In an offseason in which the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Trevor Lawrence to be the franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future, the main storyline surrounding the team currently is whether they'll sign former NFL quarterback and minor league baseball player Tim Tebow... as a tight end.
“I’ve leaned on my staff for that,” head coach Urban Meyer told reporters Saturday while discussing whether Tebow would be offered a contract. “And I imagine a decision is gonna be soon. … We’ll have a chat Sunday.”
In late April, Tebow worked out for the team at tight end. And Meyer—Tebow's former head coach with the Florida Gators—told Sunday Night Football's Cris Collinsworth last week that he was still making a decision on whether to sign Tebow:
"He was in the best shape of his life. Asked to see if he could work out with a couple of our coaches. I wasn't even there. And they came back to me and said, 'Wow, this guy's in incredible shape.' Then I went another time and watched him try out. And they said, 'Go work on these things.' He comes back later, they try him out again. I'm not there. They come in and they said, 'Wow, you know, this guy's ball skills... He's a great athlete. He looks like he's 18 years old, not whatever he is, 33. And I said, 'Guys, you don't understand. This guy is the most competitive maniac you're ever going to talk to and let's give it a shot.' And I have not decided if we're going to do that yet or not. I'm getting close. I've gotta make a decision here pretty soon."
The possibility of Jacksonville signing Tebow has become a hot topic. On one hand, the former quarterback likely could have extended his NFL career had he been willing to switch to tight end sooner.
“I think that had he changed (positions) many moons ago, he might now be playing his 10th year in the league,’’ former NFL scout and executive Gil Brandt told Josh Peter of USA Today. “He sure very well could have. He would have been very unique."
And if nothing else, his signing would drive intrigue.
Gil Brandt @Gil_Brandt
Never understood vitriol aimed at Tebow but even more perplexed by last 2 days. Worst I've heard is he's taking a legitimate player's spot. Tebow is the best use for Jacksonville's 90th roster spot. Sell tickets. Get fan base excited. That "legitimate" player's not making the 53.
On the other hand, Tebow hasn't played football since the 2015 preseason with the Philadelphia Eagles. His last regular season game in the NFL came in 2012 with the New York Jets.
So the question becomes why the Jaguars would try to resuscitate the career of a 33-year-old who has spent the past several years playing minor league baseball when they likely could find a younger backup tight end with more recent experience who might actually help them on the field.
Maybe they won't. Maybe Meyer will decide he can upgrade the tight end position with another player. But the public "will they or won't they?" game Meyer is playing with Tebow has been a little bizarre, to say the least, making it feel as though Tebow's signing is inevitable despite the hemming and hawing.