The New England Patriots signed Tim Tebow to a two year deal on Tuesday, although his contract includes no guaranteed money and no signing bonus. That means that the Patriots could release Tebow at absolutely any time with no salary cap or cash ramifications to the team in 2013 or going forward. That is why many people feel as if the Patriots signing Tebow comes as a low-risk, high-reward move. The question remains, why exactly did the Patriots sign Tebow?
Is Tebow being brought in strictly as a No. 3 quarterback on the roster, behind Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett? Is it expected that Tebow will push Mallett to become the back-up QB to Brady, after his tutor, Chris Weinke, said that his mechanics will impress people and that his throwing flaws have been eradicated? Is Tebow in New England to learn behind Brady for a couple of seasons, eventually taking over when No. 12 decides to call it a career?
Or, is Tebow on the roster to learn another position? While I have long stated that I believe Tebow could make a decent tailback or even a better tight end with the proper development, ESPN analyst Adam Schefter said that the Patriots signed Tebow to play one position and one position only, and that is the only one he has ever known throughout his career.
Patriots did not sign Tim Tebow to play RB nor TE. They signed him to play QB. Backup QB. Tom Brady will not lose a play.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 11, 2013
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But, will Tebow be able to turn around his recent struggles as a quarterback? We all know that he is not going to take any snaps away from Brady. Similarly, when Michael Vick was simply looking for a job, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick ruled out the possibility of bringing in the morally challenged Vick to run some wildcat plays, saying he did not want to take Brady off of the field for any number of plays. Now, having signed the morally gifted Tebow as a quarterback, will anything change? It is doubtful.
Of course, this speculation could all be for not. While New England released its former No. 3 quarterback, Mike Kafka, to make room for Tebow, there is no guarantee whatsoever that Tebow will even make the Patriots’ roster once camp breaks. He will still have to prove himself to the coaching staff as well as the rest of his teammates. The media circus that ran rampant throughout New York as soon as Tebow was traded to the New York Jets last offseason will not be evident in New England. Belichick will make sure of that. He is going to make sure that media members and fans alike know that Tebow is strictly another player on his roster, and a back-up even more. Whether he can make an impact at any position remains to be seen. All that can be said at this point is that the Patriots must view Tebow as a player who can make some sort of contribution to the team right now, or they would never have signed him.
After all, it is not as if the team needs to compete with another team in the same area for the headlines on the back page of the sports papers. They already have as much coverage as any team could desire, so we can all rule out the possibility that Tebow was brought in to help increase the team’s brand.
If that was the case, a team such as the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins or Tampa Bay Buccaneers would have signed Tebow. They all passed, making you wonder what they missed or what the Patriots saw.
Only time will tell.