Tebow's time in Denver looks set to expire
(Reuters) - Tim Tebow, who had a huge following last season as he led the Broncos to the National Football League playoffs, was expected to be traded now that coveted free agent quarterback Peyton Manning has reportedly picked Denver as his desired team.
Barring a last-minute snag in contract negotiations, Manning appears poised to join Denver, a deal that raises the prospects of the Broncos trading Tebow, according to multiple U.S. media reports on Monday.
A college-style quarterback whose public displays of religiosity polarized public opinion and whose passing technique led critics to write him off as a pro, Tebow became the talk of the NFL with his hard-running and charismatic leadership.
But whereas Manning is a prototypical pro-style quarterback, and master of recognizing opportunities to pick apart defenses with his passing, Denver thrived by adapting their offense to embrace the unorthodox Tebow's ability to run with the ball.
Helped by a defense that kept games close, Tebow was in position to launch a series of late-game comebacks despite completing a dismal 46.5 percent of his left-handed throws.
Tebow led Denver on a six-game winning streak, three of them in overtime, shortly after being named the starting quarterback last October. The phrase 'Tebow Time' was coined to capture the fact that five times last season his Broncos won games in which they trailed in the fourth quarter.
His post-touchdown, knelt-in-prayer pose - known as "Tebowing" - inspired fans around the world. Many have posted pictures of themselves "Tebowing" on sites such as Tebowing.com.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Tebow, who rose to fame at the University of Florida, where he won a pair of BCS national championships and the Heisman Trophy as most outstanding college football player.
Jaguars new owner Shahid Khan, whose team has had trouble filling its stadium, has said he would have been interested in Tebow had he been in charge of the team in 2010 when Denver drafted the quarterback 25th overall.
After the winning streak Tebow and the Broncos lost their last three games but still managed to qualify for the playoffs.
Tebow, who was 7-4 in regular season games he started last season, led Denver (8-8) to an overtime win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the playoffs before the team was eliminated 45-10 by the New England Patriots.
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)
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