New England Patriots quarterback Tim Tebow may be as unpolished a passer as any starter at his position in recent years. However, the former first-round pick is in a great situation in Foxboro to develop those skills as part of the team's final 53-man roster in 2013.
Ben Volin of the Boston Globe brought up several specific points regarding why it would make little sense for Tebow to be released ahead of the regular season, but one stands out in particular.
Any notion that Tebow was brought in as a "camp arm" to spell the likes of Tom Brady from having to throw so much during the five weeks of training camp is nonsensical. Tebow's mechanics are flawed and inconsistent to the point that he's not a reliable pocket passer.
That takes a lot of work to iron out, and the Patriots would have been hard-pressed to choose a worse quarterback to absorb some of the reps.
If New England didn't genuinely want Tebow to eventually succeed, the organization wouldn't have bothered signing him in the first place because of all the attention Tebow attracts.
ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss also documented what Pat Kirwan of CBS recently said about Tebow in his visit to New England's practice. Initially thinking Tebow would be a candidate for final cuts, Kirwan now sees him as a likely part of the team moving forward:
Even without any guaranteed money in Tebow's two-year contract—which gives the Patriots even more liberation to cut him—it appears the quarterback's future is safe, despite his likely third-string status behind Brady and cannon-armed Ryan Mallett.
Given the success of the read-option in the NFL lately, it's also possible that Tebow could be brought in as a change-up or a goal-line specialist.
But this is the best possible situation for Tebow to thrive, because Josh McDaniels, the innovative offensive coordinator, coached the Denver Broncos when they drafted Tebow No. 25 overall in the 2010 draft.
McDaniels had a plan for Tebow to succeed at quarterback at the professional level, but was fired before it could ever materialize.
Does Tim Tebow deserve a spot on the Patriots' final roster?
Tebow won't unseat Brady, who still has several years left in the tank, and unless Mallett's trade value peaks and he's moved, won't get past No. 3 on the QB depth chart.
There's nothing wrong with that—he was meant to be a project in the first place and was never allowed to be.
In this scenario, McDaniels is his direct teacher, Bill Belichick fosters a stable environment with the Patriot Way and Brady sets a legendary example as a pocket passer that Tebow can aspire to resemble someday.
Tebow has flashed promise as a passer before—316 yards in a playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, for starters—and has off-the-charts intangibles and leadership ability.
With those qualities, he is worth keeping in Foxboro for at least the 2013 season to sharpen his fundamentals and try to maximize his upside at the game's most important position. There is a lot of potential to work with, and if any team can mold Tebow into a successful signal-caller, it's the Patriots.