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With the Red Sox leading the American League and the Bruins about to enter the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in three years, the beginning of Patriots minicamp was on the backburner of Boston’s hot stove of sports stories. That all changed on Monday evening when it was reported that Tim Tebow had signed with the Patriots and is expected to be at camp on Tuesday.
Although it’s not immediately clear what position Tebow will play – ESPN’s Ed Werder said on SportsCenter, “I have confirmed that the Patriots signed him with the intent of playing quarterback,” while CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman reported Tebow will “study a great deal at tight end” – his signing automatically creates a level of distraction that seems out of touch with the Patriots usual no-nonsense approach. Still, if any organization can put a stop to the circus that Tebow usually creates, it’s probably New England.
As details about the story continue to emerge, here are a few things to consider:
– Josh McDaniels drafted Tebow with the 25th pick of the first round of the 2010 draft. He clearly saw something in Tebow that no one else saw at the time and no one else has seen since. McDaniels was believed to be behind last year’s signing of Bradon Lloyd and he clearly has a lot of say in the organization. Based on Lloyd’s mediocre level of success with the team, it remains to be seen whether McDaniels’ influence is a good thing.
– If Bill Belichick is somehow able to get anything out of Tebow at quarterback, tight end or any other position, he’ll be hailed as the mad genius who was able to tap into Tebow’s talents when no one else could. If the whole thing ends up blowing up in his face and Tebow continues to be a bust, Belichick;s reputation remains intact. Much like when the team brought in Chad Johnson, it’s a no-lose situation if things don’t work out.
– Even with Tebow in town, there will be no quarterback controversy in New England. When Tebow was with the putrid New York Jets last season, he was playing behind butt-fumbler extraordinaire Mark Sanchez. If Tebow ends up making the team, the quarterback ahead of him on the depth chart will be Tom Brady. Even the most diehard Tebow backer (and there are plenty) couldn’t expect him to play instead of one of, if not the, best quarterbacks of all time.
– Related to that point, Tebow last played for the Jets and head coach Rex Ryan. Although the rivalry between the two teams has cooled somewhat because the Jets have been so terrible, Ryan’s team did knock the Patriots out of the playoffs two years ago and they weren’t exactly humble about it. If you don’t think Belichick would love to be able to succeed where Ryan failed, you’re underestimating his competitive nature (and his ego).
– Last week Belichick went out of his way to clear up media reports that he hated Tebow as a player. “I wouldn’t get into the probability of us pursuing any free agent. Every single player has strengths and weaknesses but regardless of that, for anyone to have represented that is the way I feel about Tim Tebow is completely untrue, baseless and irresponsible,” Belichick told ESPNBoston.com. “It is unfortunate that something so inaccurate was reported.” Belichick hasn’t made his disdain for dealing with the media a secret, so is it possible that he brought in Tebow just to prove the report wrong? Probably not, but you never know. This is the same guy that benched Wes Welker for foot jokes.