Patriots Make Smart, Low-Risk Move Signing Tim Tebow
Whether it’s for the publicity or versatility that Tim Tebow brings, the New England Patriots made a low-risk decision to sign him, and he should add value to the team.
Since Tebow attracts intense media coverage, many teams probably passed on signing him to avoid a circus like the Jets experienced last year. However, the Patriots won’t have this problem. A key difference is that New England has no chance of a starting quarterback controversy, something that couldn’t be said for the Jets or Broncos during Tebow’s tenure.
Perhaps there will be calls for Tebow to be more involved in other aspects of the offense, but Bill Belichick’s tightly-run ship has kept media distractions at bay in the past. When a situation does seem to be escalating, the Patriots have shown no qualms about cutting players e.g., Randy Moss. Tebow’s two-year contract contains no guaranteed money, and he’ll earn a league-minimum base salary both years with some incentives in 2014. So from a financial perspective, there is no risk, as they can easily cut ties with him or keep a cheap backup quarterback. Plus, Tebow ranked 13th in the NFL in jersey sales last year, even though he spent most of the season on the bench. With his dedicated fan base and the attention he’ll bring to the less-than-glamorous Patriots, the franchise should turn a nice profit off Tebow.
In terms of his role on the field, Tebow isn’t likely to sub in for Brady, especially since Brady is one of the best in the league at short-yardage conversions. However, Tebow could be a threat for fakes on special teams continuing his role on the Jets as a personal protector and perhaps as the holder on extra points. Although Tebow has yet to catch a pass in his career, Belichick might find ways to play Tebow at tight end or as an H-Back, creating dynamic packages that keep defenses guessing. At the very least, Tebow will be helpful in practice as a scout team quarterback imitating other mobile QBs.
Most likely, Tebow will have a limited role in New England, but he will add a wrinkle to their offense and increase the team’s popularity on a national scale. Under the tutelage of Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Tebow should develop into a more complete player and be a net positive for the Patriots, rather than the sideshow that he was with the Jets.