Whatcha gonna do, when Tebowmania comes to Foxboro…
I’ll be damned. We are two days away from the Stanley Cup Final between the Bruins and Blackhawks, and somehow at 5pm this afternoon, something happened that pushed that story off the front page in New England.
Tim Tebow has signed a contract with the New England Patriots.
Yup, the man who was once the most decorated college quarterback in the game, who won a playoff game as starter for the Broncos, and who somehow ended up as the punt protector and “special package” quarterback for the circus that was the 2012 New York Jets, is now the backup to Tom Brady. You can’t make this up.
My initial reaction was shock and horror. While a good athlete, Tebow needs an entire offense built around him to be successful. He has a mild case of dyslexia, which does not go well with New England’s offense built around a word system that involves play calls like “Apple Mustang Purple Jaguar”. He also refuses to play anything but quarterback, and when Tom Brady is on your team, you won’t be playing quarterback any time soon. And that’s before we even get into the media circus. ESPN would soon be descending upon Foxboro for 24/7 Tebow coverage, keeping us up to date on what color Skittles he’s eating or when he’s using the bathroom. Maybe I’m not doing the situation any favors by writing 600 words on the story.
However, we have a saying around here, “In Bill We Trust”. It’s a borderline cult-like mantra used whenever the Patriots do something out of the ordinary. Bill Belichick knows what he’s doing. I do not think Belichick, notoriously short and evasive with the media, would make such a move if he thought it would at all resemble what happened in New York last year. I also trust that, barring injury, Tim Tebow will not take a single snap at quarterback.
Once we get past that, why sign Tim Tebow? Is it a warm body for camp, someone who will work hard, play at multiple positions, be a good locker room guy and show some leadership? Those guys don’t make much money, and they’re no lock to make the final 53-man roster. No problem there. Multiple sources say he will not be looked at as a Tight End, despite injury concerns for Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. The Patriots have an entire rolodex of Tight Ends anyway. It also doesn’t have anything to do with local media comments about how Belichick “hates” Tebow as a football player.
In the end, this is a roster move made in the 2nd week of June when there are 90 roster spots available. I doubt Tebow is being paid significant money, and this is a team that paid millions to guys like Joseph Addai and Jonathan Fanene for zero contribution in the 2012 offseason. If this is the worst mistake the Patriots make this off season, it won’t be a drop in the bucket money wise. Every one of those 53-man spots counts in September, and the Patriots have no problem going with Mallett as Brady’s only backup; Tebow will have to display some utility to make the roster.
This story is only as big as the fans and media make it. I’m really not a fan of Tebow having any association with the team, and the fact that this now becomes a storyline for this team when it didn’t have to be. New England did make model citizens out of Albert Haynesworth, Chad Johnson and Randy Moss; I think they will be able to contain Tebowmania. From a practical standpoint, do not adjust your over/under bets or fantasy prospects. I don’t think Tebow throws a pass, much less catches one. Just expect to hear a lot of “Reporting live from Foxboro…” on ESPN.