The New England Patriots announced today that they have signed a two-year contract with Tim Tebow, the former New York Jets player known for his Christian faith. Tebow, who has been working with a quarterback coach to help improve his throwing mechanics, is expected to be the backup QB behind Tom Brady. Mike Kafka, the former third-string quarterback for the Patriots, was released from the team on Monday.
Tebow rejoins offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who was the head coach of the Broncos when he was drafted to the team in 2010. ESPN reporter Ed Werder says McDaniels is “one of the few coaches in football who believes Tim Tebow can be an NFL passer, properly coached.”
The left-handed quarterback will likely compete with Ryan Mallett for the backup QB position for the Patriots, with the possibility of playing in other positions on the team as needed. The New England Patriots are known for developing their athletes and for using versatile players in different positions on the team.
Werder commented that the Patriots were a unique fit for Tebow, whose potential media attention would not likely faze Tom Brady, the team’s well-established quarterback. Says Werder, “I think everybody else [in the NFL] was threatened by just how much attention this player commands from the media … he attracts a lot of attention … I think a lot of teams were fearful of that.”
The 25 year-old was born in the Philippines as a missionary kid and was homeschooled in the States until college. He won the Heisman Trophy in 2007 while playing for the University of Florida Gators, and is renowned for his faith in Jesus Christ. The NFL player started the Tim Tebow foundation, whose mission is to “bring Faith, Hope, and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need.”
The foundation does a myriad of faith-based projects, including orphan care and Team Tebow mission trips to serve domestic and international communities in places like Canada, Haiti, East Africa, and Guatemala. It is also partnering with CURE International to build the Tebow CURE Hospital in the Philippines. The organization “utilizes the public platform that God blessed Tim Tebow with to inspire and make a difference in peoples’ lives throughout the world.”
Although New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick is said to have had tight control over his players’ interaction with the media, Tim Tebow has never been shy about his faith in Jesus Christ. At the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2010, the star Gators quarterback wore Ephesians 2:8-10 on his eye-black:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (English Standard Version).
The NFL player’s parents say that he “loves football but knows that his career will end someday. His relationship with Jesus Christ, however, will never end.”
The young quarterback recently spoke at the Get Involved for Life Spring Gala, supporting the rights of unborn children. Tebow referenced Proverbs 3:6 in a recent tweet - “in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” He plans to participate in the Patriots’ three-day training camp beginning today.