Tim Tebow

AFC Notes: Tebow, Dolphins, Broncos, Jets

A Tim Tebow to the Jaguars deal is starting to look more and more likely. The news of Tebow trying to come out of retirement as a tight end came completely out of left field, but Jacksonville is seemingly taking it quite seriously. Head coach Urban Meyer acknowledged at the time that the team would explore signing Tebow in the near future, and now ownership is endorsing the prospect. “Tim has definitely come in and worked out,Tony Khan, son of Jags owner Shad Khan, told BleacherReport.com, via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com. “So beyond that, I can’t say too much, but Tim has come in and worked out as a tight end. That’s not a position that we’ve seen him play, but it’s a position that he’s been practicing at with us.”

“Urban really believes he can help us, and I think it makes a lot of sense. And it’s a position where we need to get better.” That last sentence is the money quote that makes it sound like the Jaguars signing Tebow is a matter of when, not if. Obviously Tebow played for Meyer at Florida, and if the new head coach and shot caller wants him back as a reserve tight end, the front office isn’t going to stand in the way. Jacksonville is thin at the position right now, and crazier things have happened. Assuming he gets signed, it’ll be entertaining if nothing else.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • Some teams, like the Packers, have announced their initial phase of offseason workouts would remain virtual and that players with workout bonuses could receive them by logging their attendance at the virtual sessions. The Dolphins won’t be one of those teams. Miami will only be giving players with workout bonuses their money if they are in the building later this month, a source told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. That doesn’t mean it’s a coaching decision, as Jackson writes that one agent told him Dolphins head coach Brian Flores “has been respectful of the players’ position on the NFLPA issue and hasn’t tried to pressure them.” The NFLPA, of course, is pushing teams to proceed with entirely virtual offseason voluntary workouts. Jackson notes that there are “nearly a dozen” Dolphins players with workout bonuses who will now face a dilemma. The Dolphins were one of the many teams whose players issued a statement through the NFLPA to “stand in solidarity” with players skipping the workouts. Receivers DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson, and Jakeem Grant have workout bonuses of $100K, $75K, and $50K respectively on the line.
  • The Broncos recently drafted Ohio State linebacker Jonathon Cooper in the seventh-round, who played in college with a heart condition. Now, Cooper is having a procedure to correct the issue, Mike Klis of Denver 9 News writes. While it’s hard to read ‘heart procedure’ and not get a little alarmed, thankfully Klis writes that it’s a “minimally invasive” operation that will only sidelined him for a few weeks. Cooper won’t be able to participate in the team’s rookie minicamp, which is a tough blow for any seventh-rounder, but he is “expected to be ready for the start of training camp, if not sooner.” Here’s to hoping everything goes smoothly with the ablation procedure.
  • Speaking of offseason surgeries, the Jets’ Quinnen Williams just had one too. The third overall pick of the 2019 draft had surgery for a broken bone in his foot on Thursday, according to Joey Chandler of NJ.com. Fortunately, new Jets coach Robert Saleh said he believes Williams will be back for training camp. “It could have been worse, because those types of injuries are injuries that it is just something that eventually was going to happen so for it to happen now so they can get him fixed and be ready for training camp rather than it happening in training camp and now he’s missing half the season,” Saleh said optimistically. Williams made major strides last season, and showed flashes of the dominant player the Jets hoped they were getting in 2019. Hopefully this injury doesn’t stall any of that progress.

Jaguars Work Out Tim Tebow

May 2: The Jaguars’ TE depth chart is very thin. The club just drafted Luke Farrell in the fifth round, but he is viewed as more of a blocking-first type of player. As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, Meyer conceded that he is concerned about the state of the position.

“There’s some great quality, quantity wasn’t there in the draft this year, and that’s a concern right now,” he said. “That’s a concern right now. . . . We just didn’t hit that today.”

That might be good news for Tebow. Meyer said he did not stay for the entirety of Tebow’s recent workout, but he did say that the team will explore the possibility of signing Tebow in the near future.

Apr. 29: Off the NFL radar for years, Tim Tebow has resurfaced with his former college coach. The Jaguars worked out the former quarterback recently, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Tebow, however, worked out as a tight end, according to Rapoport. Inaccurate as a passer, Tebow resisted previous overtures to move to another position. Having ended his baseball run earlier this year, the 33-year-old TV analyst appears to have changed his mind on playing tight end. The former Broncos first-round pick requested to work out at the position, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter).

