Tim Tebow hasn’t played in an NFL regular season game since 2012, and hasn’t seen the field in even a preseason game since 2015.
Yet the prodigal son is expected to make an NFL return after all.
Tebow is expected to sign a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars and attempt to make Urban Meyer’s first NFL roster as a tight end, according to a report from NFL Network writers Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.
The #Jaguars are planning to sign QB-turned-TE Tim Tebow to a 1-year deal, per me and @TomPelissero, a deal that could be official in the next week or so. Nothing done yet. But he’ll have a chance to make the team to reunite with his mentor and college head coach Urban Meyer.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 10, 2021
This news comes on the heels of news breaking just prior to the NFL Draft that Tebow had worked out for the Jaguars as a tight end, finally moving to a position where many had speculated he could have prolonged his professional football career after failing to stick as a quarterback, and is sure to be one of the NFL’s most-followed and most-debated stories of the offseason.
And while Tebow will be attempting something that seems so facially unfathomable as to be farcical — returning to the NFL as an active player after nine years of not making a roster, the majority of which were spent splitting time between a successful and lucrative broadcasting career with ABC and ESPN and a quixotic pursuit of a professional baseball career in the New York Mets organization that fizzled when he was elevated beyond the Double-A level — he is also still a figure who draws such rapturous support that he will be granted the benefit of the doubt in even this quest to become, at 34, an NFL player at a position he has never played.
It will, of course, be as hard to argue that Tebow has earned this opportunity for reasons beyond his fame and connection to Meyer, whom he authored one of the greatest careers in college football history under at Florida.
Expect a lot of hoary clichés about Tebow’s legendary work ethic or his capacity to inspire teammates; do not, though, expect that those arguments will be answerable with the facts that, despite occasional fireworks, Tebow was fairly forgettable as a baseball player, ultimately having his final two full seasons curtailed by injuries.
But that is the strange but true fact of being Tim Tebow: His athletic exploits and profound Christian faith have in turn inspired profound belief in him, the sort that defies facts.
Should the Jaguars follow through on signing him, what Tebow will be attempting this summer and fall will be a task so preposterous that almost any other human attempting it would hear nothing but laughter from the public.
Instead, Tebow is going to hear cheers.