And so we begin to move on . . .
We'll spend one more day deep into Tebowmania – what was and what wasn't and why – then we'll let the aftermath drift into the rearview.
I could wax poetically a while longer, but I'm a bit worn out from checking and re-checking the timeline, and from doing my small part – albeit unsuccessfully – keep the sides sane. Time to start moving forward.
Let's get to it . . . Ryan from Jacksonville:
First, words can't express how happy I am that Tim Tebow isn't coming to Jacksonville. However, I don't like how the reports are saying that he turned us down. Is this just another shot at Jax from the national media or did our front office lose their collective mind and push for him?
John: Shad Khan had Gene Smith explore the possibilities of trading for Tebow. The front office did that. Reports Thursday are that the Jaguars offered a slightly better financial and compensation package (i.e., draft picks) to the Broncos and that Tebow chose the Jets because he felt more wanted there. That appears to be because Tebow thought he would get more of a chance to play quarterback with the Jets and because the Jets' coaches and front-office perhaps wooed him more during the process. The Jaguars have said for a while that they plan to develop Blaine Gabbert as their quarterback. Khan said it in a statement again Wednesday, and the result of Tebow's decision seems to support that. Bottom line: The Jaguars wanted Tebow a certain way, and it appears that wasn't to be the franchise quarterback. They're far from alone on that front, and it appears the Jaguars' biggest misstep in the Tebow sweepstakes may have been honesty. That' a "misstep" I can live with.
Tom from Jacksonville:
I doubt this will get printed, because it is a direct shot at the new man in charge. It is extremely obvious that Gene was not behind or wanted anything to do with this. I think it is very arrogant to come in and play football god when you are an owner. I cannot be more disappointed because the writing is on the wall – this owner does not understand basic football. I have not met one person that would buy season tickets if Tebow was coming. I am very skeptical of Mr. Khan and extremely disappointed. What has Khan done to his relationship with the WHOLE personnel department? You worked in Indy and saw how you build a successful franchise. You will never admit it, but I know you are 100 percent behind me. It will be our little secret. You got to feed the family so go answer some lollipop questions.
John: No reason for secrecy, and it's indeed a question that has been asked often in the last few days. I thought Khan's statement Wednesday answered many questions and I thought how the trade played out revealed much about the reality of the pursuit. Did Khan ask that Smith explore the idea of a trade? Yes. But if Khan had really been of the mind to override everything Smith was building and to sacrifice the development of Gabbert for Tebowmania he could have done so: all it would have taken was offering the Broncos more than they received from the Jets – i.e., a third-round selection. The Broncos may have wanted to do right by Tebow, but do you think they would have turned down a significantly better offer just to make Tebow happy? Also, Khan in theory could have told Smith, "I want Tebow badly enough to make him the starting quarterback. Get him at any cost." Had that been the scenario, a second- or third-rounder wouldn't have been too much. Khan in the end did what he indicated in January he would have done had he been the owner in 2009 – he tried to acquire Tebow at something resembling a reasonable price and to play a role that made sense from a football standpoint. When it didn't happen, he didn't force Smith to be ridiculous about it. Credit to Khan for that.
Richard from Boulder, CO:
Mr. Khan strikes me more and more as an excellent leader. As an organizational development consultant, I was particularly interested how he was going to navigate this situation with Tim Tebow, because of the strong dichotomy between a football-only issue and a business issue. The two issues are often considered mutually exclusive, and as a result, decisions tend to favor one side over the other. In my view, Mr. Khan allowed both sides the opportunity to be considered and in the end made a decision he feels is best for the organization moving forward. As a fan, I find that approach to be quite reassuring and hopeful. John, I think wherever people fall on the Tim Tebow debate, I would hope they can understand -- just a little bit -- how difficult a situation this was for the organization. It may not have been the outcome some fans wanted, but Mr. Khan tackled this situation head-on and did so with integrity. The Jaguars are in good hands.
John: Well put.
