2012 Commentary: The Jacksonville Jaguars May Be the Big Loser in the Tim Tebow Trade

Abstract: It is too soon to determine if either the Jets or the Broncos will benefit from the Tebow trade. However, one can already discern a loser. The Jaguars missed a golden opportunity to turn their fortunes around when they refused to trade for Tebow.

EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida (1).
Fox News has reported that the New York Jets have acquired Tim Tebow from the Denver Broncos for a fourth round draft pick. It is too soon to say whether or not either the Jets or the Broncos will benefit from this trade; however, one team has already lost. By refusing to go after the young quarterback, the Jacksonville Jaguars missed a golden opportunity to turn their franchise's fortunes around. Here are three reasons why the Jaguars should have pounced on the opportunity to sign Tim Tebow and what their failure will cost the organization.

Missed Opportunity to Increase Revenue

CNBC's Darren Rovell notes that the Jacksonville Jaguars had the second worst attendance record on a per capacity basis in 2012, having filled only 81 percent of their seats. The club could have immediately turned its fortunes around if it had signed Tebow. For one thing, the Jaguars could have used the quarterback's immense popularity in the state to sell out all of their home games. Additionally, if they had added the Florida star to the roster, the Jaguars would have almost certainly been able to increase their revenues from sports memorabilia sales and via adding new sponsors. Rovell also asserts that the Jaguars' immediate revenue gains from a Tebow trade would have more than paid for his salary for the 2012-2013 season, which is only $1.15 million.

Tebow's Presence Could Have Changed the Franchise's Long Term Outlook

What many sportswriters, and apparently also the Jacksonville Jaguars' front office, fail to recognize is that by acquiring Tebow, the Jaguars might have been able to attract thousands of new fans who would have remained devoted to the franchise for years to come. The quarterback is unique in that a large percentage of his followers adore him not because of his athletic skills but due to his values and his charisma. They will likely support him ad infinitum, even if he does not perform well on the field. These men and women would have thrown in their support with the Jaguars if that organization had signed Tebow. More importantly, these fans would have continued to cheer for the Jacksonville franchise long after Tebow retired from the game if they believed that the organization had treated him well during his tenure with the team. Edwin Alexander hints at this potential in a Yahoo article on Tebow, though he does not discuss the issue in any detail. Alas, Jacksonville missed out on this golden opportunity to develop its long-term fan base when it let the New York Jets acquire the young quarterback.

Tebow's Presence May Have Drawn Other, Quality Players

Of course, Tebow may have helped the Jaguars win on the field even if he did not play well at quarterback (or at any other position for that matter). Having watched some of Tebow's games on television, I am amazed at the level of devotion he inspires in other players. It is possible that Tebow's presence in Jacksonville would have attracted some good NFL athletes who might never have considered playing for the team otherwise. We will never know if this phenomenon would have occurred, but it was a feasible scenario. Now the Jaguars will have nothing to offer stars to induce them to come play for a rebuilding team located in a small market.

Whatever you might think of Tim Tebow personally, I hope you can agree that the Jacksonville Jaguars have missed a golden opportunity by not trading with the Denver Broncos to acquire the young quarterback. This decision may haunt the organization for years to come.

1. Photographer: Excel23
    Date: April 27, 2011
    Title/Description: EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.
     Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain
     Dedication (click on the title/link for photo, credits, permissions).

-- Anthony Hopper

#Jaguars #JacksonvilleJaguars #Jags #Tebow #football #NFL #Broncos #opinion

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