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Tim Tebow To Sign With New England Patriots

Tim Tebow

Okay, file this one under sports headlines I never really thought I’d read:

Bill Belichick is now just kicking the New York Jets while they’re down. Tim Tebow is on his way to Foxborough to join the New England Patriots.

The former Jets and Denver Broncos quarterback and utility player is expected to sign with the Patriots on Tuesday and be on the field this week for the team’s minicamp, a person informed of the signing told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the move won’t be official until Tuesday.

The signing contradicts recent reports that Belichick didn’t like Tebow as a player and that Tebow had given up on his chances of continuing his NFL career following his disaster of a season with the Jets in 2012, when he was passed over for Greg McElroy late in the season after Mark Sanchez lost his starting job.

Belichick certainly hasn’t given up on Tebow. And if any coach or team is best suited to handle the sideshow Tebow brings, it’s Belichick and the Patriots.

Belichick certainly hasn’t given up on Tebow, and if any coach and team are best suited to handle the sideshow Tebow brings, they are Belichick and the Patriots.

Remember, too, that Josh McDaniels, Tebow’s head coach in Denver, is the Patriots’ offensive coordinator.

And there’s more, Jets fans: If Tebow makes the roster, the Jets will face castoffs in back-to-back games –former disgruntled cornerback Darrelle Revis and the Bucs at home in the opener on Sept. 12, then Tebow in New England four days later.

Tebow brought his baggage to the Jets last year and, despite owner Woody Johnson’s visions of him being a draw for the fans, he was nothing more than a distraction. Even Sanchez admitted as much following the year by stating, “I just don’t know if it was the best situation for either of us. … You can avoid that stuff on your own if you like, in my opinion, but he’s a popular guy and people gravitate towards the guy.”

Consider this Belichick’s way of showing the Jets how to handle the attention Tebow brings. If he succeeds, gets some production out of Tebow and doesn’t distract from the overall goal of continued success during his regime, that’ll be yet another dart sent in the direction of Florham Park, N.J.

You know, on some level, I’m not really sure that the Patriots really need to be playing mind games with the Jets. Given the relative performances of the two teams over recent years, and especially last year, it’s not as if the Jets have been a serious threat to New England recently. Indeed, if Tebow does manage to make it past the Patriots minicamp and onto the roster, I’m not at all sure what role he would play on the team.

In many ways, he would end up being in precisely the same position he was with the Jets at the start of last season, a “star” (and I use the quotes deliberately) Quarterback playing second chair to a first stringer. The only difference is that the Patriots have a far better, far more capable, first stringer in Tom Brady than the Jets ever did in Mark Sanchez.  Given Sanchez’s performance for most of the Jets 2012 season, there would have been more than enough excuses for Rex Ryan to start Tebow in a game ahead of Sanchez, but he never did. Absent an injury, I doubt that opportunity will ever arise in New England. Say what you will about Tom Brady, but he is an superior Quarterback and, absent an injury, I cannot conceive of any scenario where a coach would throw Tebow into a game instead of him.

So, what are the Patriots up to here? Will we see Tebow debuting as a Tight End, something many football analysts have suggested? Or, will New England’s Tebow experiment end in as much failure as New York’s did? I’m not sure, but I do know that if Tim Tebow doesn’t make a name for himself in the upcoming season his next career will be as a greeter as a casino in Reno, Nevada.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Hal 10000 says:

    I was saying months ago that what Tebow really needed was a Belichick-like guru who would find ways to utilize what Tebow does well and minimize what he does poorly. I HAD hoped that the Jets would be that team — using 2 QB sets or slotting him as RB or TE. But it turned out just to be a publicity stunt. I predict this will go well for New England because they know how to put players in positions where they can be useful.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  2. @Hal 10000:

    You may well be right. As a long running Tebow skeptic, I’ll have to wait and see. As a NY Giants fan, I will enjoy some schaudenfreude if it turns out that the Patriots utilize Tebow in the ways the Jets couldn’t.

    It’s not that I hate the Jets, I really don’t. We let them use our stadium and all that after all. I just feel sorry for Jets fans, who’ve been holding out for a hero ever since Namath retired.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  3. Anderson says:

    WTF?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. al-Ameda says:

    Rex Ryan can’t coach, Bill Bellichick can coach – now we’ll find out if Tebow can play in the NFL.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. So, what are the Patriots up to here?

    They’re obviously trying to corner the market on quarterbacks that everyone is absolutely sick of hearing about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  6. Console says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Brett Favre as the emergency number 3?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  7. Sam Malone says:

    I believe that at 6′ 3″ Tebow is not tall enough to be a good tight-end. (I’m not sure I believe that he is actually 6’3″)
    For reference Gronkowski…the all-world tight end…is 6’6. Tony Gonzales is 6′ 5″. Jay Novicek is 6’4″. Shannon Sharpe is only 6′ 2″‘…but Tebow is no Shannon Sharpe…or any of those other guys for that matter.

    Beyond that…I would argue that this is the perfect situation for Tebow. He will have the luxury of sitting and learning at the hands of masters…Bellicek and Brady…and with an Offensive Coordinator that apparently believes in him.
    Elway was a douche when he threw him to the wolves in Denver. And the Jets were a friggin’ joke long before Tebow ever showed up. I loath religious zealots like Tebow…wearing his fanaticism on his sleeve…but for the sake of the kid I hope this works out.

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  8. Tony W says:

    Great, now I have at least two reasons not to watch the Patriots. How many self-absorbed blowhard quarterbacks can they fit in one locker room anyway? Maybe they should recruit Roethlisberger and make it a trifecta. Or a cage fight.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  9. CSK says:

    The local speculation this morning is that he might be a tight end.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Sam Malone says:

    “…“You can say, ‘We want him to play tight end.’ I don’t’ know if he can catch the ball good enough,” said former Jets and Chiefs coach Herm Edwards, now with ESPN. “They want him to play fullback. Has he played fullback before? This is not high school or college. You have to be trained to do that…”

    Wait for the slo-mo;
    http://www.nfl.com/videos/miami-dolphins/0ap1000000065045/Tebow-takes-one-off-the-helmet

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