Many NFL teams have been making roster cuts recently to get down to the 53 player limit. One of the most notable cuts over the past few days was Vince Young of the Buffalo Bills. Young is most famously known for his play in college where he led the Texas Longhorns to a National Championship.
Young had an enormous amount of success in college, but his skill set was questioned upon entering the draft. A team ended up taking a chance on him higher in the draft than other teams had him slotted. He had mediocre success at times in his career and actually led his team to the playoffs. It can be debated if he deserves much of the credit for his team winning those games because his team had both a solid defense and running game.
Does this story sound familiar? Try to replace Vince Young’s name with Tim Tebow. They have essentially had the same career path yet they are viewed completely differently. Young is viewed as a complete bust and Tebow is one of the most popular players in the NFL.
What is the difference between the two players? It is primarily derived from what they have done off the field. They are both a big distraction for their teams but in a completely different way. Young has had personal problems throughout his career that have derailed his play. Tebow has been a distraction purely because of his popularity. He is a very marketable player because of his personality and openness about his religion.
If it were based purely upon their skills sets, Young should be taken over Tebow. He can throw a better pass and is a better athlete but that is not enough to make you an NFL starter. Despite what Skip Bayless says, neither of them should be starters in the NFL, but there are certainly worse alternatives as backups.
So what is the difference between the two of them? Tebow is definitely a better team leader on and off the field. He is a role model for teammates and kids alike. With that being said, his leadership is not the reason the New York Jets took a chance on Tebow. The only real difference between them is that Tebow is more marketable on and off the field. He gives the Jets a greater potential financial reward by having him on the roster. After all, the NFL is a business first and a sport second.