Tim Tebow holding pattern continues for Jaguars

USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars continue to be in a holding pattern when it comes to free-agent tight end Tim Tebow.

Over the weekend, coach Urban Meyer said that he and his staff would convene on Sunday to discuss Tebow. Meyer previously has dropped strong hints that Tebow eventually and inevitably will get a spot on the 90-man roster.

So what’s the holdup? It could be that Meyer is having a hard time building the desired consensus in the building. It could be that Meyer realizes (thanks to the Chris Doyle misadventures) that an NFL coach doesn’t have the same degree of autonomy that a college coach has. It could be something as simple as the Jaguars wanting to first trade quarterback Gardner Minshew, so that Tebow can be given No. 15 — and so that thousands of Tebow No. 15 jerseys can then be sold.

Through it all, there continue to be two camps when it comes to Tim Tebow. One camp shrugs at giving Tebow a job that justifiably could go to someone else. One camp touts Tebow’s leadership, work ethic, and drive. One camp thinks the other camp is blinded by the fact that it simply doesn’t like Tebow.

The other camp contends that a football roster represents a zero-sum game, and that by giving Tebow one of 90 positions, someone else more deserving of that opportunity won’t get it. The other camp wonders why, if Tebow’s attributes are so desirable to an NFL roster, the Jaguars have become the only team remotely interested in offering him a roster spot, in years. The other camp thinks the first camp is blinded by the fact that it simply likes Tebow too much.

As it relates to Tebow becoming a tight end, consider these quotes from a former Jets quarterback who witnessed as Tebow tried to make the transformation to a new position before his NFL career flamed out for the first time.

“Everyone’s saying ‘Oh, he’s finally doing what he should’ve done 10 years ago by switching to tight end,” Greg McElroy said last week on SiriusXM ESPNU Radio, via Mark Heim of AL.com. “Y’all, we were with him on the Jets. They tried to switch him to tight end, he wasn’t good. That’s what people don’t acknowledge. Oh, they’ll just use him as a Taysom Hill player. Tim ran a 4.8, Taysom Hill runs a 4.4. I mean, they’re just two totally different players. Tim is a good dude and I hope the best for him, but it’s a sideshow. That’s what it will become training camp time. I think it kind of undercuts, undermines a little bit of what Urban Meyer is trying to build. I’m not saying . . . maybe he makes the team, maybe he doesn’t but it’s going to take away from the task at hand, which is trying to put together the most competitive roster in camp.”

Despite the rampant turnover on the Jacksonville roster, the new Jaguars players may not warm up to the idea that Tebow is getting a job only because the head coach really likes him.

“As a player that went through training camp with Tim, there’s going to be players rolling their eyes at how much attention the fourth or fifth string tight end gets,” McElroy said. “It’s going to piss people off. As a result, it’s going to affect locker room chemistry, like it did with us with the Jets. Not because there’s animosity towards Tim, but there’s animosity toward the coverage Tim receives. I think it’s a stupid move.”

It’s easy to say, “Well, it’s just a spot on the 90-man roster.” Again, that’s a roster spot that could go to someone else. And while the NFL routinely takes chances with, for example, former basketball players and others who may seem unconventional, there’s an endgame in those experiments premised on potentially developing a very good pro football player. With Tebow, we’ve known for years what he is, what he isn’t, and what he never will be.

Also, Meyer likely won’t hire Tebow to simply fire him later. If Tebow joins the team, I predict he’ll at worst be on the practice squad and be called up on game days, thanks to the rule that allows two guys to be elevated each and every week. And if between now and September it just doesn’t work out, Meyer won’t unceremoniously dump Tebow. Tebow will retire (again) with his head held high.

He never will be a good tight end, and at age 34 (as of August 14) it’s ridiculously too late to try to uncover some hidden tight-end skills and abilities. For proof, look at his one snap as a tight end, from nine years ago. While the pigskin careening off the receiver’s helmet may count as a catch in electric football, that one play confirms that Tebow isn’t some diamond in the rough but a rough prospect whose name continues generate enough revenue to purchase a whole lot of diamonds.

7 responses to “Tim Tebow holding pattern continues for Jaguars

  1. I don’t buy the argument of Tebow taking a roster spot from someone more deserving so long as other players get 5th and 6th chances for drug and other offenses.

  2. You know what would be masterful….taking away as much pressure/spotlight from the number one pick/savior of the franchise by dangling something shiny (aka Tebow) in front of you and the rest of the media. Urban knows how to play the mind game.

