Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Madden Curse won’t be Denver’s

Tebow Broncos' finalist for Madden cover
espn.go.com

The AFC West (three of the four teams at least) representatives for the Madden ’13 cover chase have been announced.

The four players who survived the intra-team play-in round are: Kansas City’s Dwayne Bowe, Oakland’s Sebastian Janikowski, San Diego’s Antonio Gates and … Tim Tebow of Denver.

As the world awaits to see whether Tim Tebow will be a member of the New York Jets, one thing is certain---he won't be a member of the Denver Broncos.  This makes his besting of Von Miller in the first round of the 2012 Madden Cover Tournament all the more interesting.  Von is gone; Tebow won't be a Bronco.  This ensures the Madden Curse misses Denver for the upcoming season--if you believe in such things.

And then there were two: Tebow to Jags or Jets

Source: Tebow going to Jags or Jets
www.news4jax.com

Tim Tebow, whose stardom rose to national levels this past season as he led the Denver Broncos to nine wins and a playoff defeat of the Pittsburgh Steelers, is expected to be traded to either the Jacksonville Jaguars or the New York Jets by midday on Wednesday, a source close to Tebow told Channel 4’s sister station, WKMG in Orlando.

Tebow, who lost his starting job this week when the Broncos signed Peyton Manning, is expected to be dealt for a third-round pick.

If the Broncos get a third-round pick for Tebow, Elway should give Brian Xanders a seat at the big kids' table at the next press conference.

The Wrath of Khan: Jaguars want Tebow

Report: Jaguars have “serious interest” in Tebow
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

Michael Lombardi of NFL Network reports that the Jaguars have “serious interest” in trading for Tebow…

If the deal goes down, there will be plenty of awkwardness in the locker room.  Last week, Smith gave Chad Henne a $3 million signing bonus to serve as Blaine Gabbert’s backup.  Two years ago (almost to the day) Henne made waves by proclaiming that Tebow “isn’t an NFL quarterback.”

An ownership-driven decision to force Tebow onto the roster also could drive a wedge between Smith and Khan.  Already, we’ve caught wind of rumors that the two men aren’t clicking the way they should — and there’s talk in league circles that Smith may not be around after the draft concludes.

If Tebow time comes to Jacksonville, Smith may not want to be.

No word yet on what the Jaguars would be willing to give up. Right now, estimates put Tebow's trade value at a 5th, 6th, or 7th-round draft pick.

Elway: I think we both froze

With tough decision behind him, Manning now the face of Broncos
sportsillustrated.cnn.com

He called Elway next. And that was the strangest call, because at that moment Monday morning, Elway and coach John Fox were meeting to discuss among other things how to proceed on Manning. Should they call him again? “Should we give him one last sales pitch?’’ Fox asked Elway. And soon after that, Elway’s phone rang. He looked down at the screen on his phone and saw it was Manning.

“I think we both froze,’’ Elway said.

Manning said he’d been on the phone notifying the teams who were out of it that he was playing elsewhere. Elway, for a second, thought, I wonder what phone call we are? And then Manning said, “I want to come play for the Denver Broncos.’’ Elway gave Fox the thumbs-up sign.

Sounds like a pair of tweens waiting for a boy to call...

Reilly: Is this Elway’s greatest comeback?

What becomes a legend most?
espn.go.com

This was all about Elway and what he wants and what he doesn’t want. What he wants, like he wants his next breath, is a Super Bowl win as an executive. What he doesn’t want is Tim Tebow.

It’s not that he didn’t like Tebow as a person. It’s that he was frustrated with Tebow’s inability to get the precise synchronization of the three-step and five-step NFL drop. It’s NFL Quarterbacking 101. Most guys get the knack of it in college. But with Tebow, like with really good Teflon, it never quite stuck.

Elway was also frustrated with all the dirt balls and air balls and screwballs Tebow scattered to the wind. He was frustrated that Tebow would play like Joan Rivers for three quarters and like Philip Rivers in the fourth. He was puzzled by Tebow’s stats. The kid didn’t even complete 48 percent of his throws. Peyton Manning completes 65 percent of his.

Where Reilly goes woefully wrong is here:

Consider: If Elway jettisons Tebow for Manning, not even the most devoted Christian Broncos fan would smite him.

Hey Rick, have you been on Twitter of late?

Shannon Sharpe: Peyton makes everybody better

Shannon Sharpe on 102.3
sportsradiointerviews.com

Eric Decker is better. Demaryius Thomas is better. Everybody is better on that team. Their defense just got better. Their defense was middle of the pack? You watch because now they will be playing with a lead. I am not talking about the last 2 minutes of the game. I am talking about early on because he will put pressure on the opposing team. They are going to score some points now. Willis McGahee will never run into an 8-man front again ever.

