Tim Tebow better hope his latest attempt at earning a living as an NFL player goes better than his previous one. After all, anyone who watched him in any of his previous stops quickly realized he didn’t belong in the league as a quarterback.
Tim Tebow has switched career paths…again
Tebow spent four years of his life getting coached by Meyer. During that time, he established a reputation as a fierce leader who refused to back down from a challenge on the field. Unfortunately for the former Florida Gators star, he couldn’t replicate his success in college at the pro level.
Despite getting selected 25th overall by the Broncos in the 2010 NFL draft, Tebow only started 14 games for the AFC West franchise. In a cruel twist of fate, Denver traded him to to the New York Jets just a few months after he led the team to a thrilling overtime victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the opening round of the playoffs. Ultimately, Tebow’s accuracy issues (47.9% completion rate in 35 career games) and overall struggles as a passer forced him to find a new career path.
In 2016, he officially put football on the backburner for baseball. The Florida native signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets, which put Tebow right back in the spotlight. But after spending the last few years as a left fielder/designated hitter, he officially retired from the sport in February. Tebow decided to shift his focus back to football, albeit from a much different perspective. Thanks to his connection with Meyer, the 33-year-old received an opportunity to earn a roster spot with the Jaguars as a tight end.
Tebow’s contract shows Urban Meyer and the Jaguars have serious doubts about his future
Tebow’s decision to embrace a position switch could pay big dividends for everyone involved. Given his athletic tools and physical playing style, he seemingly has the tools to succeed as an NFL tight end. If he proves capable of handling the position, that would give the Jaguars another weapon to utilize on offense.
Then again, Tebow could flop on his face once the pads come on. After all, he turns 34 in August and hasn’t played in an NFL regular-season game since 2012. Counting on him to live up to expectations seems like a risky bet at this point. And no matter how much Meyer props up Tebow, his contract shows even Jacksonville has serious doubts about what lies ahead.
According to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport, the Jaguars signed Tebow to a one-year, $920,000 deal. However, his contract contains no guaranteed money and an injury split. Playing under a league-minimum contract with zero guaranteed dollars reflects his status as a complete unknown.
As Rapoport put it, “Not a surprise, but another sign that he’ll have to fight to make the team.”
Are brighter days ahead on offense in Jacksonville?
The Jaguars would love to look smart for signing Tebow. If he pans out, Meyer will silence critics who believe he made a mistake by giving his former player a shot at resurrecting his pro football career. Whether that happens remains a complete mystery.
As far as sure things go, Jacksonville should feel comfortable about the future of the most critical position on the field. Unlike Tebow, Trevor Lawrence possesses all the qualities teams look for in a franchise quarterback. Barring any injury setbacks, he should become one of the NFL’s biggest stars in no time.
Lawrence’s supporting cast boasts big-time potential. Fellow first-round rookie Travis Etienne looks poised to play a multi-faceted role in Meyer’s offense. James Robinson, who ran for 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns after making the team as an undrafted free agent, should provide a physical presence at running back. Plus, Jacksonville has an intriguing collection of receivers that includes Laviska Shenault Jr., D.J. Chark, and Marvin Jones.
Will everything come together right away?
But as long as it doesn’t take the same amount of time for Lawrence and his teammates to pick up Meyer’s system as it did for Tebow to realize he shouldn’t play quarterback, Jaguars fans should look forward to brighter days ahead.
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.