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Tim Tebow close to signing with New England Patriots
Questions about Tim Tebow’s football future can fade away, at least for a while, as the polarizing quarterback has inked a deal with the New England Patriots, reports ESPN’s Ed Werder:
Just filed to ESPN: The Patriots are signing QB Tim Tebow and expect him to be in minicamp tomorrow
— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) June 10, 2013
Mike Freeman of CBS Sports confirms a deal will get done:
Tim Tebow will sign with New England, source confirms to me. Plan, I'm told, is Tebow will study a great deal at tight end.
— mike freeman (@realfreemancbs) June 10, 2013
Evan Silva of Rotoworld reports the Pats intend to play Tebow under center, per Werder:
ESPN's Ed Werder on Tim Tebow: "I have confirmed that the #Patriots signed him with the intent of playing quarterback."
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) June 10, 2013
There was no guarantee Tebow would be given another chance after being released by the New York Jets this offseason. His 2012 season quickly morphed into a nightmare for both the team and himself, leaving the front office little choice but to let him go after they drafted Geno Smith.
ESPN’s SportsNation has already provided us with a glimpse of how Tebow will look in a Patriots jersey:
The jury is out on just how the Patriots plan on using Tebow. After winning a playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers as a quarterback in 2011, Tebow was relegated to taking snaps as a punt protector and tight end in 2012 with the Jets. With Tom Brady firmly entrenched as the starter for at least the next half decade, odds are we’ll see Tebow lining up to help the team in some unconventional ways.
Last October, Patriots coach Bill Belichick had some serious praise for the polarizing Tebow (via New York Daily News):
“He’s a good runner, strong runner, very strong, good thrower, mobile in the pocket, smart player, can do a lot of different things. You certainly have to be aware when he’s in there. In the kicking game, he’s dangerous because of his versatility. . . . He carries the ball quite a bit so to some degree he’s a running back.”
Is a New England formation with Tebow lined up as a fullback/running back in the cards?
The Florida product’s limited production is overshadowed by the immense media hype that follows his every move. The distraction of his presence was something every team had to seriously consider before pursuing him.
Ultimately, Tebow does possess the ability to help a team win games. Probably not as a full-time starting quarterback due to a subpar 48-percent completion rate. But instead by playing various roles on offense and special teams.
Tebow has accounted for 29 touchdowns (17 pass/12 rush) and just 16 turnovers in three seasons since the Denver Broncos selected him in the first round (25th overall) of the 2010 NFL draft. He’s also averaged five yards per carry. So the numbers aren’t all bad once you get away from the pure-passer elements.
The Patriots are taking a chance on Tebow on the basis that it will be able to create an ideal, wide-ranging role for him. Of course, the Jets had the same plan when they brought him in from the Broncos and it didn’t quite work out.
Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post previously reported Tebow wasn’t willing to make a commitment to becoming a tight end. It’s a storyline that’s remained pretty consistent since the Heisman Trophy winner ended his time with the Gators. He’s wanted to be an NFL quarterback.
League sources confirmed that the few teams that contacted the Jets about Tebow were open to trading for him only if he was willing to move to tight end, but Tebow continues to refuse that possibility.
Whether Tebow’s stance changed during the process of finding a team is unclear. Either way, his best chance of making even a limited impact next season and beyond is working with the coaching staff to get involved in a multitude of ways.
If there’s one thing that shouldn’t be questioned when it comes to Tebow, it’s his drive to succeed. He’s a good teammate and can help a team win if put in the right situation, which is the bottom line as to why he’s been given another shot.
Both sides can only hope it goes exponentially better than his time with the Jets.