On the football field, Tim Tebow has done a serious disappearing act this season with the New York Jets. After leading the Denver Broncos to an improbable playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers last season, Tebow was traded to New York in March, became even more of a media commodity than he had been before, and promptly putzed out from a player participation standpoint. Per our own Brian McIntyre, everybody's favorite substitute quarterback/running back/punt protector has logged just 49 offensive snaps and 41 snaps on special teams through the Jets' first seven games.
So, it should come as no surprise that Tebow was named the league's most overrated player by a crushing margin in a poll of his NFL peers. After 180 players responded to a Sports Illustrated survey, Tebow was seen by 34 percent of those players as the man most in need of a reset in the amount of attention he gets.
Bad news for the Jets: The second-most overrated player per the same poll was Mark Sanchez, the man Tebow couldn't unseat as the team's starting quarterback. Sanchez received 8 percent of the vote, which tied him with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick finished next with 4 percent of the overrated vote, and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis rounded out the top-5 list with 3 percent.
(@si_vault)I'm not sure that Tebow's "overrated" in a football sense -- most football people I talk to don't take him very seriously at all, at least as a traditional quarterback.There seems to be a general sense that in a more ideal position for his skill set -- perhaps as a tight end/H-back or general move-around guy -- he could be a valuable asset to a team.
Things worked for Tebow in Denver because the coaching staff fit the offense around what he could do, but it was very clear to everybody in that front office that a better pure passer was required ... and the upgrade from Tebow to Peyton Manning is about as drastic as you can get.
Perhaps Tebow is the NFL's most over-exposed player. I'd say that's beyond question at this point, but that has more to do with the incessant need of the football media (including our outlet, regrettably) to fabricate stuff about him because that's what we believe our readers and viewers want to see. From a pure football perspective, I'd say that Sanchez is probably the most overrated player in the NFL, because there still seems to be a fairly large patch of people who believe that Sanchez can be an above-average NFL quarterback, and he's done little to prove that assertion to date.
As far as the rest of the list ... well, Romo is a talented but wildly inconsistent quarterback in an enormous media market, but I'd say that he does enough with the relative lack of talent he's been given to put him in the league's top 15 at his position. Vick and Lewis are great players at times, but their best days are clearly behind them, and such players are generally overrated.