The Philadelphia Eagles are rumored to have picked Tim Tebow at the expense of a different and more successful mobile quarterback, with reports that the surprising Tyrod Taylor actually wanted to join the Eagles this summer.
Taylor was a free agent this summer, but had a thin resume after three years sitting the bench behind Joe Flacco in Baltimore. Taylor reportedly wanted to play in Philadelphia, but Chip Kelly opted to take a chance on Tim Tebow instead, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.
Taylor ended up signing a three-year contract with the Buffalo Bills, which was actually a gamble on his own future. Taylor was reportedly offered more money by the Denver Broncos, but the Bills gave him a better chance to start and more incentives if he could win the starting job and lead the team to the playoffs.
He already reached one, and could be poised for the other. Taylor has led the Bills to a 2-2 record, which at this point puts the team in the final playoff spot. While there is still a lot of the season to be played, the team’s strong defense and better-than-expected play from quarterback has many believing that the playoffs are well within the team’s reach.
If that happens, Tyrod Taylor could end up making an additional $3 million on top of his $7 million contract
“In addition, if Taylor plays more than 50 percent of the snaps, his three-year deal becomes a two-year deal,” Rapoport wrote. “So expect the Bills to try to renegotiate this offseason if he continues as the starter.”
Taylor has completed more than 70 percent of his passes this season (going 86 for 120) and has eight touchdowns and four interceptions. He has also been effective on the ground, rushing for 111 yards including a 31-yard touchdown. He had another 31-yard touchdown called back this week, due to what many believed was a borderline holding penalty.
“Throughout the process, I thought this opportunity was the best for an open competition,” Taylor told Sporting News in May. “That’s what I’d always felt throughout the offseason, and I had confidence in what I could do when I got that chance.”
If the Philadelphia Eagles rumors are true, Chip Kelly may have missed out on a talented player who might have helped solve their quarterback problems. Sam Bradford has been inconsistent for the Eagles, completing a shade over 60 percent of his passes, throwing six touchdowns and four interceptions.
The Eagles ended up cutting Tim Tebow in September, opting instead to sign Thad Lewis as their third-string quarterback.
The Philadelphia Eagles have not been the only team rumored to be considering Tim Tebow. While Chip Kelly’s experiment in bringing the former Heisman Trophy winner out of the college football announcing booth ultimately failed, there have been reports that the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers both may have considered Tebow.
The Cowboys ultimately opted to trade for veteran Matt Cassel to provide depth behind Brandon Weeden, and the Steelers are sticking with Landry Jones behind Michael Vick.
SportsBlog.com noted that the Steelers could have done well be signing Tebow.
“If Ben Roethlisberger is out for the season, then Tim Tebow would be the perfect backup for Michael Vick. Both Vick and Tim Tebow are left handed mobile quarterbacks and unlike the very fragile Vick, Tim Tebow is as tough as a tank.”
But the rumors surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles could lead to some regret. Many viewed the Tim Tebow signing as a Chip Kelly sideshow, noting that Tebow would amount to a situational specialist at best, coming in on short-yardage situations. With the development of Tyrod Taylor, it appears the Eagles could have gotten a young franchise quarterback if they picked differently.
[Images via Jason Miller, Rich Schultz, Brett Carlsen / Getty Images]