New Jaguars general manager David Caldwell hasn’t changed his stance from the day he was hired in January, Alex Marvez of FOX Sports reports. Tim Tebow isn’t coming to the Jaguars under his watch.
“For us, it was always about a fresh start,” Caldwell said on SiriusXM NFL Radio Tuesday night. “It was about new energy here with coach (Gus) Bradley, with Shad Khan being our new owner, myself as a first-time general manager and a coaching staff that has a lot of first-time coaches there, too.
“We just wanted a fresh start. We didn’t want the same recurring themes coming up.”
Among those “themes” would be fan and media pressure to play Tebow, who Forbes Magazine ranked earlier this week as the most influential American athlete despite his throwing struggles at the professional level. The New York Jets experienced that distraction in 2012 after acquiring Tebow in a trade with Denver.
When asked by Broncos management where he preferred to get traded, Tebow chose New York over Jacksonville because he believed there was a better chance for him to receive quarterbacking snaps. Tebow, though, barely played last year even as starter Mark Sanchez struggled. Tebow was waived following last month’s draft when the Jets couldn’t find a trade partner and went unclaimed.
This still hasn’t kept some Tebow supporters from pushing for his signing in Jacksonville. There was even an online petition posted that asked fans to urge President Obama to call Caldwell and “tell him to stop ignoring the Jaguars fans and sign Tim Tebow!” The petition was removed Monday on the White House web site.
Tebow backers point to the fact he was 7-4 as a starter in 2011 while leading Denver to the playoffs and a first-round victory over Pittsburgh. Tebow was able to compensate for a 46.5 completion percentage with his mobility and penchant for leading late comebacks.
Tebow has continued to work this offseason with outside coaches and trainers to try and improve his throwing mechanics. But there also is a feeling among some NFL executives that he has no more upside as an NFL passer and it’s better to invest in developing a younger quarterback, especially with Tebow having become a lightning rod for controversy with the Jets and Broncos.
Asked whether he felt the same based upon his Tebow comments, Caldwell said, “You can read into that however you would like.”