May 12—What is Tim Tebow thinking, wanting a tryout, at 33, with the Jacksonville Jaguars? As a tight end?
The hell if I know.
But I do know I’m rooting for him.
Of course, I’m on an island, with few companions on this one. Tebow is a lightning rod. Always has been. And this is no different.
At 33, Tebow is making a career change back to pro football after a failed attempt at a pro baseball career, after a failed attempt at a pro football career.
It’s a complex story.
Tebow won a Heisman Trophy and led, or basically put the Florida Gators on his back in 2008, en route to a national championship when the Gators were “the” team to beat.
His coach at that time was Urban Meyer, the Jaguars’ new coach.
So there is a history there. A special history. You can’t blame Meyer for having a soft spot in his heart for Tebow.
But as an NFL quarterback, Tebow couldn’t throw the ball. Or at least he looked a lot like Cam Newton in 2020 — ugly.
In the end, the 2010 first round pick by the Denver Broncos was traded by then-new team president John Elway after his second season for a bag of footballs (a fourth and sixth round pick) to the N.Y. Jets. Elway wasn’t used to run-first, ugly pass-second QBs.
There were pitstops with the New England Patriots (spring/summer 2013) and Philadelphia Eagles (spring/summer 2015) before calling it quits. It was over a year later when it was obvious his quarterbacking career was over, in August of 2016, Tebow talked about playing pro baseball, a sport he flourished in while a high schooler.
Thirty teams were invited to a workout and the Mets signed him for the 2017 season, sending him to the 2016 Fall League in Arizona, thus beginning a pro baseball career.
He played A, AA and AAA in the Mets organization before the pandemic ruined any chance of some possible time with the big club in Queens, N.Y. Tebow’s AA season in 2018 in Binghamton was his best, hitting .273 with six homers. Among those with 200 or more at bats, Tebow ranked sixth best in batting average and four of those guys made the major leagues.
Which brings us to 2021 and the Jaguars.
Tebow requested a shot from his former college coach and guess what? His coach said, “Why not!”
Tebow is, still, an athlete. At 6-foot-2, 235 pounds, he is also big and strong, obviously having to stay in pro shape as a minor leaguer.
Tebow is not taking up the time or roster space of anybody. He is not expected to be make the 53-man roster, which is the only roster that counts, not including practice squad guys.
I think it’s cool, that he still has that fire burning. Maybe he could help the Jaguars. Maybe he could be a “wildcat” QB option. Or, god forbid, maybe he could actually play tight end in the NFL.
Ironically, if Tebow were in college today, his run-first style probably would’ve gotten him drafted as a legitimate option, less worried about his ugly passes.
Tebow has borne the brunt of a lot of hate, which is ironic considering it is nearly impossible to find a teammate with something bad to say about him as a person.
This could be a cool story, Tebow playing 70 miles from where he made history with the Gators.
I’m rooting for Tebow to make it. And, to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did.
You can email Bill Burt at [email protected]