Jaguars sign Tim Tebow to play tight end

John Reid
Florida Times-Union

The Jaguars signed Florida Gators legend Tim Tebow to a one-year contract to play tight end on Thursday morning, the franchise announced.

He is reunited with Urban Meyer, who coached him at Florida from 2006 to 2009. A Heisman Trophy winner in 2007, Tebow helped the Gators win two national championships as their starting quarterback.

He is expected to be on the field with the Jaguars on Thursday for the team's offseason workout.

''I want to thank the Jaguars for the opportunity to compete and earn the chance to be part of this team,'' Tebow said in a statement. ''I know it will be a challenge but it is a challenge I embrace. I am dedicated to taking the direction of our coaching staff and learning from my teammates. I appreciate everyone's support as I embark on this new journey.'' 

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Then Gators Head Coach Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow are shown Saturday, October 7, 2006 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.

Tebow's signing was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter.  

Since Meyer came out of a two-year retirement to take the Jaguars job in January, there has been speculation that Tebow would join the franchise in some capacity.

Tebow, 33, has not been on an NFL roster since 2015, when he failed to make the Philadelphia Eagles' final 53-man for the regular season. But the Jaguars worked Tebow out three times before he was signed.

Still, it was not a rushed decision. Meyer said he leaned on his staff to help make the decision for the past two weeks though it appeared imminent that Tebow would be signed.

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With Tebow joining the franchise, he instantly becomes a megastar the Jaguars can promote along with newly minted franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence.  

Meyer and his wife recently purchased a home in Glen Kernan Golf & Country Club that's on the same street as Tebow's home.

Tebow brings presence, if not tight end experience

Tebow was selected by the Denver Broncos with the 25th pick of the 2010 NFL Draft but played just three years in the NFL — two with the Broncos, one with the New York Jets.

He played 12 games, including two starts, with the New York Jets before was released in 2012. 

There is uncertainty about his impact as a tight end, considering he has never played the position before on the NFL level. But there's no question about his potential locker room presence as a leader, especially on young players, and his work ethic will be beneficial. 

Tebow is giving football another try after announcing his retirement from professional baseball in February after five seasons. He started with the New York Mets organization in 2016, making it to Triple-A, the highest minor level.

The Jaguars didn't address one of the biggest needs in free agency or the draft in acquiring a pass-catching tight end. In free agency, Jacksonville signed former Carolina Panthers tight end Chris Manhertz to a two-year, $7.25 million deal. Manhertz has only 12 career catches, but his strength is run blocking.

In the draft, the Jaguars selected former Ohio State tight end Luke Farrell in the fifth round. Farrell, who played two seasons for Meyer at Ohio State, was primarily a blocker and special teams player. He had 34 catches for 380 yards in four seasons with the Buckeyes.

In addition to his football career, Tebow has engaged in multiple philanthropic initiatives, including his own Tim Tebow Foundation, which brings faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. Tebow also has served as a college football analyst on ESPN and the SEC Network. In December 2020, he became a part-owner of the Jacksonville Icemen.

He and his wife, Demi-Leigh, were married in January 2020