Report: Tim Tebow to Sign 1-Year Jaguars Contract; Will Try to Make Team as TE

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2021

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Tim Tebow handles a football before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Jets Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015  in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

Tim Tebow's NFL hiatus is over. 

The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner will sign a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars with a chance to make the team as a tight end, according to Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported April 29 that Tebow had approached representatives from the Jaguars to request a tight end tryout. He also worked out with Jaguars tight ends coach Tyler Bowen.

That the 33-year-old could get another shot in the NFL—at a new position, no less—still comes as a big surprise.

Tebow hasn't appeared in a game since 2012. He was unsuccessful in attempting to make the New England Patriots in 2013 and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015.

With his door to the NFL seemingly closed, the former Florida star chose to try his hand at baseball. Tebow announced in February he was hanging up his cleats after spending three seasons in the minor leagues in the New York Mets organization.

"I loved every minute of the journey, but at this time I feel called in other directions," he said. "I never want to be partially in on anything. I always want to be 100 percent in on whatever I choose. Thank you again for everyone's support of this awesome journey in baseball, I'll always cherish my time as a Met."

His retirement from baseball appeared to signal his end as a high-level professional athlete. Instead, Urban Meyer is providing him with a potential lifeline.

As many noted when Schefter's report surfaced, it's ironic that Tebow is welcoming a position change. If he had that same open-mindedness six or seven years ago, he might not have been exiled from the NFL.

It took the Denver Broncos two seasons to see Tebow wouldn't be their franchise quarterback. He threw for 2,383 yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions while completing 47.3 percent of his passes in 23 appearances.

The rest of the NFL made the same determination about his abilities under center.

Speaking with Dan Patrick in 2016 (via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk), Tebow acknowledged he had been presented with chances to work out at different positions but didn't warm to the idea.

"I've had a lot of good opportunities to play another position, but that just wasn't in my heart," he said. "It wasn't something I wanted to do. If I was going to make a change, I'd rather make a change to baseball."

Given his age, Tebow faces long odds of making Jacksonville's roster for Week 1 of the regular season.

Plenty of players have excelled at a new position after playing quarterback in college, but they didn't make the switch at the same point in their careers as Tebow. The Jaguars can't give him a year or two to work out the kinks when he's in his mid-30s.

Tebow is clearly committed to getting back on the gridiron, but he'll need more than that to see this through.

In 2013, a group of Jaguars fans gathered outside TIAA Bank Field to push the team to sign Tebow, who grew up in Jacksonville. A lot has changed since then, and the arrivals of Meyer and Trevor Lawrence signaled a new era for the franchise.

Meyer coached Tebow at Florida, and they helped the Gators win two national championships. In that sense, the Jags are probably the best situation for Tebow. Perhaps Meyer will once again get the best out of the former first-team All-American.