(CBS Sports) -- Tim Tebow would probably love to get his hands on a time machine, go back to March 2012, and green-light that trade that would've sent him from Denver to his hometown of Jacksonville. Instead, Tebow nixed the Jaguars deal and opted for the bright lights and big stage of New York City.
That, it turns out, was an unmitigated disaster and 14 months later, Tebow is a free agent looking for a home.
owner Shahid Khan still hears from fans who want Tebow back in
Jacksonville. Unfortunately for the former Heisman Trophy winner, that
ship has sailed. In January, new Jags general manager David Caldwell was unequivocal
when speaking of Tebow's future in Jacksonville, telling the media, "I
can't imagine a scenario where Tim Tebow would be a Jacksonville Jaguar.
Even if he's released."
On Tuesday, Khan was asked about the short-lived petition that urged President Obama to force the Jaguars to sign Tebow.
"It's a free country," the owner said Tuesday from the NFL's Career Development Symposium in Philadelphia (via the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta). "You got a democracy. So people have a right to express themselves."
And like the rest of us, Khan is intrigued by Tebowmania, particularly as it relates to the Jaguars.
looking for the best players obviously for us that help us win," Khan
said. "How many players are in the NFL? I would assume it's 90 times 32
at this point, right? So, ballpark about 3,000 players, correct? Why one
player? ... Why do you ask about one player? What about the other 2,999?
Because I'm fascinated with that."
But in March 2012, not long
after Khan had bought the team, he too was fascinated with the idea of
Tebow. So much so, in fact, that he was willing to send the Broncos a
third-round pick -- except that Tebow had designs on joining the Jets.
"He didn't want to come, obviously," Khan said at the time.
... "Any one of the 53 players we have, have to be committed to
Jacksonville, making us be the best team we are. The question was: Did
he want to come? And if the decision had been taken out [of his hands]
and we got him, that would not be good for him, or for us. ...
way, this turned out great," Khan continued. "If he doesn't want to
come, here we would have blown through a draft pick, blown through
money, because cash and salary cap, you've blown through all that and we
have a player who doesn't want to be there. From their viewpoint that
is a far, far better alternative."
And now, the Jags are moving forward with 2011 first-rounder Blaine Gabbert.
doing everything to support him," the owner said of his third-year
quarterback. "I think if you look at our draft ... offensive line ... We're
doing everything to give him every opportunity to be successful."
But clamor from fans for the Jags to pick up Tebow continues. Prominent Florida attorney John Morgan of Morgan & Morgan posted a YouTube video on Tuesday declaring, "It's Tebow Time in Jacksonville."
But for now, Tebow continues looking for work.