Tim Tebow is coming back to the NFL. After a six-year hiatus, the Jaguars concocted a plan to sign the former NFL quarterback to a one-year deal, and it's now in the books. The former quarterback has officially inked his new contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team announced on Thursday, and is all set to make his transition to the tight end position.
He'll wear No. 85, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, at least at for now.
Tim Tebow is officially a Jacksonville Jaguar and will be wearing the No. 85 jersey. Here's where you can purchase a Tebow jersey.
"I want to thank the Jaguars for the opportunity to compete and earn the chance to be part of this team," Tebow said in a statement following the Jaguars announcement. "I know it will be a challenge, but it is a challenge I embrace. I am dedicated to taking the direction of our coaching staff and learning from my teammates. I appreciate everyone's support as I embark on this new journey."
There has been a lot of backlash surrounding the move, including from a former teammate of Tebow's, but it isn't deterring head coach Urban Meyer from rolling the dice on the once-retired NFL player who helped Meyer conquer the collegiate football landscape in their time together with the Florida Gators.Tebow, 33, recently worked out for the Jaguars and Urban Meyer, but Meyer wouldn't go into detail about the potential move ahead of or during the 2021 NFL Draft, instead noting the team would address it after the event had concluded.
During a recent podcast appearance, Meyer clarified that he was not present at Tebow's workouts and that the Jaguars have yet to officially sign him. He did say that he is "getting close" and he's "got to make a decision here pretty soon" regarding whether or not the Jaguars will actually bring Tebow in. A former Heisman Trophy winner, Tebow went 9-7 as the Broncos' starting quarterback before spending one season with the New York Jets. He then had two uneventful stops with the Jets and Patriots before spending nearly five years in the Mets' minor league system.
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A two-time national champion with the Gators, Tebow completed just 47.3% of his passes in two seasons with the Broncos. In 11 regular-season starts during the 2011 season, Tebow threw twice as many touchdowns (12) as interceptions (6) despite completing just 46.5% of his throws. But after helping the Broncos capture the AFC West division title, Tebow threw the game-winning touchdown pass in Denver's upset victory over Pittsburgh in the wild-card round. Tebow's next game -- a blowout loss to the Patriots in the divisional round -- would be the final start under center for an NFL team.
"I have one job and that is to win games with the Jacksonville Jaguars," Meyer said recently. "If Tim Tebow or Travis Etienne can help us win, then that's my job to get them ready to go play. That decision is certainly not made yet."
Along with playing tight end, Tebow may be asked to serve as a mentor for quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Like Tebow, Lawrence led his collegiate team to a national championship before becoming a first-round pick.
"The most important thing for Trevor is to learn the offense, it's not to sell billboards around the state of Florida," Meyer said. "And we're going to be very cautious about that. The good thing is that's very important to him. He's not a guy, as you can see, he's not even at the draft. His focus is he wants to live here, he wants to move here, he wants to train here, he wants to win. Obviously, that's very appealing to our staff."
While Lawrence is just starting his NFL journey, Tebow is getting another opportunity to make an impact on the gridiron. The news of Tebow's signing comes just days after Fred Taylor, the Jaguars' career rushing leader, opened up about Tebow's short-lived run as an NFL starting quarterback.
"I don't think Tim got a complete fair shot in the because most of the coaches were saying, 'We need the prototypical NFL quarterback,'" Taylor said on the All Things Covered with Patrick Peterson & Bryant McFadden. "And he's not that. That was just before the zone reads and the offenses changed up. And I think if Tim had been able to hold on long enough to have those offenses come to fruition, and develop them as they have been the past couple years, I think you would have saw a better quarterback."