  3. Everyone is talking about Jacksonville. They haven’t had this much attention in a long time. Maybe never. They have a big time new coach. They drafted one of the top QB prospects ever. There’s a ton of excitement. Urban Meyer understands everything he’d doing very well. Make no mistake, this is Urban’s team. Urban took this job for only one reason. To win the super bowl. College and pro are so much different, it’s almost like two different sports. The NFL is a QB league. If the Jets would have had the #1 pick, Urban would be their new coach. Urban isn’t stupid. He knows how good Trevor Lawrence is He might be the best QB ever. Urban could be bringing in Tebow just to take all the attention away from Trevor Lawrence. It’s a genius move. Great coaches have often said they don’t need the best 53 men. They need the right 53 men. How many players could come in and take attention away from Trevor Lawrence, and just let him relax and learn? Don’t be quick to question things until you know why. There are lots of opinions, but Urban Meyer knows what he’s doing. Do you think Urban missed what happened on the other side of the state last season? It’s all about the QB. Bringing in Tebow is all about their QB. I guarantee it.

  4. “What he never will be?” Are you saying Tebow was never gonna be a QB? Let’s look at the facts:
    —-82.1 rating in Josh McDaniels’ offense in 3 starts in 2010, without Josh McDaniels.
    —-No offseason reps for ‘11 because of the lockout, then John Fox, Mike McCoy, and Adam Gase unceremoniously dump him to third string (behind proven winners Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn) because he wasn’t their draft pick.
    —-after being the second worst team in the league the year before, Denver gets off to a 1-4 start. The crowd wants Tebow…what’s to lose?
    —-the brain trust of Fox (who was too conservative with PEYTON MANNING), and the now-ostracized McCoy & Gase never, ever let Tebow get into a rhythm in a game…except when it’s time to win a game, in which Tebow puts up the best passer rating in the league in the 4th Q
    —-Tebow doesn’t have Demariyus Thomas for some of the year, and when he gets back (barely knowing how to play receiver because of Georgia Tech), he’s gimpy as hell. Their only other weapons are Eddie Royal, Eric Decker, and a banged up Willis McGahee
    —-Denver gets to the playoffs, and faces the #1 passing defense. Eric Decker immediately goes out, but Elway instructed his coaches to finally let him throw. He posts 316 yards on a 120+ passer rating.
    —-they then go to NE, and in Tim Tebow’s 16th start ever, Denver kinda plays it safe again, and of course Bill Belichick destroys everybody. Who else did Bill destroy in the playoffs? The “great” Andrew Luck, who in 2 PO starts again at New England threw for 43% with 2 TDs and 6 INTS. In fact Tebow’s playoff rating is 90 and Luck’s is 73.
    —-so Denver signs Manning. He does his usual stat god thing before melting down in the playoffs. He then statistically plays worse than Tebow but wins a Super Bowl. Btw, Tebow’s defense ranked 24 his playoff year.
    —-because the Jets flirted with Manning, they gave Sanchez a new 40 million contract. They’d spent the 5th pick on him, and Rex Ryan had his number tattooed on his person. Tebow never started a game & Ryan, Tannenbaum, and then Idzik were fired.
    —-Tebow then goes to New England and doesn’t play that badly. However, he’s the most popular athlete in America, and Brady couldn’t handle Jimmy G being behind him.
    —-then he signs with Philadelphia. He puts up a 90 rating in the preseason, but is cut. Chip Kelly is fired. Meanwhile, Denver, New York, New England, and Philadelphia are are still looking for a stable starter.
    —- Tebow works on his throwing in an exhaustive summer with Tom House at USC. Dilfer runs a big report on it at ESPN. But no amount of work on his craft and onfield winning gets Tebow a job, because the league thinks Matthew Stafford and Kirk Cousins will somehow get you to the promised land.

    Oh, and…he can’t play TE because of one play and no practice? How does that make any sense?

  5. It’s a 90 man roster. Approximately 30 of those guys will lose their jobs before the season starts. There’s no harm in giving anyone a shot with those extra spots: Tebow, Kaep, whatever. There’s no harm.

  6. If Tebow can play, he’ll make the roster. If he can’t everyone will see that he can’t and he’ll be cut. What a novel idea that already applies to every player in the league. I will say that I love all the media attention the Jags are getting over this.

  7. I have never heard Urban Meyer say Tim Tebow will be on the Jaguars’ roster. I’ve heard a lot of media speculation, and lots of trying to read between the lines, but Meyer hasn’t committed to that. If Meyer feels like Trevor Lawrence would benefit from less media hype, and he signed Tebow to attract all the media attention, that would be a genius move.

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