Over four months after the conclusion of the 2013 Super Bowl, Tim Tebow finally has a new home. The quarterback will sign with the New England Patriots and is expected to be at the team’s minicamp on Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Ed Werder. He became a free agent shortly after the NFL Draft when he was released by the New York Jets.
The news of Tebow’s signing comes, somewhat, as a surprise. There had been recent rumors that Tebow was prepared to end his NFL career, though some in his camp have denied those reports. There was also a question as to what team would take a chance on the quarterback.
Since he was drafted by the Denver Broncos, Tebow has been the most controversial player in the NFL. Is the signing a good move by the Patriots?
The terms of the contract have yet to be released, but it’s likely a very low-risk deal. New England can cut him at any time with no repercussions, and they may have improved their backup quarterback position.
Unlike when Tebow was in New York and Denver, there won’t be any chance of a quarterback controversy in New England. Tom Brady is universally regarded as one of the best quarterbacks of all-time, and there is no chance that Tebow will take his job. Mark Sanchez was called to be benched in 2012 because he failed to perform like an adequate starter. That is not a worry of the Patriots and Brady.
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Despite leading Denver to the playoffs in 2011, Tebow has had a difficult time proving that he can be a successful signal caller in the NFL. If anyone can find a way to utilize Tebow’s unique skill set, though, Bill Belichick might be the coach to do it.
Behind Tom Brady, the Patriots don’t have much at quarterback. They drafted Ryan Mallet in 2011, but he has only attempted four passes in his career. Mike Kafka is also on the roster, but his quarterback rating of 47.7 might not be enough to help him make the team. If Brady can’t play for any significant period of time, New England may be better off with Tebow than any of their current options.
The Patriots likely had some concern before signing Tebow. The level of attention he brings greatly outweighs the impact he has on the team. In the big picture, however, it’s likely a minor signing that should not have much of an impact on New England’s 2013 season.