successful, don't you think?

tweener8292
tweener8292

@AlswearEvony @DSM @JoeCabot  Meyer's a college coach, not one who gets a QB ready to play in the National Football League.  No one is questioning the college success.  The point is that it's not a skill set that can be transferred to NFL success at the position.  What's "unreal" about that?   What might be "unreal" is either the inability to understand that the two games are very different at the QB position or willful denial.  I don't know from the Tebow fans which is more true any more.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@DSM Did the coaches at Tennessee try to turn improve Peyton Manning's running skills?  After all, they had four years to work with him.

DSM
DSM

@AlswearEvony@DSM@JoeCabot 

Simply put, but without your name calling:

1. How could they not have won more games if he were a better passer, especially with their excellent receivers and his great running?

2. With 3 NFL teams deciding his passing cannot possibly reach minimal NFL standards, how can his passing not have been in need of improvement?

As I noted, Meyer and Tebow were very successful and Meyer has been very successful everywhere--the first championship you reference was when Tebow was not the starter, although he was their second leading rusher.  Given their great overall talent, I believe that if Tebow had been a better passer, they would have fared better than the 4 losses and third place in their division in 2007 and the embarrassing inability to move the ball against Alabama (a great team against the run, but not proven to be great against a strong passer) in his senior year.


AlswearEvony
AlswearEvony

@DSM @JoeCabot how many more games did they need to win? They won the Collegiate Championship not once, but twice when he was on the roster.  Geez, u are a real genius.  And he was such a poor QB they gave him the Heisman.  Unreal.