This does not appear to be a case of Urban Meyer offering a courtesy workout to his former Heisman-winning Florida Gators superstar; the sides have discussed a deal, Rapoport adds. This would certainly be a major development, despite Tebow’s lengthy NFL absence. Tebow worked as a three-year starter for Meyer at Florida and played a key role as a freshman. The pair won two national championships together.

It is worth wondering how viable Tebow’s path back to the league is. He has not played a regular-season game since 2012, when he worked as a Jets backup. The popular southpaw passer caught on with the Patriots and Eagles in subsequent offseasons but could not land game-day gigs with either. Tebow spent the past few years in the New York Mets’ farm system. The quarterback-turned-outfielder showed considerable progress, considering he had not played baseball competitively since high school, and logged nearly 300 Triple-A at-bats in 2019. He fell just short of the majors. For what it’s worth, the Mets listed the 6-foot-3 Tebow at a tight end-capable 245 pounds.

The Jags have needed help at tight end for a while now. While Tebow would be a flier at best, it is not like the team is set at this position. Jacksonville should be expected to add a tight end at least by the middle rounds this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Suh, OT, Tebow, XFL

As could be expected based on his stature in the league throughout the 2010s, Ndamukong Suh has placed a high value on his services. The defensive tackle still resides in free agency largely because of his asking price, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. Because he entered the NFL under the previous CBA, which awarded first-round picks far more lucrative contracts, Suh has never played for less than $10MM in a season. He signed a one-year, $14MM deal with the Rams. After Suh’s strong playoff performance helped the Rams to Super Bowl LIII, the team is nevertheless not expected to bring him back. Suh has not been connected closely to any team this offseason, but the Titans have emerged as a possible suitor. As of 3pm Tuesday, teams can sign free agents without the transactions being tied to 2020 compensatory picks. That will accelerate the action.

Here is the latest from the American professional football landscape:

  • The NFL may be moving closer to a system that would allow both teams to have a possession in overtime. The Chiefs’ March proposal to guarantee both teams an OT possession has gained support among owners, Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones said (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk). “I certainly watched every play of that Kansas City-New England game, and you kind of would have liked to have seen what would have happened if Kansas City got another shot at it, and then how the thing would have ended up,” Jones said. “It’s certainly something that had some traction there in the room, and certainly saw some people who were very interested in it.” Although this may come to pass, both Jones and Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said the rule tweak likely would only apply to playoff games — when the overtime clock does not factor into the game. The owners will discuss this further at their latest round of meetings — set for May 20-22 in Florida.
  • Despite the Alliance of American Football being the latest football league to fail, the XFL is barreling forward. XFL 2.0 has reached agreements with multiple networks to have each of its games aired each week. The league will begin play Feb. 8, 2020 — six days after a Super Bowl, as the AAF did this year — have 10 regular-season games and two playoff rounds. Its championship matchup is set for April 26. ABC, Fox and ESPN will televise XFL games — two apiece on Saturdays and Sundays. While this is a similar schedule to the AAF’s, the the 2019 league’s games appeared mostly on TNT and the NFL Network. It’s safe to say the XFL stands to have a greater reach, given its TV partnerships. Here is the full schedule.
  • The XFL reached out to Tim Tebow about reconsidering his stance regarding a football return. Commissioner Oliver Luck said (via SI.com’s Dan Greene) he ran into the former Broncos starter at the NCAA national championship game in January but that Tebow reaffirmed his stance to continue with baseball. He turned down the AAF this year as well. The 31-year-old quarterback-turned-outfielder, though, has struggled in 2019 after showing previous promise in the Mets farm system. After slashing .273/.336/.399 with six home runs in Double-A last season, Tebow has not adjusted to Triple-A pitching. He is hitting .130 in 77 at-bats this season.

This Date In Transactions History: Tim Tebow Joins The Eagles

Four years ago today, quarterback Tim Tebow signed his last NFL contract. On April 20th, 2015, the two-time BCS national champion inked a one-year deal with the Eagles.

