Jaguars Legend Jimmy Smith Says JAX Needs Tim Tebow, Not Colin KaepernickMay 13, 2021
Former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith said he's happy the team is looking in to the potential signing of Tim Tebow rather than Colin Kaepernick.
Smith, who played for the Jags from 1995 through 2005, told TMZ Sports in an interview released Thursday he's concerned Kaepernick would "divide our locker room."
"We need a guy like Tim Tebow, who's a hometown hero who has love for the city anyway," Smith said.
Tebow moved to Jacksonville with his family at a young age and started his high school football career at Trinity Christian Academy in the city before moving to Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Florida.
The former Denver Broncos and New York Jets quarterback is trying to make an NFL comeback as a tight end after a six-year hiatus where he tried to make the transition to baseball with the New York Mets.
Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer told NBC Sports' Cris Collinsworth on Tuesday that signing Tebow is under consideration but not a done deal:
Smith believes Tebow, who played college football for Meyer at the University of Florida, would be a perfect mentor for quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
"He's going to be a great support for Trevor Lawrence," Smith told TMZ. "Whatever capacity that is, it's going to be a positive rather than a negative. I pray that he makes the 53-man roster, because we need all we can get."
The Jags' interest in Tebow has brought a renewed spotlight into Kaepernick's extended stay on the free-agent market despite previously expressing his interest in another NFL opportunity.
Kaepernick helped spark the movement to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality in August 2016. He opted out of his contract in March 2017 after the San Francisco 49ers informed him of his impending release, and he's never been signed by another team.
The Jaguars don't represent a great fit for him since they already have Lawrence, a solid backup in Gardner Minshew and depth options like C.J. Beathard and Jake Luton on the roster for 2021.
Tebow is being evaluated by Jacksonville because tight end is a greater position of need and the relationship with Meyer from their time together at Florida, which resulted in two national championships and the 2007 Heisman Trophy.