Jan 14, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) on the field after the game against the New England Patriots in the 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Broncos 45- 10. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
I’ve seen some of these rumors start to surface so I feel the need to squash them immediately. Since the “quarterback” Tim Tebow has been out of a job this off-season several rumors connecting him and the New England Patriots have been swirling around. Some say Bill Belichick would bring him in just to prove he doesn’t hate Tebow, as was reported incorrectly last month, or just because “that’s something Belichick would do.” These are the worst reasons for any free agent signing, particularly a player like Tim Tebow. The biggest reason for the rumors is that Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was the coach in Denver that drafted Tebow. McDaniels took a chance on a quarterback that played well in college, and now years later people assume the connection is still there, despite the evidence that Tebow is not fit to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. The fact that Belichick has put some “outcast” players in a position to succeed combined with McDaniels’ role with the Patriots has caused this speculation, but there are huge negative factors about Tebow that are being overlooked.
The most obvious is that he can’t play quarterback. He lacks the ability to scan a defense and make an accurate throw under pressure. He was good enough to keep the Broncos in games during his time as a starter in 2011, but by no means was he a good quarterback. He had a completion percentage of 46.5%, threw half as many picks as TDs, and fumbled the ball 7 times. He finished the season with a QBR of 29.9. To put that QBR into perspective, Tom Brady finished 2011 with a QBR of 72.7. In fact, the only players that had a worse QBR than Tebow that year were Sam Bradford, Curtis Painter, and Blaine Gabbert (source: espn.com). Without the Broncos’ defensive stars, kicker Matt Prater, and a very weak division, there’s no way they would have made the playoffs. A Patriots fan on a comment board said, “I’d rather have Vince Wilfork as my quarterback than Tebow.” While a little extreme, Wilfork can throw a spiral 60 yards, something that seems to be difficult for Tebow.
Another reason Tebow will never be a Patriot is his unwillingness to switch positions. His quick feet and size could make him an effective tight end if he were willing to switch. He could even play fullback and would have a more successful career than if he decided to stick to playing quarterback. At this point, however, he’s beating a dead horse
with his insistence to keep playing quarterback. Even if he were to switch to a tight end, the Patriots would still have no use for him. Despite the surgeries, the Patriots still have Gronkowski, Hernandez, Ballard, Hoomanawanui, and newcomer Zach Sudfeld. An undrafted rookie out of Nevada, Sudfeld continues to impress at OTAs, which is a sign that even if Gronk isn’t ready to start the season, there are plenty of other people to take his place. Signing Tebow would be an unnecessary expense and would draw unwanted attention.
That unwanted attention is perhaps the biggest reason for the Patriots to stay away from Tebow. Wherever he goes, the media circus follows. If you’re like me, you hate seeing something about Tebow in nearly every segment of SportsCenter. If he blows his nose, the media will report it. Meanwhile, events like Velasquez’s KO of “Bigfoot” Silva to keep his UFC belt and the entire NHL playoffs go unnoticed. The Patriots already tested the media circus with WR Chad Ochocinco, but even he can’t come close to the commotion that Tebow would cause. Ochocinco only attracted the media when he did or tweeted something outrageous, but the media follows Tebow like a hawk no matter what. Although he doesn’t encourage the media following, he hasn’t necessarily done anything to stop it either. The last thing the Patriots want is constant media attention. So to all those Tebow fans out there, keep dreaming if you ever want to see him in a Patriots uniform. I also suggest you turn to a much better athlete to follow.