It looks like Tim Tebow has a new team. ESPN has reported the ex-New York Jets quarterback will be joining the New England Patriots for the 2013-2014 season, according to Bloomberg News.
Former Heisman Trophy winner Tebow is expected to be in New England’s mandatory minicamp tomorrow, ESPN reported, citing an unidentified person familiar with the negotiations. The 25-year-old played 12 games with the Jets last season and was released in April after the team drafted Geno Smith.
Patriots spokesman Stacey James did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The team announced today that it had released former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Mike Kafka.
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Jets coach Rex Ryan showed little faith in Tebow in his one season in New York. He attempted eight passes for six completions, 39 yards and no scores. He was the No. 2 quarterback to Mark Sanchez and was passed over for Greg McElroy when Sanchez was benched late in the season. After McElroy was injured, Ryan re-inserted Sanchez in the starting spot for the team’s final game rather than give Tebow a chance.
The Jets released Tebow on April 29. New York got Tebow in March 2012 in a trade with the Denver Broncos, whom he led to the second round of the playoffs in 2011.
The Jets said at the time of the trade that they planned to use Tebow in their wildcat offense, a package featuring runs and passes by the quarterback. Instead, he spent most of the season on the sideline holding a clipboard.
Denver sent Tebow and a seventh-round draft pick to New York in exchange for fourth- and sixth-round selections. The moves ended up costing the Jets $4 million, including $1.5 million in salary and $2.5 million they paid Denver to complete the trade, according to ESPN.
Tebow, voted America’s favorite active pro athlete in an ESPN fan-based poll after rushing for 660 yards in 2011 for Denver, spawned a fad known as ‘Tebowing’ based on his kneel-and-pray pose after victories and has been outspoken in professing his Christian beliefs.
Denver traded Tebow, who won the Heisman Trophy as college football’s top player while at the University of Florida, one day after signing four-time NFL Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning.
Tebow won two national championships at Florida and entered the NFL as a running quarterback with questionable passing skills. He went 7-4 as a regular-season starter in Denver, helping the team make the 2011 playoffs after it opened the season 1-4. Tebow guided the Broncos to five fourth-quarter comeback wins even though he only had a 46.5 completion percentage, the worst among NFL starting quarterbacks.
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