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Tim Tebow: Tight End or Distraction?

Tim Tebow is trying to make an NFL comeback as a tight end. Does he stand a chance, or is this a futile effort from the former quarterback?
Tim Tebow Tight End

Quarterback/ tight end Tim Tebow is a lightning rod. Most people either love or hate him. So it’s no surprise that the possibility of him joining the Jacksonville Jaguars is heated topic. He wouldn’t join as a quarterback, of course – those days are over. However, it’s pretty common knowledge by now that Tebow tried out for the team as a tight end recently. In fact, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter broke the the news of his tryout just hours before the 2021 NFL Draft. This news was a shock for sure. Nothing would overshadow that number one overall pick later that night, though. The Jaguars selected Trevor Lawrence as their next quarterback that night. Lawrence is believed by many to be a generational talent at quarterback and he will be QB No. 1 regardless of if Tebow is signed to a deal with the team.

But would Tebow be worth it at tight end? Would signing Tebow just be a publicity stunt to sell tickets? Does his former coach Urban Meyer just want to play favorites with the former Heisman trophy winner? Can he still play at 33? These are all valid questions, but some come loaded with emotions due to his lightning rod status. Let’s explore some of these questions and try to answer whether the former Gator would make sense at tight end or if he’d be a distraction.

Can the Tim Tebow Tight End Experiment Actually Work?

Is He Worth It?

First, let’s discuss whether Tebow would be worth it at tight end. To be fair, he’s never played tight end in the NFL or in college. His ability to play the position is a mystery. Tebow is also 33 years old currently, and he’ll be 34 years old at the start of the season. His age only adds to those who would doubt the sanity of this potential signing. He’s not 25 anymore. Can an aging athlete play at a high level in a position he’s never played before and thrive? Or at the very least, can he be serviceable? Right now, only Jacksonville’s coaching staff knows the answer to those questions.

To be fair, the Jaguars definitely have a need at the tight end position. Despite their offseason transactions, the team has done nothing to address the position from a pass-catching perspective. The team signed Chris Manhertz in free agency and Luke Farrell in the draft. Manhertz has never recorded more than six receptions in a season and only has one touchdown since entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2014. Farrell isn’t much different. He recorded 20 receptions for 205 yards and one score in his best collegiate season.

It’s obvious that the team has a need for a pass-catching tight end. Besides the two additions above, the Jags have three veteran tight ends. James O’Shaughnessy, Ben Ellefson, and Tyler Davis. While O’Shaughnessy is a fan favorite, not even he provides a ton in the passing game. Like I mentioned earlier, only the Jaguars coaching staff currently has a clue whether Tebow is talented enough to attempt a return to the NFL at the tight end position. But, if Tebow still has the athleticism, speed, and heart that endeared him to fans in the past, he’s worth it.

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Would Signing Tebow be a Publicity Stunt to Sell Tickets or Favoritism from Urban Meyer?

I have seen this argument posted on social media and in talks with fans of the team. It’s a laughable assertion though. Would signing Tim Tebow to the Jaguars result in higher ticket sales? Of course. Tebow is from Jacksonville and is a local legend. Let’s not throw context out of the window in this situation. The Jaguars just drafted a generational talent at quarterback and hired one of the most accomplished coaches in college football history to be their head coach. Urban Meyer preaches competition and giving it your best every day. He wants to bring a winning culture to a franchise and a city that have sorely missed winning for most of the team’s history.

For all of Meyer’s perceived faults due to his departures from the Florida and Ohio State programs, you can’t doubt his drive. Meyer demands excellence and the desire to win is clear when he speaks to the media and in the Jaguars facility. Defensive end Josh Allen has felt the difference and it’s changed his outlook. Meyer means business. A coach who demands excellence and wants to bring a championship to Duval would not likely play games with the roster. That coupled with the fact that the team will need no help selling tickets this year makes the publicity stunt assertion quite laughable. The team has already sold more tickets than usual for the off season. They’ll do just fine from a ticket selling perspective without Tebow.

Will Tim Tebow become a Jacksonville Jaguar?

This is the million dollar question. Will Tebow become a Jaguar? With rumors swirling on the day of the draft, it’s surprising that there’s no signing over a week after the draft. But that doesn’t mean he won’t sign. In the interview that Tony Khan gave to Bleacher Report in the above tweet, Khan was pretty open. Khan said “Urban really believes he can help us, and I think it makes a lot of sense…”.

The owner’s son appears to be on board with this potential addition to the team. It’s still May, so there’s plenty of time until training camp starts. Only time will tell if the team brings Tebow in as a tight end. But a few things are true: The Jaguars need a pass-catching tight end. Meyer would not sign Tebow, or any player to the team as a publicity stunt. Tebow would add value from a locker room perspective. It’s up to the coaches to decide if he’s talented at the position and still has enough left in the tank to make Tebow a Jaguar.

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