Big news out of the NFL today as it was reported that the New England Patriots are going to sign former first round pick and current free agent quarterback Tim Tebow. Details of the contract aren’t out there yet, but it’s safe to assume it’s likely a one or two year deal at league minimum or something close.
I personally love this signing. The Patriots’ quarterback depth chart is locked in. Quarterback Tom Brady is a future Hall of Fame player, and youngster Ryan Mallett has the backup spot all sewn up. So what will Tebow’s role be with the team? Here’s where I am leaning.
The Patriots and their coaches are smart. They understand that their tight end situation is a bit tenuous with tight end Rob Gronkowski still recovering from multiple injuries. Tebow as a tight end/H-back project is fascinating to me. He’s got the size and physicality. He’s a very smart football player and has sneaky athleticism, he understands the role of the tight end in an offense from a quarterback’s perspective, and is such a hard worker. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels had a plan for Tebow and never had a chance to carry it out, so this is his shot.
But beyond that role, there’s nothing to say the Patriots can’t carry him as a tight end but also use him as a zone read quarterback. The Patriots understand that on some level, the league is catching up to what they do on offense. They have already shown a bit of evolution with the changes at wide receiver, so why not show a little evolution at the quarterback spot at well? Tebow could absolutely play a dual role with this team and be effective. There would be no quarterback controversy, no drama about who should start where, and he could just focus on being a football player. This is a low risk/high reward move for the Patriots, and I think it’s great.