It’s been well over 3,100 days since Tim Tebow last played in the NFL. The last time he was in a training camp was in 2015. That’s six years. So, when the Jacksonville Jaguars reportedly signed Tebow midday Monday, it came as a surprise to everyone around the league. An even bigger surprise is Tebow will be playing tight end for the Jaguars, not his traditional position of quarterback. The question now is why? Why does a player with one career receiving target get this opportunity over some other tight end, free agent? Let’s get into some theories.
A Boost in Ticket Sales
One of the initial thoughts around fans, when this signing was announced, was that this is a cash grab by the Jaguars’ front office and owner Shad Khan. While there could have been some cash motive in the signing of Tebow, it just doesn’t make too much sense. The Jaguars just drafted a player in Trevor Lawrence who single-handedly brought in billions in revenue for the NCAA and Clemson University. Jaguars fans have high interest in the team now that they’ve got their guy, and there’s no doubt Lawrence will bring in an influx of ticket sales. Sure, Tebow may sell a handful of tickets here and there but this does not seem like the reasonable answer to the signing.
The Jaguars’ Significant Need for Tight Ends
The Jacksonville tight end group besides Tebow is Chris Manhertz, James O’Shaughnessy, Tyler Davis, Ben Ellefson, and rookie Luke Farrell. These five have a combined 101 career catches and O’Shaughnessy accounts for 88 of them. So yes, the Jaguars have a massive need for a tight end, but then again, why Tebow? There are guys like Trey Burton and Tyler Eifert on the market but they chose a player with zero snaps from the position. This doesn’t seem like the most logical explanation, yet again, for this head-scratching pickup.
Tebow Can Boost the Locker Room
This would seem to be the most reasonable theory. Tebow and Urban Meyer were the best head coach and quarterback duo back in college at Florida and Meyer knows what kind of leader Tebow can be. Tebow has gone viral online with his speeches to his team that have seemingly propelled them to victory. However, players don’t seem to look up to a third or fourth-string tight end. Naturally, players in the NFL look up to the best and Tebow will be far from that. Tebow is no longer a quarterback and is no longer the true leader of his football team. If for some reason players look up to Tebow, then he can be the perfect guy to lead a team but that is doubtful to happen.
The Jaguars Believe Tebow Might Actually Succeed
This one seems a bit obvious and the natural belief of the Jaguars but it’s worth exploring. Tebow stands at 6’3″ and 250 lbs, so he’d be a decent size for a tight end. Obviously, we know he’s a natural athlete. He was known as more of a scrambling quarterback back in the day and had a baseball career which just solidified his athleticism. The worry here is can he catch and block. He probably will be able to catch just fine but blocking may be a big-time issue. Tebow is a guy who probably has never been taught how to properly block and certainly hasn’t gotten a real live game rep in his first NFL stint.
Putting it All Together
After going through most of the reasonable explanations, there’s really no justifying this pickup. The only reason Jacksonville really did this is as a gimmick. Tebow should not make the 53-man roster and should not be playing on Sundays. This pickup is honestly a bit insulting to some of the top free agents still remaining in the league. If Tebow somehow works out in Jacksonville, it would be a miracle, but instantly fix this team’s tight end core. It will be cool to see a former star get some action in the preseason but the overall signing is just flabbergasting.
Follow Kamran Nia on Twitter @kamran_nia
Main Image Credit:
Embed from Getty Images