Belichick's Not A Tebowmaniac
The last time Tim Tebow played an NFL game as a true starting quarterback was against the Patriots in 2012. It was an AFC divisional round playoff game following the 2011 regular season. Tebow was just coming off an overtime win against the Steelers in Denver – probably his best game statistically of the year.
He threw for 316 yards and two touchdowns, including an 80-yard scoring strike to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime in Denver, propelling the Broncos through the wild card round.
But against the Patriots in the divisional round, Tebowmania came grinding to a screeching halt.
Tebow completed nine out of 26 pass attempts for 136 yards, carried the ball five times for 13 yards, and was sacked five times by the Patriots defense. Not a pretty performance.
We know Tebow’s story since then – the trade to the Jets, the lack of playing time and the media circus that ensued, and, most recently, his unceremonious release.
It was reported that Tebow cleared waivers Tuesday afternoon, which means no team in the NFL submitted a claim for him. Translation: there isn’t much Tebow interest in the league.
Speculation states that no team wants the frenzy of media attention that comes with the former Florida Gator quarterback. Not necessarily negative attention, but attention nonetheless.
So, for the first time in his career, Tim Tebow is a free agent.
Whether he will end up on another NFL team’s roster in the future is yet to be seen, and whether he will remain a quarterback is just as unclear.
Prior to his trade to the Jets, there was reportedly some interest from the Patriots for Tebow. Obviously he wouldn’t present much of a threat to Tom Brady for the starting gig, but Bill Belichick and his staff have been known to get creative with the playbook from time to time. Tebow could present the Patriots with a different offensive look on certain play packages.
If that was the case just a year ago, what’s stopping the Patriots from placing a claim now?
It certainly doesn’t help that Tebow seems unwilling to switch positions. And with Brady, Ryan Mallett and Mike Kafka serving as the backups, Tebow would without a doubt be fourth on the depth chart, even though he has reportedly been working with a throwing coach this offseason.
Conversely, there are teams in the NFL that could use another quarterback or two. But that doesn’t change the fact that no team submitted a claim.
For the Patriots, a utility role doesn’t seem likely for Tebow either. Why would a coach honestly pull Brady for Tebow in any situation, goal line included? Brady has one of the highest conversion rates in the NFL inside the red zone.
And with Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and the recently added LeGarrette Blount available for short-yardage situations, there is enough offensive diversity. Bringing in Tebow would just throw off the offensive flow, and also add unwanted media attention. Tebow would be a distraction Belichick would not care for, and he likely would not want to entertain the predictable line of questioning as to why Tebow is not playing.
Overall, Tebow comes with too much baggage for a team to want to take a chance on him. And there are certainly greater needs within the Patriots organization.