With Tebow seemingly settling for a backup gig in Philly, it emphasized how far the former first-rounder had fallen in only a few years’ time. In 2011, Tebow appeared in 14 games (11 starts) for the Broncos, completing 126 of his 271 pass attempts (46.5% completion percentage) for 1,729 yards, 12 touchdowns, and six picks. He also added 660 rushing yards and six scores on 122 carries. The Florida product also appeared in two playoff games that season, including a dramatic overtime win over the Steelers.

However, after Denver inked Peyton Manning to a contract prior to the 2012 season, Tebow was traded to the Jets. The quarterback ended up making 12 appearances (two starts) for New York that year. While he only attempted eight pass attempts, he did compile 102 rushing yards on 32 carries. His season ended prematurely after he suffered two broken ribs.

Tebow was released by the Jets following that season, and he caught on with the Patriots during the 2013 preseason. Ultimately, New England let him go prior to the regular season, and Tebow transitioned to a broadcasting gig. However, on this date four years ago, he still managed to receive his final NFL opportunity.

When the Eagles signed Tebow, they were hoping he’d compete with Matt Barkley to be the team’s third-string signal-caller behind Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez. Tebow ended up getting action in all four of Philly’s preseason games, completing 21 of his 36 attempts for 286 yards, two scores, and one pick. He also added another 82 rushing yards. However, after nearly two years away from football, Tebow was clearly a step behind the other signal-callers on the Eagles’ depth chart, and the team released him prior to the regular season.

Since that time, Tebow has taken his athletic prowess to baseball, where he’s been playing in the New York Mets’ farm system. Had the quarterback been able to establish a role on that Eagles team, perhaps the 31-year-old would still be pursuing his NFL dreams instead of lingering in the minor leagues.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AAF Reached Out To Kaepernick, Tebow

The Alliance of American Football targeted two popular former NFL quarterbacks. But neither has agreed to join the upstart league.

Both Colin Kaepernick and Tim Tebow were on the new league’s radar, AAF co-founder Bill Polian said (via The Athletic’s Lindsay Jones, on Twitter).

AAF CEO Charlie Ebersol spoke with Kaepernick about the ex-49ers quarterback’s interest of playing in the league, Polian said. It’s unclear how far these discussions progressed, but the 31-year-old passer is obviously not on an AAF roster.

Kaepernick may have wanted an unrealistic contract to join the league, with the Associated Press’ Barry Wilner reporting the former Super Bowl starter sought at least $20MM to play in the eight-team, 10-game league. At least one of the conversations between the AAF and Kaepernick occurred during the league’s developmental stages, Wilner adds.

AAF players do not earn million-dollar salaries; the startup league’s standard deal is three years, $250K. A payment in the $20MM stratosphere would have been obviously untenable for the new league.

Polian spoke with Tebow, who is currently in the New York Mets’ minor league system, but the former Heisman Trophy winner declined to join the league. Orlando Apollos coach Steve Spurrier also gauged Tebow’s interest in joining the AAF.

The AAF began its first season last weekend. Embroiled in a high-profile grievance against the NFL, Kaepernick has not played organized football since the 2016 season. Tebow has not taken any regular-season snaps since 2012.

Mentioned in most cases when lesser quarterbacks have been signed by NFL teams over the past two years, Kaepernick did land on the Redskins’ radar before the team instead signed Mark Sanchez and Josh Johnson. The latter was, at the time, affiliated with the AAF.

Kaepernick’s camp has rebuffed NFL settlement attempts regarding his grievance against the league. A trial could begin this month. Tebow, also 31, made his way to the Mets’ Double-A team last season. He hit .273/.336/.399 in 271 at-bats, lacing 21 extra-base hits. The Mets invited their most popular minor leaguer to spring training.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Mack, Donald, AAF, Spurrier, Tebow

Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack are two of the best defensive players in the league. They are also both heading into the final year of their contracts. They’re both angling for new deals and they’ve both threatened to holdout at various times to get those new deals. But, as Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com points out, there is a key difference in the two All-Pro’s situations.

Donald held out of training camp last year while Mack didn’t. Donald showed up just before the start of the regular season and ended up missing the first game before returning to form and easily winning the league’s defensive player of the year award. Since Donald missed all of training camp last year, due to an NFL rule, if he were to miss it again this year he wouldn’t be eligible to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Instead he would become a restricted free agent and the Rams would be able to match any offer Donald were to receive on the open market. As such, it appears Mack has much more leverage in his contract negotiations as Donald will be more or less forced to show up for training camp whether a deal gets done or not.