When John threw the ball if I stayed up with John and he threw the ball to the right he was telling me, ‘Shannon go to the right.’ If he put the ball between my numbers and I was staying? He was telling me to get up in my shadows. You take that for granted because you are like okay. Now you play with somebody else and throw the ball to the other side and you get your face mask twisted because he threw you towards where the defensive guy was. Great quarterbacks see everything.

Shannon's positively giddy. Can't say I feel any differently.

Not so fast, Broncos fans

Manning Headed to Denver! Now What?
www.grantland.com

Even as they add Manning, the Broncos can’t afford to simply insert him into the lineup and start printing out 2012 AFC WEST CHAMPIONS T-shirts. This was an 8-8 team that had the point differential of a 5.8-win team last season. Manning is going to make them better — perhaps significantly better — but he’s not going to be enough to turn them into a championship-caliber team alone. Denver needs to be in on adding those offensive weapons for Manning and should consider targeting options to improve their limited secondary, especially at cornerback. Ironically, their best option across from Champ Bailey might be free agent Tracy Porter, who took a Manning interception to the house to seal Super Bowl XLIV. If they start with Andre’ Goodman out there, Manning might make it a mission to Roc Alexander him in practice. Adding a defensive tackle is also a priority after Brodrick Bunkley hit free agency and Ryan McBean got suspended. Re-signing Bunkley would be ideal.

Anyone that makes a Roc Alexander reference deserves some respect.

The article raises a good point, which is thus: the Broncos shouldn't relax just because they won the Manning derby.

Manning hasn’t committed to Tuesday decision

Peyton Manning takes hands-on approach to free agency
blogs.nfl.com

While some in the Manning camp have suggested a decision would come by Tuesday, Manning hasn’t stated that himself to teams, sources said, and teams are waiting patiently to hear back from him following his workouts…

Manning hasn’t entered into contract negotiations with the final teams, sources said, and officials with those teams figure that Manning, if and when he chooses where he wants to play, will directly contact the team to let them know he wants to proceed, and then the expectation is Condon will take over negotiations.

“There is a very small circle involved in this,” said one source with knowledge of the situation. “It may really just be Peyton, his father and his wife.”

Manning has told teams he expects to be able to participate in organized team activities this spring, and, with six months or so before the season starts, his health is becoming less and less of a concern.

Can the Broncos wait 'til Tuesday or longer?

Hush hush, keep it down now, voices carry...

Klis: the world wants Tebow; he’s awesome

Trade market would be strong for Tebow
blogs.denverpost.com

I disagree with the notion the Broncos would have trouble trading Tim Tebow if they land free-agent Peyton Manning.

True, the quarterback spots are filling up. There are way more quality backup QBs available (Vince Young, Josh Johnson, Dennis Dixon) than backup jobs. GMs and coaches might balk at adding Tebow, who plays quarterback along a path unfamiliar to NFL GMs and coaches, and also carries along the distraction of a passionate fan base.

But as we learned from Tennessee’s late pursuit of Peyton Manning, owners have the right to trump the GM and coach.

Tebow, all by himself, lifted the Broncos from a six-year malaise in 2011. Tebow singlehandedly made the Broncos relevant in 2011. Tebow singlehandedly energized the Broncos’ fan base. And Tebow all but singlehandedly lifted a bad team _ NFL worst 7-24 from Nov. 1, 2009 until he got his first start in Game 6 of 2011 _ to the playoffs.

This runs counter to the opinion of people like Cecil Lammey, who wrote: I talk to every team in the league, NOT media guys...evaluators, scouts, front office guys - there's 0 market for TT

But it only takes one team, of course, which is a lot less than the number of people who need to purchase Klis' book for him to ca$h.

Florio: Tebowmania scared off Flynn

Elway’s quest to move on from Tebow may not end with Manning
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

The problem is that most free agent quarterbacks aren’t going to want to step into a situation where they’re viewed by the Tebowmaniacs in Denver as the guy who was brought in to push Tebow out. PFT’s Mike Florio has heard that the Broncos looked into the possibility of signing Matt Flynn, but Flynn wanted nothing to do with the no-win situation that is replacing Tebow in Denver, or competing with him in training camp.

Hasselbeck or Smith, however, may find themselves without any better option if Manning chooses the Titans or 49ers. The chance to start in Denver is better than no chance to start anywhere.

Having Tebow breathing down his neck (and condoning the infamous pro-Tim billboards) turned Kyle Orton into a skittish turnover machine last year, so it's somewhat understandable if Flynn doesn't want to compete with the circus. But what if the team were to sign Flynn and trade/cut Tebow? Is that still too much to bear? If that's the case, then let's be glad Denver's not in on Flynn.