After raising some eyebrows by working him out, the Philadelphia Eagles continue to be the most interesting team to follow in this offseason, signing Tim Tebow, who hasn’t played for anyone over the last two seasons.
Tebow will begin the team’s offseason programs this week, signing a minimum salary contract. The Eagles and Tebow have been at work about the contract for the last month or so. The team first tried trading Matt Barkley away for something, but for now he’s staying put, and Tebow is joining a roster that includes Sam Bradford (which the Eagles reportedly are trying to trade as well) and Mark Sanchez, who Tebow was a backup of in 2012 with the Jets, but never got to start at quarterback for.
Tebow hasn’t started at quarterback since 2011, when he helped the Denver Broncos make the playoffs and even threw a game winning touchdown in overtime to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. The opportunity to sign Peyton Manning was too good to turn down, and John Elway traded Tebow to the New York Jets, where he mostly performed other duties.
Tebow did play some preseason football with the New England Patriots in 2013, but his numbers (completing 11 of 30 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions in three preseason games) and overall form, which has been fixed by quarterback coach Tom House, led them to release him before the beginning of the regular season.
Tebow, who has been working as an analyst for the SEC Network (basically ESPN), has been working nonstop over the last two years to fix his throwing mechanics which are the main reason the league pretty much seemed to forget about him, at least as a quarterback. He did have the option of switching positions; tight end or maybe an H-Back type of player, but Tebow wants just to be a quarterback.
Signing obviously doesn’t promise anything. He might be released sometime in the future before the season begins, and right now he’s probably third or fourth in the pecking order. But Chip Kelly seems to be taking a lot of risks this offseason and Tebow is another one of those, although the media won’t be looking for blood in the water this time, with no one actually expecting Tebow to do very well or actually play. Anything more than being released will be a pleasant surprise.