Brett from Ocoee, FL:
I'm elated that Tebow did not find his way onto the Jaguars roster. Florida Gator, Tim Tebow fanatics are not Jaguars fans. I know plenty of them who became Broncos fans all of a sudden and I'm fairly certain they will all be Jets fans by the weekend. I hope that Mr. Khan soon realizes that real Jaguars fans that grew up watching Mark Brunell, Jimmy Smith and Fred Taylor are graduating from high school and college and getting jobs and one of the first things we intend to do is get a permanent seat in Jacksonville to watch our team play. We want to be relevant in December, not in March.
John: I include your email because it speaks to a crucial issue in this. Many readers believe I did not want Tebow here, and I have been pretty up front that I have my doubts that he will be a long-term answer at quarterback in the NFL. I am hardly alone in that, and it should be noted that while there are fans who are slanting this as if the Jaguars missed on their lone opportunity to be relevant, 31 other teams also opted to not spend more than a fourth- and seventh-round selection to get him. That shows there is league-wide doubt as to his value. That said, I was still intrigued by the idea of Tebow because it is my hope that the Jaguars are relevant and drawing crowds for the long-term. I am from Jacksonville, work for the Jaguars and consider this home. Therefore, I have a vested interest in the long-term stability of the team. Your email speaks to a central issue of Tebow – i.e., would he have solidified the franchise on a long-term basis? On that point, I wonder. I was intrigued by the possibility, but skeptical if it would occur in reality. My concern was that the fans that would have come to the Jaguars for Tebow would have left had something gone wrong – i.e., had he just been a situational player, had he earned the job and become average, had he been the disaster some predicted. Would some of those fans have stayed? That is a possibility, and that would have been the most important thing to watch. We'll never know, but I agree with what I sense is the gist of your email – that this team will solidify itself over the years not based on signing or not signing Tebow, but on continuing to do things the right way, winning over the long haul and building a loyal, passionate fan base. That takes time, and I believe they're still on the path to doing that.
John from Alexandria, VA:
Dear Jaguars: I'm a Jets fan now.
John: If you pull back and think rationally, I think you'd find you're a Tebow fan. And that's OK.
Curry from Jacksonville:
So now that the Tebow uproar is over, I have a serious question that I hope you answer. The Jags are looking at LEE EVANS and LEGEDU NAANEE. Are we looking to sign both of them? I heard Evans was here on Wednesday.
John: It likely would be one or the other. Evans was here Wednesday, and he makes some sense. He may not be the player he was in his prime, but he played for Mike Mularkey in Buffalo and his lack of productivity last season was in large part due to injury. His production had declined in two years before that, too, so I don't know that you're thinking of him as a 1,000-yard, go-to-guy as much as a veteran who can help you get better and be a bridge to the future.
Dustin from Jacksonville:
I think Goodell has officially ushered in a new era in the NFL, the "Business Era." Failing to hand out drastic punishments would have opened the league up to lawsuits that would cripple the league. I'm also glad it's over because I am fed up with hearing "It's not fair because everybody's doing it." Not only does that not justify bad behavior, but it's that exact attitude that perpetuated this entire debacle. What's your take on the whole situation?
John: My take is what it has been from the beginning. The league investigated the Saints and told them to stop with the bounties. The Saints did not stop and as is the case with my son, the punishment from dad is a lot worse when I've already told him no, not that he would ever defy the O-Zone.
Stan from Jacksonville:
Forget the day Jags got sold and Del Rio got fired. This may be the craziest day in our history.
John: I don't know if it was the craziest day I've covered in sports, but it wasn't far off. And I was there when Del Rio was fired and when Jim Mora said, "Playoffs."
Kristian from Belo Horizonte:
I think Jets just showed us why jaguars.com doesn't post anything until moves have been totally finalized. But seriously, I don't really care where Tebow ends up - this Jets blunder is the most fun I've had all week.
John: It certainly has been something to behold, and yes, this scenario is the reason for jaguars.com's policy. While we at jaguars.com are in the business of bringing Jaguars information to fans as quickly as possible, there are football reasons for the way we do things.
Candice from Jacksonville:
I feel hurt, betrayed and downright pissed off!! I feel like the ole high school sweetheart that had a chance to be reunited with her first love, but instead he chose Kim Kardashian. MEN! I hoped Tim was different!!
John: Thanks, Candice. That one made me smile.