Although he was told heading into the offseason that he would enter training camp as the Broncos' starting quarterback, Tim Tebow has told friends he's not surprised that he's about to be sent packing from Denver. And he said the bright side of losing his job to Peyton Manning is that he might get to go back home.
That's the word from Monica Culpepper, wife of former NFL and Florida Gators player Brad Culpepper, who's a friend of Tebow's. Monica Culpepper relayed her conversation with Tebow to 970-WFLA.
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"Brad and I just had dinner with Tim last week and I don't think this comes as a shock or surprise to him that Manning was actually going to go there," she said. "And in all honesty, Tim said, 'I miss home. I miss the South. And hopefully I'll land somewhere in Florida.' I sure hope Jacksonville takes him because he's such a great kid, such a good player and would be so thrilled to come back to the South."
It's not surprising that Tebow wants to play in Florida, where he was a Heisman Trophy winner and national champion for the Gators, and where he may be the state's most popular athlete. The sentiment for Tebow in Jacksonville could become so overwhelming that new Jaguars owner Shahid Khan can't help but make it happen, even if his football people are telling him the team needs to say the course with Blaine Gabbert and turn to Chad Henne if Gabbert comes up short. And if the football people can convince Khan that Tebow is not the answer, both the Dolphins and Buccaneers could be tempted by what Tebow can do for them at the box office.
However, it won't be up to Tebow. The Broncos will trade Tebow for whatever team is willing to offer them the best trade value. The good news for Tebow is that there's a good chance that the team offering the most in a trade will be making a business decision, not a football decision. And if Tebow plays for a team in Florida, business at the box office will boom.