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Patriots owner Robert Kraft hopes Tim Tebow makes 53-man roster

By John Breech | CBSSports.com

Patriots owner Robert Kraft hopes Tim Tebow is on the team's final 53-man roster. (USATSI)
Patriots owner Robert Kraft hopes Tim Tebow is on the team's final 53-man roster. (USATSI)

New England owner Robert Kraft doesn't get to handpick the Patriots final 53-man roster, which is too bad for Tim Tebow, because he would almost certainly be on it.

Kraft has already said it's ''really exciting'' to have Tebow in camp and now he's added to that by saying he hopes Tebow makes the Patriots's 53-man roster.

"We want high-quality people who work hard, are team players," Kraft said on CNBC via ESPN.com. "I don't think there is a nicer person that I've ever met, and now he'll get to compete with all the other people at the position, and our hope is that he's on our 53-man roster."

Even if Tebow makes the team, don't look for him to play much -- at quarterback at least. Kraft is very happy with the team's current starting quarterback and seems to be happy with the Patriot's No. 2 guy.

"I think Tom Brady, we're privileged to have the best quarterback in the history of the game," Kraft said. "But we're a physical game. Injuries happen. We have another very good quarterback in Ryan Mallett."

Even with Brady and Mallett on the roster though, Kraft said there's still room for Tebow.

"We're allowed three quarterbacks. We're in the business of quality depth management. We have a salary cap and we need a number of different competitive players for depth," Kraft said. "You never know what's going [to happen]; Tom Brady missed the whole season a few years ago. You can't have enough quality people in any of your businesses."

If you break down that last statement, it almost seems like the ''keep Tebow'' argument Kraft would make to coach Bill Belichick. The team can keep three quarterbacks, the Patriots have to keep the salary cap in mind (Tebow comes cheap) and Kraft wants competitive players. And Tebow is the ultimate competitor, right Chuck Norris?

"I don't get why people wouldn't relate to this guy big-time," Kraft said. "For us, it was a great opportunity that he was on the street, not hired, and to have him come to our franchise. We like to collect people of good character. He's the real deal, and we have a lot of other players [like that]."

Kraft also said America needs more Tebows -- or at least people like Tebow. "In this age of technology, where people are isolating themselves and going to their little instruments and spending hours of not interfacing with people, people who respect tradition, religion, spirituality, I think we need more of that in America today," Kraft said.

If you're counting down until final cut day, mark your calendar for Aug. 31 because that's when teams have to trim their rosters down to 53 players.

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