How Does Tim Tebow Fit with the New England Patriots?
At this point, that's all you can say about Tim Tebow's role with the New England Patriots now that, according to ESPN, he has been signed by a team recently deemed one of the least likely teams to sign him.
When you look at it, the Patriots were one of the more likely landing spots. Tebow's legend began when Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, then head coach of the Denver Broncos, drafted him in the first round. Tebow's stock has soared and subsequently plummeted since then.
Now, the Patriots will once again try to make treasure out of someone else's discarded trash, and no surprise, that trash comes from an AFC East rival. Go figure.
Mike Freeman of CBS Sports has one (crazy) idea:
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
With regards to what Tebow would have to do in order to become a tight end, "study" puts it lightly.
He looked entirely unnatural running routes last year, has never caught a pass at the collegiate or pro level, and even had to duck for cover when he took one off the head against the Dolphins.
If the plan is to use him at tight end, Tebow's chances of making the roster are zero. Is there a number less than zero? Tebow's chances are that. Learning a new position is hard enough, but add to that a competition with Jake Ballard, Michael Hoomanawanui, Daniel Fells and rookies Zach Sudfeld and Brandon Ford for backup tight end roles, and Tebow might be better off trying his hand at quarterback.
According to Werder's report, that's exactly what's going to happen.
If that's the case, he will compete with third-year quarterback Ryan Mallett for the primary backup spot behind Tom Brady, and with recent rumors that the Patriots were entertaining trade offers for Mallett, perhaps the Patriots are weighing out their options for future shake-ups on the depth chart.
Of course, his role (or lack thereof) was only part of his undoing with the Jets. The rest, however, was the circus' doing.
There were reports following the season that Tebow's presence was a distraction. The million-dollar question is whether he will be a distraction with the Patriots. Belichick likely won't allow that to happen.
Tebow will probably be treated no differently than any other backup on the Patriots roster. He will not be made available to the media every single day, and his presence on the field will not be a spectacle as it was in New York.
Most importantly, while there was some doubt as to whether Tebow was the best quarterback on the Jets roster, there is no doubt that he is far from the best quarterback on the Patriots roster. That in and of itself should save the Patriots from much of the controversy that surrounded Tebow's time with the Jets.
Will Tebow make the final 53-man roster?
Regardless of where he lines up, he still has to make the roster before it's even worth discussion of what his role will be.
On a team that has talent at so many positions, there's a legitimate shot he ends the summer in the same place he started it: on the open market.
Erik Frenz is also a Patriots/AFC East writer for Boston.com. Unless otherwise noted, all stats obtained from Pro Football Focus' premium section, and all quotes obtained firsthand or via team press releases.
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