Here’s more from the football universe:

  • The upstart new football league the Alliance of American Football continues to make waves as they ramp up operations. The team recently announced San Antonio as the final city for their inaugural season, and St. Louis was apparently hoping to get the spot, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. St. Louis was apparently passed over due to issues with the proposed stadium for the team.
  • In more AAF news, legendary coach Steve Spurrier, who will be coaching the Orlando AAF team, is recruiting Tim Tebow to be his team’s quarterback. Spurrier reached out to Tebow privately, according to Florio, but Tebow plans on continuing to play baseball for now.
  • In case you missed it, Eli Manning recently spoke about issues like retirement, Odell Bekcham Jr., and the Giants’ 2018 season.

Dolphins Considered Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow

A common theme appears to have developed in Miami this week in the Dolphins’ search for quarterback help after Ryan Tannehill‘s injury: familiarity with coach Adam Gase.

As a result, some interesting names were considered. Although it’s not certain how seriously these considerations were, Armando Salguero reports (on Twitter) at some point in the process this week former Gase Broncos charges Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow were discussed.

Salguero also confirms the Dolphins’ previously reported interest in Colin Kaepernick, adding more names were likely bandied about during this emergency process (Twitter link). He also notes (via Twitter) some of the names were discarded quickly.

While the Dolphins landed their preferred target in convincing Jay Cutler to come out of retirement, their range of candidates is obviously notable. Set to turn 30 next week, Tebow has not played a down of regular-season football since 2012 and is currently in the New York Mets’ farm system. A historically inaccurate passer, Tebow did lead the Broncos to seven wins in 2011 and a dramatic playoff triumph. Gase was coaching Denver’s quarterbacks at the time, but OC Mike McCoy adjusted the scheme dramatically to fit Tebow’s unique skill set.

Orton, 34, played in a more comparable system to what Gase used with Cutler in Chicago and with the Dolphins in 2016. The passer opened three straight seasons as the Broncos’ starter before Tebow replaced him midway through ’11, and Denver primarily used a three-wide shotgun set for the less mobile signal-caller. Orton, however, retired after the 2014 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Tim Tebow, Mets GM On Minor League Signing

When Tim Tebow was last in the New York market, he was under center for the New York Jets. While the former University of Florida standout sold a whole bunch of No. 15 jerseys, he didn’t make a lot of plays for Gang Green and 2012 wound up being the last time Tebow was on an NFL regular season roster. After trying his luck with the Patriots and Eagles, Tebow turned his attention to broadcasting. After years of putting his charm, looks, and celebrity status to use on television, he is returning to professional sports in New York. This time, he’s trying to make it with the Mets organization as an outfielderTim Tebow (vertical)

Tebow, 29, has not played baseball full time in more than a decade. In his recent audition for major league clubs, he reportedly struggled to hit off-speed pitches from former big-leaguers David Aardsma and Chad Smith. One scout told ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick that Tebow showed a below-average 40 grade arm on the 20-80 scouts scale – a reminder of why Tebow was never able to make it as a quarterback on the professional level. Even though he showed “undeniable hitting ability” in the view of Crasnick, one has to wonder how far Tebow can get given his age, rust, and athletic limitations.

Count Mets GM Sandy Alderson among those with faith in the polarizing athlete. Alderson told reporters on a conference call today that Tebow is not being brought in as a ploy to sell merchandise. While he recognizes that Tebow faces an uphill battle in many respects, the GM says that the Mets could not pass on “a tremendous opportunity for us to associate with excellence.”

He has demonstrated through his personality a competitiveness that our players can see first hand,” said Alderson, who pointed to pitcher Seth Lugo and minor league standout T.J. Rivera as players who have come from obscurity to find success in the Mets organization. “I think any player evaluation starts with tools and from that standpoint, without grading everything out, suffice it to say that Tim has been a great athlete. He has demonstrated more than rudimentary baseball skills and we think with his commitment to success that this is an opportunity that we think is worthwhile. In terms of power, arm, foot speed, all of those things….we think he can be a baseball player. I think that is underscored by his competitiveness and his determination to succeed and improve.”

