New England Patriots: Tim Tebow Could Make the 53-Man Roster


New England Patriots latest sensational addition Tim Tebow is settling in and getting with the Patriots program, at least it appears to be this way. While some Patriots fans are still in denial of the existence of Tebowmania in Foxboro, the matter of the fact is, there is no hiding from the spot light. And while Bill Belichick cannot stop Tebowmania from following Tebow, he sure can stop feeding the beast.

Jun 12, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterbacks Tim Tebow (left) , Tom Brady (center) and Ryan Mallett (right) during minicamp at the practice fields of Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Mini-camp is now over and the players will have about six weeks of vacation time. I doubt Belichick will use all this time to relax as big decision will have to be made to reduce the roster to a maximum of 75 players by August 27, and finally, to a maximum of 53 players by August 31. For those in denial, there is only one hope left – that Tebow will not make the 53-man roster.

Sure it took me some moments of clarity to assimilate the sudden signing of Tebow, but since it is what it is, we might as well look for the positive and logical of this situation.

Bill Belichick sees value in Tim Tebow.

Although it might not have been so apparent back in the 2010 NFL draft, Belichick had an interest in Tebow. As fate made a wild turn, Josh McDaniels, then Denver Broncos head coach took Tebow under his wings. As we know, Belichick is interested in what a player can do in the future and not what the player has done in the past. If Tebow past wasn’t that great, which I have a strong opinion that Tebow did much better than Mark Sanchez has done lately; by taking the Broncos to the playoffs, well Belichick must be curious to know if Tebow has any potential that will lead into a valuable-quality-versatile player.

Bill Belichick might consider Tim Tebow a working-project.

Tim Tebow not only has to be thankful for the opportunity, but he has to prove he is more-than-thankful. It’s a kind of “pay your debt” agreement. We can only dream of guessing what Belichick has in mind when it comes to the utilization of Tebow on the playbook. But one thing we can agree with, and that is, Tebow certainly needs to develop his game mechanics. While at Broncos, he was working closely with McDaniels and there was progress on the field. Peyton Manning comes to Denver and Tebow goes to New York Jets. Unfortunately for Tebow, there was no game-plan. In my opinion, if there’s no game-plan in place for a player, there is no coaching either. If Tebow doesn’t do justice for himself, nobody will because the Patriots are his last chance to claim his spot on NFL. While Belichick might take into consideration he needs time, development and coaching, on the flip side of the coin, he wants to see the results now.

Three quarterbacks on the roster, not a problem.

If Belichick sees value in a player and consider him as a working-project that has and shows potential to be a big investment in the bank, three quarterbacks or even four is not a problem. As long as he is improving, keeping up with the program and maintaining the coach interested in his potential, Belichick will more likely give the benefit of doubt. Take for example the 2000 roster; Belichick had Drew Bledsoe, Tom Brady, John Friesz and Michael Bishop. Belichick had to keep Brady on the roster because he just couldn’t quite figure out what Brady could bring to the team, but he knew there was some value. In 2001, Belichick downsized the roster to only three quarterbacks – Tom Brady, Drew Bledsoe and Damon Huard. In 2004 the roster was down to only two, Tom Brady and Rohan Davey. Since then, it has been bouncing back and forth with three and two quarterbacks, but usually three quarterbacks. Given we only had two quarterbacks in last year’s roster (Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett), it’s very possible Tebow will make the roster to give Belichick the flexibility he likes of having three quarterbacks. Also, if Tebow is what is best for the team in terms of development and results, it will allow Belichick flexibility in the 2014 Draft to trade Mallett should value and opportunity match.

Mr. Robert Kraft likes Tim Tebow.

It could very well be that Mr. Kraft had the biggest influence in bringing Tebow to Foxboro. Everyone points out the McDaniels’ connection with Tebow, but the more I hear and see, I think Mr. Kraft influence in making this transaction happen was a very influential one. In Patriots Today, Mr. Kraft praises Tebow’s quality as a player, his competitiveness, work ethic and his winner attitude. I liked how Mr. Kraft applies his business expertise with football plan as he stated when asked about Tebow signing.

“If you want to win in this league, you need quality-depth management. I’ve said in the age of salary cap whenever you can get competitive first grade person to join your team, you never know what happens.”

When mentioned about Tebow spirituality, he is all for it.

“…but the fact that spirituality is so important to him, is very appealing to me.”

Mr. Kraft is not scared to stand up to what he believes. This connection makes perfect sense and it reminds me of this quote by Mr. Kraft at The Hall at the Patriots Place,

“Spirituality, faith, and democracy are the cornerstones of our country. We are all Patriots. And tonight, the Patriots are World Champions.” Robert Kraft. February 3, 2002

I’m just saying and connecting the dots as I respect everyone points of view.

It’s Business. It’s profitable.

Tebow signing is of no risk for the Patriots as he signed a two-year, $1.385 million with no guaranteed money. As Mr. Kraft mentioned, he is a first-grade player (first round, pick #25 of the 2010 NFL draft), the cost is low and it is cap friendly.

Also keep in mind the Patriots will take the opportunity to make profit out of Tebow’s merchandise sales. Yes, as soon as the signing was official, Patriot Pro Shop was sending me and millions of fans e-mails to pre-order Tebow’s jersey. If Pats games have been a sold-out since the birth of the Gillette Stadium, there is another reason the status quo will remain the same and tickets price will escalate to the roofs.

Belichick will assure his painful podium appearances will be worth it.

The Patriots, and more importantly, Belichick knew exactly what it would be like to have Tebow aboard when it comes to media frenzy. While it might not be something totally new for Belichick as he handled the frenzy of Chad Ochocinco, Randy Moss, and Albert Haynesworth very well, Tebowmannia has a certain amplified magnitude. Belichick is a master in dealing with media frenzy – he bluntly refuses to feed and they will get absolutely nothing. But the point is, Belichick doesn’t like any attention. He doesn’t like to disrupt the flow of football-focus. He really would not go through this if there wasn’t a possibility of value and doing what’s best for the team.

Not everybody might hate us now.

Not that Pats fans or I really care who like us or not, but this is a fun one for me. I was having a football conversation with a friend who happens to be a Miami Dolphins fan, and he went and said to me: “Go Patriots! Go Tebow!”

My head spun an entire 360 trying to comprehend what I just heard and trying to make sense of his enthusiastic attitude. Heck, not even some Pats fans are being that enthusiastic, but a Dolphins fan? I dug for information, and he was plain and simple, he likes Tim Tebow, wants to see him doing well and now cheers for the Patriots. Of course one must be skeptical – is this a genuine enthusiasm or a cynical enthusiasm thinking we can’t handle and wishing us the worst? On the same day, my co-worker who is a Chicago Bears fan, but really doesn’t pay much attention to football, came to me and said how happy she was Tebow was with the Patriots. She now cheers for the Patriots, so she says. Either way, I really could care less and this portion of the article is just really for fun.

We’ll see what Tebow can do for this team.

Follow Celia Westbrook on Twitter @celiawestbrook