No Tebow? Here are 5 other former SEC quarterbacks that Steve Spurrier could get for his new team
Steve Spurrier sounded like Denver Broncos fans back in 2010.
During an appearance on “The Paul Finebaum Show” last Friday, the Head Ball Coach basically chanted “We-Want-Te-Bow!”
Of course Spurrier wants Tebow to join his Alliance of American Football team in Orlando when the league launches in 2019. Spurrier said that they’d “have a No. 15 waiting for Tebow” if he ever decided to give up baseball and give playing quarterback 1 more shot.
Just for fun, let’s assume that Tebow isn’t an option for Spurrier. Sad, I know. Instead, let’s say that Spurrier can only pick a quarterback who played in the SEC.
Here are the 5 other former SEC quarterbacks that he could realistically pursue:
1. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Duh. I didn’t say that all of these would be original. I actually think this is pretty unrealistic given Manziel’s aspirations to climb the ladder in the CFL and get an NFL roster spot. The odds of the former Texas A&M quarterback taking a step down from the CFL in a year seem contingent on him struggling mightily, which he hasn’t done so far.
But can you imagine a healthy Manziel running Spurrier’s offense? It would be peak Manziel. He would have freedom to improvise and chuck the long ball until his arm fell off. The AAF would get monstrous ratings having Manziel and Spurrier on the same sidelines. Shoot, they’d probably get more coverage than some NFL teams.
And yeah, as an Orlando resident, I’d love nothing more than to see this happen.
2. Chad Kelly, Ole Miss
Kelly probably wouldn’t be willing to hang it up in the NFL after just 2 years, but think about this scenario for the former Mr. Irrelevant.
Instead of staying on a practice squad or filling out the depth chart, Spurrier could sell Kelly on the idea of being a marquee addition to the new league. It’d be more money and more exposure than he’d get as a borderline roster guy in the NFL.
Spurrier could also sell Kelly on the belief that at 24 years old, he could theoretically light up the AAF and be a more valuable commodity in the NFL. He’d be a modern day Kurt Warner.
For what it’s worth, Chad’s uncle Jim Kelly once starred in an alternate professional football league before he went to the NFL. Perhaps the Hall of Fame quarterback would recommend the move to his nephew if Spurrier came calling.
If that happened, we’d definitely need a remix to this with Spurrier (via AL.com):
3. Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
This might actually be the best and most realistic option on this list. Mallett is currently a free agent after spending the last 3 seasons as Joe Flacco’s backup in Baltimore. The former Arkansas quarterback just turned 30, and he hasn’t started in an NFL game since 2015. I’m not saying his NFL days are over, but by the time 2019 rolls around, Mallett could consider an alternative option to continue his career.
Mallett has always seemed frustrated that he was never “the guy.” That “Hard Knocks” scene is infamous.
Am I crazy to think that Spurrier could sell Mallett on being the face of the league and letting him pass 40 times a game? We all know that Mallett has a cannon. As a familiar name, he’d make a lot of sense from a marketing standpoint, though Mallett hasn’t always been stellar with the media.
Maybe Spurrier thinks more of Mallett than Bill O’Brien did. Mallett did beat Spurrier’s Gamecocks by 3 scores…twice.
4. Zach Mettenberger, LSU
Mettenberger would make a lot of sense to join the AAF. He’s a year removed from being cut by the Steelers after the addition of Josh Dobbs. The last we heard from the former LSU quarterback was that he was playing in The Spring League, which he admittedly did because Johnny Manziel joined.
Does this look like a guy who’s ready to hang it up?
— The Spring League 🏈 (@TheSpringLeague) April 7, 2018
It didn’t work out for Mettenberger in the NFL, despite the fact that the former sixth-round pick actually earned 10 starts in Tennessee. The AAF would give the soon-to-be 27-year-old quarterback a chance to stay in the game, and perhaps finally with a coach who could maximize a quarterback’s abilities.
Besides, can you imagine Spurrier’s regular jabs to Mettenberger about LSU? That would go viral on a weekly basis.
5. Aaron Murray, Georgia
Speaking of former Georgia quarterbacks, Mettenberger’s off-field troubles opened the door for Murray to become a star in Athens. Perhaps Spurrier would call on Murray to run his offense.
It’s not like Murray is an old man, even though it felt like he was at Georgia forever. He’ll be 28 this November, and he’s only a year removed from being on the Los Angeles Rams’ practice squad. Murray is still in the public eye as a college football analyst for CBS Sports.
Keep in mind that Murray is a Tampa native, which means he’d essentially be an hour and a half from home playing in Orlando. He could actually still do broadcasting in the offseason if he wanted to because the league starts in February. And hey! CBS Sports is even the broadcast partner for the AAF.
I think I just talked myself into Murray leading Spurrier’s squad to the first AAF championship.