Alderson indicated that the Mets will be patient with Tebow as he refused to put a timeline on when the former Heisman Trophy winner could potentially reach the majors. The Mets will find out how ready Tebow is “over the next weeks, months, and possibly years,” though Alderson explained that he will be absent from his Instructional League commitments for “a few days each week” so that he can fulfill his TV obligations with the SEC Network.

So, why baseball and why now? Tebow explained that walking away from baseball was the “second hardest decision” he ever had to make and, in fact, he planned on making this switch more than a year ago.

[Then Eagles coach] Chip Kelly called in the middle of baseball training and, to me, that wasn’t just any opportunity. I figured Coach Kelly’s offense might fit me really well. But, we all know how that turned out,” said Tebow with a self-deprecating laugh. “After that, I started doing a little [baseball] training. Then, after the season, I really picked it up and now we’re here.”

Tebow explained that as he traveled the country doing speaking engagements over the last few years, the itch to play baseball would move him to call up a local team and take batting practice with them. For UFC fans, this may be reminiscent of pro wrestler-turned-real fighter C.M. Punk telling the world that he has trained for MMA with the occasional jiu-jitsu class and a “background” in Kenpo karate. But, in both cases, one can’t help but be impressed by the athlete’s positive attitude, competitive drive, and willingness to take a monumental risk in a brand new endeavor. Punk does not speak of winning the welterweight title from Tyron Woodley and Tebow isn’t telling the world that he is an All-Star in the making. For Tebow, this is about pursuing a dream – perhaps a little late in his athletic life – and making sure that he does not wake up one day as a 50-year-old baseball fan with enormous regret.

For me, I would consider success giving everything I have,” Tebow said. “That would be looking back on this journey and saying I did everything I could do to be the best I could be. I don’t necessarily view success as how many rings, championships, or promotions you get. I view it as whether I did everything I possibly could do to succeed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Mets Sign Tim Tebow

The Mets announced that they have signed Tim Tebow to a minor league contract. The former NFL QB will participate in the Mets Instructional League in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Tim Tebow (vertical)

Tebow, 29, ran a 6.70-second 60-yard-dash and belted some long home runs in practice when he auditioned for MLB scouts late last month. However, he struggled to hit off-speed pitches from former big-leaguers in batting practice. Also, one scout claimed that Tebow showed a below-average 40 grade arm on the 20-80 scouts scale – an especially poor showing for a former NFL quarterback. The Mets, of course, are signing Tebow in part because of what he can do for minor league ticket sales. But, on his end, Tebow says that he is dead serious about his pursuit of a career in baseball.

This isn’t about publicity,” Tebow said. “It’s definitely not about money. I took a pay cut to do this. For me, you pursue what you love regardless of what else happens. If you fail or fall flat on your face, and that’s the worst thing that can happen, it’s OK. When did pursuing what you love become such a bad thing? I’ll make all the sacrifices to be the best I can.”

The former first-round pick of the Broncos has not appeared in the NFL since 2012 when he was with the Jets. Since then, he has had training camp stints with the Patriots and Eagles, but he fell short each time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Braves Considering Signing Tim Tebow

By Charlie Wilmoth

The Braves have “definite interest” in quarterback-turned-outfielder Tim Tebow and are considering signing him to a minor league deal, ESPN’s Pedro Gomez reports. The Braves spoke to Tebow on a one-on-one basis after his workout Tuesday, along with four other teams.

Tim Tebow (vertical)The former Denver Bronco, New York Jet and Florida Gator stole headlines last month with the news that he was trying his hand at baseball and had been quietly working out with former MLB catcher Chad Moeller. Representatives from every big-league team except the Cubs and Athletics saw Tebow’s workout in Los Angeles on Tuesday. The 29-year-old’s baseball skills received mixed reviews — he won praise for his raw power, but one scout told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale that Tebow looked like “an actor trying to portray a baseball player.”

Whether or not the Braves sign Tebow, he would appear to be a project. He has, obviously, dedicated most of the past decade to playing football, and however impressive his power might be, there would likely be a significant learning period before he could hit for power against high-level pitching.

This post originally appeared on MLB Trade Rumors.