The 20 biggest what-ifs in Denver Broncos history

  • Blockbuster trade for Calvin Johnson?
  • Missing out on Kyle Shanahan
  • Steve Young the Denver Broncos QB?

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8. What if Tim Tebow had agreed to a Taysom Hill-like role?

As we will discuss later on, fate dealt the Denver Broncos a pretty crazy hand in the 2012 offseason when Peyton Manning became available as a free agent. Just two months before that, however, Tim Tebow led the team to one of the craziest playoff wins in franchise history.

Which, to this day, is still the only playoff win by a quarterback who was actually drafted by the Broncos in franchise history. After the Broncos won a playoff game and won the AFC West, the thought in the 2012 offseason was that the team would finally invest in Tebow's development instead of letting him come out of the bullpen when things got tough as he did in his first two seasons.

Then Peyton Manning came along, and the Broncos' plans changed. But even after signing Manning, it's still very interesting to me that the Broncos felt like they "had" to trade Tebow away. Tebow, of course, wanted to continue playing the quarterback position. The Broncos traded him to the Jets who didn't really give him a shot at quarterback, and even as understandable as that may be, it's hard not to wonder what could have been if Tebow had transitioned to a Taysom Hill-like role in Denver with Peyton Manning as the quarterback.

Could the Broncos have won a Super Bowl with Tebow catching passes from Peyton Manning? Who knows?

It's an interesting thought to dream about. Tebow was obviously one of the best athletes in the NFL when he played. The Broncos didn't have a ton of success throwing the ball when he was the quarterback, but they were certainly one of the league's best running teams. Taysom Hill wasn't in the NFL at that time, so the Taysom Hill role didn't exist, but someone on the coaching staff surely could have dreamed something up, right?

It would have been amazing to see that dynamic in the locker room and on the field. Maybe it would have never worked, or maybe having Tebow would have given the Broncos a different, albeit very slight, edge during those first few years of the Peyton Manning era as they fell short from 2012-14.